Too Many Cooks Can Spoil Them Both.

At the evaluation stage, short listed candidates should have been properly screened by professionals who are familiar with the position and with the candidate characteristics which are required for success.  For many positions, the requirements to be evaluated are made up of “Technical” elements (education, experience, professional credentials) and “Fit” elements (match to the organization’s culture, interpersonal skills, character).  Some staff within your organization will be better qualified to evaluate certain aspects of a candidate’s capabilities and others will be better suited to evaluate other aspects.

The overall objective should be to run a crisp process, where all short listed candidates meet with all who will participate in the hiring decision, over a relatively concise time period, resulting in a meeting of the minds, a decision and an offer.

It is completely normal for there to be several interviews by different key decision makers who are assessing different aspects of a candidate’s qualifications.  However, it cannot be over-emphasized that this process must move forward in an organized and efficient manner.  It is very easy for competing scheduling due to travel, vacations, other meetings and business priorities, to delay planned interviews, the evaluation process and therefore decision making.

Also, fear of making a wrong decision can extend the process into multiple interviews involving the same people from the hiring organization who want a “second (or third) look”. Eventually, delays can result in good candidates beginning to question your company’s efficiency, losing interest and perhaps being lost to a competitor who is more decisive and quicker to put an offer on the table.  Remember, the best candidates will receive the most competitive attention from other employers and will be the first to disappear.

Solution:

Place one person in charge of guiding the overall process of filling the position and keeping in contact with all potential candidates as well as your internal decision makers.  It is very easy for the hiring process to get side tracked and time to drift by.  To avoid this, consider organizing internal decision makers and conducting a panel interview process.  By doing so, decision makers will be in a better position to compare notes based on a common interview and will be in a position to move the process along efficiently.

A single senior level hiring event which fails will, on average, cost a year of progress, recruitment and severance costs and have a negative impact on the organization’s goodwill as perceived by other employees, customers, shareholders and outside agencies.

 

Larry Smith founded the management search firm Kathbern Management in 2004 after a multi-decade career in senior roles with organizations in the office equipment, communications technology and investment banking industries.  Kathbern Management focuses on working with owners and senior managers to “get the right people on the bus”.

While most of Kathbern’s projects have been in North America, others have been in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Africa and the UK.

Contact Larry at (416) 915-4044 ext 101 or larry.smith@kathbern.com.

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