Recently I wrote about one reason why the headhunting process might not lead to an employment relationship, but there are other reasons as well, based on the same issue – not noticing that selection is done by both employee and the candidate. One of the things that can go wrong is the employer being “too busy”. Yes, you can lose good people because of this. Sometimes it happens before the employment relationship even starts, and sometimes soon after.
I have had few occasions wherein I introduced a great candidate to a potential employer, but the hiring manager was too busy and lost the deal. Too busy to meet, too busy to show the candidate how much they were interested, too busy to get back to candidate after the first meeting or to respond to questions, and too busy to finalize the employment offer quickly enough or send the contract when the terms were agreed. Of course employment decisions are strategically important and can’t be done in rush, and of course it is understandable that a hiring manager would be a busy person – this is often the very reason why a new employee is needed; but you must take into account the candidate’s perspective too. If you wish to hire the best, please remember – you are not the only one with this wish. There are other great employers around, and if someone is on the move, you are probably not the only one who knows. Something which is only made more important with the underlying fact that people on the move get impatient quickly. So – if you are not quick enough, someone else may make an offer and if you are not committed enough to prove your serious interest, the other offer may well be accepted. Yes, you want employees who want to work for you, but employees want to be sure they are really wanted too.
Yet, ‘busy-ness’ is not only an issue in the hiring process. Often good people are “lost” during their first weeks on the new job. A new hire needs a lot of attention when they enter the new job and the amount of attention needed is chronically under-estimated by employers. We routinely interview our placed candidates several times after their start, the first of which is after 30 days on the job. Once I asked a candidate how he was doing: He said that everything was very interesting and new to him, but he had no idea if the employer was happy with his work. He had not had any feedback at all. Guess what – after a few months, he left. Remember – you only have one chance for a first impression, this is as true in employment as in any other relationship. If the first days or weeks don’t go well, it might mean that the new employee is going to be back in the job search very soon.
If a great candidate is introduced, act fast. Show your interest, make an offer, get to the ‘yes’. And then – start on-boarding immediately.