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Talent Talk: Best Practices for Faster Hiring

Image: Antonio Gravante/Adobe Stock businessman running
Today’s labor market is the tightest in our nation’s history — you need to streamline your hiring process or job candidates will lose interest and consider other opportunities.

American newspaperman and short-story writer Damon Runyon once said, “The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.” A couple of weeks ago we laid out the case that the modern system of hiring dates back 80 years and is fundamentally flawed.

We also offered an emerging best practice for getting past the paradigm of only hiring when a position becomes open. This week we will look at today’s best practices for moving quickly through the hiring process to attract and land the top talent that every company so desperately needs.

Why is this important? Because the traditional way of interviewing takes far too long. The business world is moving fast, and delays can cause candidates to lose interest and consider other opportunities. In this labor market — the tightest in our nation’s history — you must find ways to cut the red tape. Here are some best practices that our clients, the top companies in the plastics industry, are currently utilizing.

  • Do not expect or wait to have a slate of three to five candidates before you make your move. In 2021, a “slate” is one or more good candidates. If you know who you need to get on your team, and that happens to be the first candidate, the best practice is to accept your good fortune and move forward.
  • Schedule your first phone interview as soon as possible. Be flexible if the candidate is working, which they probably will be. Tuesday at 10 a.m. might be open on your calendar but they might need to do it at 5 p.m. when they are out of the office.
  • If the phone interview goes well, let the candidate know. Many of us were trained to interview as if we were playing poker, but that does not work well anymore. You want to keep good candidates excited about the opportunity. To take that one more step, schedule the next interview before ending the call.
  • Keep the overall number of interviews, and interviewers, to the minimum and go as far into the process as you can with video calls. Bringing someone on-site can take a long time. One of our best clients now hires most of its technical staff without having them come on-site.
  • If possible, have a back-up for those doing the interviewing. If someone is traveling or on vacation and no one can cover for them, you can easily add a week or more.
  • Make your offers verbally and seek verbal acceptance, but then follow up with the written offer that same day. Why take three to five days to get the written offer out when you know what it is going to be? Unless your typewriter is broken this should not take more than a day.


About the author

Paul Sturgeon is CEO of KLA Industries, a national search firm specializing in plastics, packaging, and polymer technology. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for this blog, e-mail Sturgeon at [email protected].

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