Everyone who follows these articles knows that our approach is to be as thorough and precise as possible when it comes to candidate selection. At what point, though, does a hiring process become too lengthy and a deterrent for job seekers? Since, the current demand for new planners is high and supply is small, the obvious downside is that the longer a firm drags out the interview process the increased likelihood the candidate will accept an offer from a competing firm. In this month’s article, we examine the causes and suggested solutions to avoid missing out on a potentially great hire.
Here are some common causes that lead to an unnecessarily extended interview process and some suggestions to keep your firm from making the same mistake and being left high and dry.
- Lack of role clarity – When firms are not sure what they are looking for because they do not have a clearly defined role, it is impossible to find a good fit within a reasonable time frame. The issue lies in the fact that they don’t know a good candidate when they see one and typically think all candidates are equally bad. We tend to see this more frequently with smaller firms who are seeking to hire a ‘catch all’ candidate that is a superstar at everything – which does not exist. Before setting sourcing, candidates make sure specific clear responsibilities for the new hire.
- Too high of expectations – Sometimes a firm’s offering does not match with the candidate they are seeking. We see this a lot in all sizes of firms where the firm is essentially offering a B + opportunity and going for the A + candidate. Naturally as the interview process progresses the A+ candidate realizes, while the opportunity is a good one, it is not the A + opportunity they could get from another firm. The challenge here is that every firm we talk to thinks they have an A + offering, but few do. Then they end up hiring a B + candidate expecting them to deliver A + work with minimal training and mentoring. Check out our latest blog post on managing expectations.
- Low priority project – Firms that do not plan their hires are always crunched and tend to take on time intensive recruiting engagements at the exact inopportune time when they are busy with year-end client work, tax season, software conversions, or quarterly reporting, etc. Strive to take on hiring projects at least 3-6 months before you need someone and consider initiating the process during what are usually the slower summer months. Be aware though that if you are seeking a new college graduate for your firm the cycle continues to be pushed back earlier each year as the top students who will start in firms June 1st after a May 2024 graduation, secure these roles in the Fall 2023 or Winter of 2024.
- Too Quick a Pivot – Firm owners who are Initiating Quickstarts in the Kolbe methodology, are notorious for switching focus from one candidate to another too quickly. If you already well down the path with a candidate and another is presented, it might not be prudent to abandon the candidate for what could be a shiny new distraction. Keep your options open and be honest with the candidate that you are interviewing others. We have had several candidates asked to be removed from consideration from firms who have not communicated with them. Plus, if you burn a bridge in the tight knit new planner community, you will likely not be able to go back to them later, and they could even share how their experience with your firm was not a good one.
The firms that our recruiting business represents who have the most success take the Affective, Conative and Cognitive analysis we perform on each candidate submission and complete their interview process on an average timeframe of three weeks. This is usually including one 30-60 min video or in person interview, followed up by a second interview that could be 60-120 mins. If/when the candidate successfully navigates these two interactions, these firms make an offer. Realize there could be several variations of this process especially if the candidate is not local and/or has not been pre-screened.
If you are looking for new talent to start later this year or early next year, now is the time. Good luck with your interviewing and hiring!