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4 tips to ensure your top candidate never gets away
It is a familiar scenario within recruitment: a company spends weeks or even months on finding just the right candidate for a critical role, only to reach the decision stage and find out that their preferred candidate has taken a position elsewhere.
For me, it has been particularly noticeable in Singapore when filling System Engineers, Network Specialists and QA Testing roles. However, regardless of the industry, size of company or seniority level of role this is a common issues businesses face. With the end of 2018 fast approaching, the question becomes – what can you do to prevent it from happening with your next open role?
The lack of candidates on the market
To complicate the issue, companies hiring towards the end of the year are facing a shortage of candidates compared with other parts of the year. Because of this shortage, if they maintain their normal hiring processes, they will continue to lose out on top professionals on the market.
For example, when it comes to IT infrastructure professionals, we have seen a steady decrease in the number of candidates per month since July. Compared to July, there was 20% decrease in candidates in August, followed by 25%, 33% and 50% decreases in September, October and November respectively when compared to the month before. The numbers make it clear: there are fewer candidates on the market at this time of the year.
Professionals also want to move quickly. Whether for financial reasons, or simply not wanting to remain waiting for long, candidates may take the first good offer they encounter, which may mean a similar role, with similar benefits with the competition.
What can companies do?
By modifying just a few small things within their hiring process, companies can ensure they get the candidates they want, in the time frame that puts their business at an advantage. This is an example of how I recently partnered with a company to help them out.
One client in Singapore mentioned in a meeting that they had missed out on their preferred Network Specialist candidate because that person ended up securing a position with one of their competitors. I reviewed their interview process and concluded that with 3 stages, it was taking a long time, increasing the risk that a candidate would receive another compelling offer meanwhile.
We further assessed their process - a technical assessment, and two rounds of interviews – to see what could be streamlined. It was apparent that we couldn’t combine the first stage process as it was a technical assessment and it required 2 managers to be available for that interview stage. However, the 2nd stage was a meeting with the Head of IT, and the final stage which was a meeting with the Global Head of IT, could be combined into one visit to improve efficiency of the interviews.
It was a simple step, but the client’s flexibility in embracing this method had the desired effect that the next candidate they wanted to secure agreed to their offer and is joining them shortly. Taking from this example, companies can look into doing the following:
1. Consolidate rounds of interviews.
Especially for senior roles, multiple rounds of interviews are probably a necessary part of the recruitment process. However, look into instances where they can be combined into one visit, or scheduled within a few days of each other.
2. Keep top candidates warm.
If you are still left with a lengthy recruitment cycle, do your best to keep your top candidates warm. Communicate often to ensure that they know you are interested and check in if a particular part of the process is slowing things down.
3. Avoid lengthy intervals between interviews.
When multiple interviews are necessary, shorten the time between the interviews to avoid losing momentum with a particular individual.
4. Streamline the process of approval.
Look into cutting out unnecessary time or steps needed to obtain approval for headcount or salary. Before beginning the search, evaluate the process to ensure that you’ll be able to put an offer in your top candidate’s hands as quickly as possible.
In short, time and efficiency make all the difference when securing the top professionals on the market for open roles within your organisation.
For more hiring advice, read through this article on how to help your candidate relax during interviews.