Part 2: Hiring in a Tight Market- Why You Should Move Quickly

by Mike Miadich on October 16, 2012 in Candidate Interviewing, Candidate Selection, Hiring, Job Market

Hiring fast in a tight market

Last week, I discussed the challenge of hiring in a tight market and why waiting to make a decision may be the right strategy. However, there are always opposing sides of each argument, and in this case, we see that there are also very compelling reasons to move quickly in a tight market, when the right candidate surfaces.

As in every case, it’s very important to remain selective and to stick to your guns when looking to retain top talent. However, there is a point at which a decision should be made, and pulling the trigger at the right time may avoid a number of unforeseen downstream obstacles. There are a few sayings we use in the recruiting world that apply to the waiting game, such as “paralysis by analysis” and “no decision is a poor decision.” EdgeLink is not in the business to advise clients to make a decision for the sake of making a decision, but we are here to positively impact and guide our clients toward a high level of success. Because we have our finger on the pulse of the talent market, we know precisely when a hiring move should be made quickly.

Based on our expertise, here are a few reasons why hiring decisions may require haste.

  1. Your company is one of 10 the candidate is considering. Many organizations believe that they are the most highly sought after to work for. Of course hiring personnel wants to think that what they have to offer is always a great opportunity and working elsewhere is a second place finish. Although they may be right, the best candidates are being coveted by NUMEROUS companies in a tight market that are all selling their open position as the best available. Good candidates move quickly and if you aren’t grabbing them as soon as they appear, your competition will. The probability of your position being the only opportunity considered is about zero.
  2. Indirect cost-per-hire climbs exponentially. Yes, we all need to be certain that the hiring decision we make is correct. However, there is an indirect spend that accumulates every time a hiring process is started or delayed. IT personnel spend quite a bit of time reviewing resumes, interviewing, collaborating and selecting candidates. Now, take a situation where not moving quickly results in restarting the search process. Imagine another scenario where it takes 3-5 more tries at completing an entire search and interview process in order to locate and hire one person. The indirect cost associated with time of resources, opportunity lost, and delay of work product to market can be quite extraordinary. These hidden costs can be colossal, all because the hiring decision was too slow.
  3. Your butt is STILL on the line. As in Part 1 of this two-part article, the accountability of deliverables is still in play when holding off on hiring decisions. Even though I stated the counterargument to this particular point, I also agree that quick decisions need to be made when the right person is identified. The demands of technology continue to rise in the food chain of business priority, and it is imperative that IT hiring decision makers move quickly to secure the best talent when looking to accomplish objectives that relate to their roles within their respective organization.
  4. Your Number 2 candidate will also be gone. The chances that your top candidate is also first in line with other companies are very likely. You should think that your first candidate is being flooded with opportunity by companies directly, or by staffing companies and search firms. So, by waiting on your top candidate, there is also a good chance that your second (who you have been keeping at bay) is slipping away as well. We’ve often seen scenarios where a company waits on their top choice, only to realize that when they finally decide to pull the trigger, the first AND the second place candidates (and possibly third) are no longer available because the candidates took other opportunities. If you don’t make a quick decision on your number 1 candidate, it’s likely that you will lose number 2 as well.

Balancing speed with accuracy is always a challenge, and there is really no correct answer. However, with the market being as tight as it is, it’s important to quickly identify the best candidate for your position. Once the candidate is identified, move quickly or make sure that you don’t lose him/her if you need to stall. Working with the right recruiting and staffing firm is critical so that you can get the best person whether it’s for an immediate or future need. Regardless of timing, make sure that a clear plan is in place prior to starting the hiring process.