Many readers of this newsletter contact me directly with questions, comments, thoughts, etc. And while the response we usually provide is specific to the situation sometimes it might be generic enough to be useful to others. This month we are going to address three frequently asked questions. So here you are, three for the price of one!
What is the best way to interview candidates – Time kills the hiring process and the longer the process takes the chances of a successful hire diminish. In an ideal situation, firms would have a handful of qualified candidates they would be able to interview all roughly at the same time. This strategy works well when talent is abundant, and few firms are hiring as in the 2001 and 2008 market downturn periods. However, this strategy doesn’t tend to work as well when there are very few candidates and lots of jobs to choose from as has been the case the last few years. So what are firms to do? Short answer – do what you can to interview your candidates as quickly as you find them and as close together as possible. Initially, we suggest scheduling and completing a phone or video interview especially if the candidate is out of the local market. This should be followed by an "in person" interview. After this, you should be prepared to extend an offer. After working with hundreds of firms, we have learned that the owners and managers who have the best success hold interviews within a very short time frame, possibly even on the same days. By doing so, they are able to form a more accurate and clear comparison of the qualified applicants.
Do I have to offer relocation assistance for candidates that are not local – Short answer, no. Although it is becoming more common, it is not required for entry level hires and is much more applicable to the more experienced and senior level hires a firm might make. Since most of our clients want to consider out of market candidates, we have seen some offer a moving allowance and/or a signing bonus to help offset some of the expense associated with relocating. During the interview process though, firms should be prepared to cover the cost (airfare, ground transportation, meals, etc.) if they choose to interview a candidate who is outside the local market.
What is the best time to recruit candidates – Short answer, it depends! Assuming there are two main types of candidates:1. New/recent college grad, 2. Experienced. Since there are no graduation schedules, the experienced hire doesn’t have a set cycle per se. The times that we see the most interest from these candidates, though, is early fall prior to holidays with a planned start date at the new firm in January after the year-end bonus is paid. Also, another peak period tends to be right after-tax season before summer fully sets in. Candidates tend to not be as interested over the summer and during the holidays since they are most likely preoccupied with life outside of work. For the new graduate, the lead time can be as long as one year out - so firms should plan these hires out carefully. For example, firms that know they want a new college grad to start June 1, 2019 are starting the process now. Announcing future openings now prior to students leaving for summer break. Then trying to re-engage candidates early fall when the students return to school. The top new college graduate candidates can accept positions for 2019 as early as October 2018.