If you as a hirer drag your feet when the time comes to pick a candidate, don’t be surprised if your window of opportunity closes and you’re left to pick from a less qualified pool.
Imagine that you’re the general manager of an NBA team and you’re looking to strengthen your mediocre roster. LeBron James gives you a call and says he’s looking for a new franchise to side with. He’s in your budget, thinks he’d fit in quickly with your team and is ready to move within the week.
Are you going to keep one of the best basketball players of all time waiting while you interview other free agents, ask approval from a half dozen committees, and try to talk him down from $21 million a year to 20?
Of course not. If you’re smart you’ll hire him today and start winning games tomorrow. Otherwise you’re going to feel awfully silly when he comes into town in someone else’s uniform and embarrasses your team yet again.
So why, when presented with all-star marketing talent, would you hesitate to pull the trigger?
How to Lose Marketing MVP’s
We see it happen too often. After weeks of talent research, background checks, interviews and scrutiny, we weed out less-qualified options and are left with one or two exceptional job candidates. We love them, the client loves them, and the candidates love the job.
From here it’s usually smooth sailing. A final decision is made, terms are agreed on, papers signed, and a start date scheduled.
But all too frequently a client hesitates at this point and the opportunity vanishes. The talent loses interest and moves on, and we have to start the recruitment process over again. This is frustrating for us marketing recruiters, but more importantly dangerous for clients looking to pick up top-tier talent.
In order to secure the best marketers for your company, you have to be willing and able to pounce on quality talent when the opportunity arises or be left empty handed.
Scaring off the Big Fish
Even the most patient talent will eventually lose interest in a job if you wait too long. We see situations like this occur all the time:
- Competitors come along with a comparable offer and a promise to get started more quickly.
- The candidate gets cold feet because they feel your interest isn’t genuine or perceive your company as inefficient and slow to act.
- The candidate’s busy schedule prevents them from waiting indefinitely for a response and they drop out of consideration to keep up with their commitments.
If you’re courting top marketing talent, then you’re interacting with the kind of people who are busy, results-driven, and in high demand. You must be able to keep up with their expectations and standards or be forgotten.
What Causes Delays
Hiring delays vary heavily in severity and cause. However, we consistently see a few culprits that are responsible for the majority of holdups.
- Organizational issues. Sometimes the hiring process stalls out at this point due to the layout of your organization’s hiring process. Corporate bureaucracy and an inefficient approval system can put the brakes on anything. It’s easy for an approval to get stuck at a bottleneck or lost in multiple layers of approval. When everyone is busy and has their own perceived priorities, hiring falls to the wayside far too often. If low hiring agility is a persistent problem, your organization is at a huge competitive disadvantage.
- Holding out for a better candidate. No one is completely perfect for any job, especially not in the dynamic world of marketing. But if you are working with a strong marketing recruiter that you trust, you should have no problem getting really great candidates that are close matches for the job and your company. Holding out for a perfect fit is like looking for a mythical creature. Don’t pass up a thoroughbred racehorse in search of a unicorn.
- Stalled negotiations. Sometimes a finalized hire is put off because you are having a hard time settling on terms. This can be a frustrating scenario, especially when your organizational processes (see above) make it difficult to respond quickly with counteroffers. Depending on how bad your hiring need is, it may just be better to make minor concessions than to risk losing the candidate’s interest and having to turn to the next best person.
Great Marketing Recruiters Make Commitment Easier
Every day you wait is another day you spend without a talented marketer making you money. That doesn’t mean you should be hasty with your hiring decisions; even with urgent needs it’s worth the extra time to ensure you’re picking a strong fit. But once you and your marketing recruiters have vetted the candidate pool and agreed on the best options, it’s time to act quickly.