There is no question that this is a tight labor market and that it is, in fact, getting even more difficult. When a commodity is highly desired and scarce, two things tend to happen: 1) the commodity becomes more expensive, and 2) the competition to possess that commodity increases. Both of these factors are now true when it comes to hiring the talent you need to staff your business.
What Slows Hiring
There are a few things that we see companies do that cause them to lose a contest for the talent they need.
The first way companies slow the process is believing the resume is the person (an idea that later causes disappointment when they hire with too little regard for the intangibles that make up a successful hire). By eliminating candidates without getting a clear view of who they are, what they can do, and how well they fit, massively decreases the speed at which you hire.
We know this to be true because we interview hundreds of candidates each day. Many candidates hand us resumes that don’t reflect their real skills and intangibles (many who are way better than what you see on paper, and some who look much better on paper but lack the attributes that would make them a good fit).
To speed up your hiring process, you start by looking at more people faster. The rejection of resumes that aren’t “perfect,” means overlooking people who are perfect for the role and your specific company because the resume doesn't reflect the person as well as an interview would (we've fallen in love with candidates once we had a chance to meet them).
The second way we see companies lose the competition for the talent they need is by taking their time hiring the candidates they are considering. In most cases, you need the staff, but are overwhelmed and too busy to make time to interview. In the worst cases, we have seen companies interview an individual and schedule a second interview three weeks later. During the intervening weeks, the candidate they want to hire meets with other companies and takes a position. These companies lose the candidate because they were too slow. It’s important that the critical roles get enough of a priority on your calendar to acquire the people you need.
Your Most Important Decision
We don’t believe that you should take shortcuts in the hiring process, as doing so only creates problems later. We are so traditional that we interview every candidate face-to-face, and we require second interviews before placing candidates, the second interview being client specific. Whatever your process is, the key to acquiring the people you need is to be efficient in this process and close any of the gaps that leave the candidate open to accepting another position.
Hiring well isn’t easy, and it takes time. Because who you bring onto your team is the most important decision you make, when labor markets are tight, the speed at which you do so can create a competitive advantage. Follow a process that ensures you hire well, and make sure that you close any gaps that slow your process and cause you to miss hiring the people you need.