Are You Losing the Battle to Hire Top Talent?

By Jason Elrick

Have you ever stood in line at Christmas time for a popular toy or game, only to ultimately be told, “We’re sorry, that item is sold out and we don’t know when it will be in stock”? In the same way, trying to hire top talent can sometimes feel like a losing battle–which explains the recently much-used phrase, the war for talent.

Having been an executive search consultant at Amtec for 6 years now, I’ve experienced a number of situations where both clients and candidates were disappointed with the often winding path of the hiring process. I always hate having to make that call to my client to tell them that their favorite candidate has just accepted a job with another company. We both know what a loss of time, effort, and productivity that means.

Here are three reasons I’ve found that cause clients to lose out on hiring top talent when they launch a job search:

Long and delayed hiring process – One familiar setback can be the delay caused by an overly cumbersome process of reviewing resumes and interviewing. If a candidate really stands out to you as a great match, chances are, he also stands out to other companies with whom he’s interviewing. This means you need to make a move! A-players, as I call top candidates, are in high demand, so they’re likely to receive multiple offers and be taken off the market quickly. You must move quickly with these A-players or you might well lose them and be required to spend another month or two sourcing, screening, and interviewing new candidates.

Inefficient interview process – Having a good gut feeling or sharing interest in the same sports team is a horrible way to attempt to hire top talent. Instead, create a uniform interview process where each candidate will be asked the same questions and scored objectively. Have multiple people meet with the candidate and compare notes after asking those same questions. Using open-ended behavioral interview question is always a great route to go, since past behavior is the best predictor of future performance.

Poor culture – Today’s top candidates are looking for a great company culture, including a work/life balance and opportunities that will benefit them professionally. Does your company’s culture attract or repel candidates? Do you have a cool break room? Employee-friendly polices? Personalities in your office? Flexible schedule? Work from home? Fun year-end events? Hiring top talent means putting your best foot forward and selling candidates on why they want to work for your company.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll always win the battle in hiring top talent. But if you implement an efficient interview process, build an attractive culture, and make your move quickly enough, you’ll stand a better chance at landing the top talent your organization must have to succeed.

Do you worry about making a hiring mistake because you don’t know how to ask the right interview questions? Since the best predictor of candidates’ future behavior is their past performance, behavioral interviewing is crucial to making a well-informed hiring decision. This coming May 29, 2014, join Scott Kuethen, Amtec’s CEO, in a free upcoming webinar that will cover this topic in depth. Your newfound knowledge will give you confidence to better conduct future interviews and make smarter hires! Watch our blog for more information, or contact us to receive our monthly employers’ newsletter and updates on Amtec events.

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