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Is Your Long Interview Process Costing You Top Talent?

When you get excited about a potential new candidate, do you act quickly and expediently to bring her on board before your competitors can move in and scoop her up? Or do you engage in a long, convoluted, multi-round interview process, dragging your feet and sorting through one bureaucratic hassle after another until you finally make a formal offer weeks later? (Or even months later?)

There’s an easy way to tell of your interview process is efficient and on track: if it is, you’re hiring the candidates you want. If it isn’t, you’re losing many of them before you have a chance to sign them on. Here are a few ways to attract and keep top talent by streamlining your system.

Reduce your pool.

If you feel obligated to interview twenty candidates for each open position, ask yourself why. Is this a genuine matter of due diligence? Is it a legal requirement? Are you trying to be fair, or trying to temper your risk? If you don’t honestly need to schedule 20 interviews over the course of three weeks in order to make your decision, reduce your pool to ten, or even five.

Reduce your overall sessions.

Don’t schedule more than three rounds of interviews per candidate. If you think you need meeting after meeting in order to gain answers to all of your questions, think again. Tighten your questions so each one provides more meaning and covers more ground. And if you think that forcing your candidates to jump thorough endless hoops will help you weed out the less committed, that’s also a mistake. In fact, this alienates talented workers who have other options. While the better applicants jump ship and accept offers elsewhere, you’ll be left with only the desperate by the time you reach round ten.

Don’t leave a lag between acceptance and offer.

Too many employers believe that a verbal confirmation will be enough to lock down a candidate and end her job search. But this is simply not so. After you share the good news with your candidate, make sure your formal offer arrives in her mail or inbox within a week. If your key HR personnel are out of the office and can’t sign the paperwork, find a workaround. Do whatever you have to do to complete the process and exchange the necessary signatures. If you don’t act quickly, your competitors will.

Never leave your chosen candidates waiting by the phone.

An employer who fails to follow up or provide feedback within a week of the interview raises serious red flags in the minds of most candidates. Would you want to work for a company that treated you this way? Within one week, contact your candidate with a firm answer or at the very least, a firm timeline.

For more on how to attract and secure the most talented applicants before they slip away, contact the staffing experts at PSU.