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 his article as a starting point for how your opportunity stacks up.
- 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. One firm we recently worked with lost out on a superior candidate due to the firm owner’s lengthy vacation schedule and significant time out of the office. 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 2017 graduation, secured these roles in the Fall of 2016.
- 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. Recently 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 1-2 hour in person interview followed up by a half day or so follow up interview. 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 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!
Announcements and Exciting News
- Caleb will be presenting at FPA Retreat in Atlanta, GA on April 25th. https://fparetreat.org/
- Michael is speaking at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago on April 27th. http://www.morningstar.com/company/MIC
- Caleb will be presenting at the Shareholders Services Group Conference in San Diego on April 27th. http://www.ssgconference.com/Agenda.html