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Talent Talk: In Hiring, Be Quick, but Don’t Hurry

Image courtesy of Alamy/Dmitry Ageev man interviewing woman for job interview
In an increasingly competitive employment market, a nimble hiring process is essential for success.

This is a continuation of our series of practical steps you and your company can take right now to attract and land more of the top talent you so desperately need. The first article in the series talked about not losing candidates based on negative online reviews or an outdated application process.

Last week we discussed the importance of making a good first impression. If you get this far in the hiring process, now you must be quick.

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden famously said we should be quick, but not hurry, with almost everything in our lives. “You have to know what to do, but you have to be quick to do it or you might not get to do it at all. Otherwise, you’ll have activity without achievement,” said Wooden.

In the hiring process, this includes things like having too many steps in the process. Imagine that you are the candidate. You have a good job, but a new opportunity intrigues you. The attraction may be the company’s new products, its growth story, or an opportunity to further advance your career. So, you “throw your hat in the ring.”

How would you feel if you had a phone screen, a video interview with the hiring manager, an on-site interview with the team that included a presentation that took most of the weekend to prepare, and then were asked to take a personality assessment and complete an online job application? A little annoyed perhaps? You have taken a day off work, plus additional time during the workday — remember you have a good job — and it’s still not clear where you stand with the company or the time frame for a decision.

As a hiring manager, trust your instincts (another of Wooden’s philosophies). If you know you have found the right person for the job, make the offer. A long gap between the final step in the interview process and an actual offer is a big flag to a candidate that something is going on. He or she might think you were waiting to see if your first choice accepted your offer, or a dozen other possibilities.

Do not rush the process or you will make mistakes, but be decisive and quick.


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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