How long is the “shelf-life” of a good candidate? In this market, candidates are getting hired in less than two weeks. A good candidate will only be on the market as long as a company with a short hiring process takes to hire.  Companies with a long hiring process will lose out on top talent more often than not. Let’s face it, many of us are battling for the same resources.  Astute companies and hiring managers have streamlined their hiring process to be both thorough and expeditious.

If you don’t want to lose out on top talent try these three tips!

  1. Sell first, screen after. Too many companies are not giving candidates a ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling when they come to interview.  Consider beginning your hiring process with the top decision-maker. Bring the boss into the first interview instead of waiting until the end of the process for the candidate to meet him or her. Have the receptionist greet your candidates by name, walk the candidates around the office to make them feel at home, offer them a coffee. Make sure you are selling the candidate on the attributes of your company. It is your job to convince them to come to work for you not the other way around.  Screen the candidate thoroughly but do not fail to sell the company and position.
  2. Conduct interviews all at once. If your company has a three-interview hiring process, consider conducting all three interviews in one visit, or conduct a panel interview instead of separate one-on-one interviews. It can take several weeks to months for some companies to schedule and conduct a full set of interviews.  Companies that are winning the war for talent have streamlined their hiring process. Some are preparing the offer letter for delivery at the end of the final interview.  Decide and schedule the next step before the candidate leaves your office. Remember he may be getting an offer from a competitor the minute he leaves.
  3. Ask your candidate to tell you before they accept another. If an offer from your company is coming, let the candidate know. Realize, top candidates are likely to be juggling multiple job opportunities. If you are interested in a candidate, do not be afraid to ask about the other opportunities and where your company ranks in comparison.  A good candidate can be here today and gone tomorrow. If you are interested in making an offer and your process is not yet complete, ask the candidate to hold off on accepting other opportunities until they hear from you. At a minimum, ask that they let you know if they receive another offer in the mean-time.

Companies that are doing the same things today as they were yesterday will become obsolete. Take the time to discover whether your hiring process needs to be revamped or not.