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Candidates Have a Shelf Life

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By Andrew C. Jackson, President and Cofounder, BravoTECH

The shelf life of top IT candidates is getting shorter as demand for skilled technical professionals increases. An unemployed or under-employed technology worker can find three to five viable career options in just a few days. Many employers are finding that qualified candidates who had expressed an interest in their firm are gone by the time they finish their usual recruiting process.

BravoTECH has worked with hundreds of clients to help them expedite their hiring and onboarding processes in order to secure elusive “A-player” candidates. Some areas that should be evaluated and can often be improved are:

1.    Streamline the interview process. Consider condensing the interview process by using group interviews. If numerous people are needed for a hiring decision, schedule multiple interviews on the same day.
2.    Don’t let background checks hold you up. It’s wise to perform a basic background check before making an offer, but unwise to delay a hiring decision while waiting days or weeks for results.  An option is to make offers contingent on receiving positive background check results.
3.    Eliminate departmental inefficiencies. If other departments are involved in your screening and interviewing process, make sure they have the same sense of urgency as your team. Make sure they are aware of how soon you’d like the new position filled and how the new hire will contribute to helping your department meet its goals.
4.    Do some process and quality control. Some firms have totally automated or outsourced the applicant screening and selection process or have empowered low-level administrators to do this work. As a result, some very good applicants may never make it to an interview. Make sure you know how your firm is screening and identifying potential candidates.
5.    Drop unproductive, old school beliefs. One such belief is that you must interview three applicants for each position before making an offer. Instead, when you find the right candidate, make a decision. Be aware that by the time you look at a third applicant, the first person you interviewed may have accepted another offer.

Remember that applicants are individuals who have expressed an interest in, but have not made a commitment, to your firm. Don’t let processes keep you from hiring your share of the top talent that is available – but not for long.