We’re working with a client right now on a sales search, and unfortunately she has dragged out the recruiting process to the point where we are considering whether or not we can complete this assignment. In particular, I’m concerned that this client is about to lose a candidate that we’ve worked very hard to put in front of them, who is ideally suited, and who is very interested in taking the job.
Every once in a while we run into clients that lack a sense of urgency when it comes to completing a recruiting project.
This troubles me because when we work with these kinds of clients, we can see that they become their own worst enemy. Sometimes, clients go very slowly and methodically because they’ve been burned in the past and they want to avoid a miss-hire. Other times, the person who’s responsible for making the decision has too many things on his/her plate, and is not able to continue forward at an acceptable pace.
Whatever the case may be, top sales and marketing candidates have a short “shelf life” for a specific position, and that shelf life can expire if the recruiting process is not proceeded through with haste. (When I talk about the word haste, I don’t advocate making a hasty decision. A good recruiting process, particularly in sales and marketing, always requires a very deep level of diligence and a very rigorous process as I’ve advocated throughout this blog and in other materials in our website). Having said that, proceeding with a lack of purpose and a lack of momentum tends to send a message to top candidates that you’re really not that interested in bringing them aboard.
The best sales and marketing candidates enter and exit the job market quickly, so you need to be willing to move quickly to recruit them onto your team.
The recruiting process needs to be looked at as something that has a start and an end. The end is either a yes/no decision and an offer letter, and in the middle, there’s a series of steps that you pass through or phases of the process that you have to go through in order to get to that conclusion. My advice to companies that are trying to hire the best, is to make sure that you proceed purposefully and swiftly through each phase without skipping any steps and always move towards finalizing the process as quickly and as efficiently as possible. If you do this you’ll have the best chance of capturing the kind of talent that you are looking for to drive the growth of your business. If you don’t you’ll end up losing the best candidates and have to settle for B or C players in order to staff your sales team.