What is the “perfect candidate?”
The “perfect candidate” is a term I jokingly toss around because that seems to be the state of what most employers are looking for. I say this in jest because there’s no such thing. The only way this would be possible is if a company put a prospective employee through a boot camp or boiler plate for a three to five year period with the exact technologies, processes and procedures they wanted them to execute in. Even then, the employee would not be perfect.
Recessionary recruiting timeline
During the recession, an environment was established in which candidates went through a myriad of phone screens, technical evaluations and in-person interviews. This luxury could be afforded because jobs were scarce and it was hard for a candidate to say no to a decent offer. With more questions asked, more candidate review meetings set up and more evaluations, every candidate becomes likely to have a “gap” surface. This also prolongs the time that good candidates are waiting for an offer and will use that time to speak to other employers. As the economy lifts, organizations should be more adaptive during the screening and interview period because companies that are taking a quicker hire philosophy are luring away many of the good candidates that were once readily available.
Finding the BEST candidates quickly
Our office is regularly seeing up to three offers turned down monthly mainly because the hiring body at a company took too long to give a proverbial thumbs up and other, more proactive companies are slipping in at the 11th hour with a quick offer and a yes for the candidate because the company approached the prospective employee without a prolonged and stringent process. If a company wants to change this approach and find the best candidates, they need to approach conducting phone screens, technical interviews and committee interviews within a matter of days instead of weeks or months. There is always going to be a stronger candidate but having production suffer at the expense of waiting for a unicorn employee is a challenge for everyone involved. Unemployment figures nationally hover at eight percent but Staffing Industry Analyst’s unemployment for technically savvy candidates is less than two percent. The approach our firm takes is to try and be consultative during the hand wrenching period of whether the company is making the right hiring decision. I’ve personally witnessed several hiring managers lose the budget to hire an individual because they took too long and a more pressing need has been identified by someone higher in the organization. The approach should be to hire a strong candidate rather than having no candidate be available at all.
Mike Barefoot is the Senior Account Executive at Red Zone Resources Staffing & Recruitment. Follow Red Zone Resources on Twitter (@RedZoneJobs) or go to www.RedZoneResources.com for more information.