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Stop Waiting for the Perfect Candidate

Are you searching high and low for the ideal candidate, a shining star who can meet — and even exceed — every single one of your position requirements? Are you sifting through and discarding dozens of resumes that just don’t quite measure up and sighing with disappointment after every interview? Here’s a tip: stop doing this. Keep these considerations in mind the next time you open a resume file or prepare to greet your next interviewee.

Opportunity costs are real costs

If you’re looking to hire a new CIO, or an operator for the central machine that keeps your product assembly line in motion, then of course you’ll be losing money with every hour this position stands empty. But if you’re dropping your level of concern and slowing your search for less “urgent” positions, think twice. Every position matters, and every empty chair takes a toll on your overall organization. Empty seats increase team workloads, diminish morale, generate an atmosphere of insecurity, and push people into responsibilities that lie outside of their areas of skill. Factor timelines and opportunity costs into every hiring task.

Don’t hold out for unicorns

Staffing an open position can be compared to buying a house. Some potential options have a great location, some have fabulous natural light, some require minimal maintenance, and some offer short commutes to work. But very few offer all of these qualities. If you can’t decide between five candidates who each offer different aspects of value, don’t let this paralyze you. Simply take each advantage and prioritize them. Which matters more: a pleasant attitude, a sense of determination, a willingness to accept a lower salary, or years of experience? Rank these qualities and move forward.

Perfection is not your friend

Yes, the candidate across the interview table is smart, capable, confident, and experienced. But are they smart and experienced enough? If you wait a little longer, will you encounter someone else who offers even more of these wonderful qualities? In a word: no. Especially if your search has already reached and surpassed your established timeline. If you decide to gamble and let this excellent candidate walk out the door, they’ll find a position with your competitors, and you’ll be standing back at square one.

Define “success”

What do you consider a “successful” hire? The answer will vary for every company and every manager, but in general, a successful hire will mean a candidate who accepts your offer, steps on board, thrives, contributes, and stays for at least one calendar year. If you know your candidate will meet each of these requirements, it’s time to stop hedging and roll the dice.

For more guidance on the candidate selection and sourcing process, contact the expert staffing team at PSU.