Ready, Set, Hire: Be Prepared

by Karen Axtell, MA HRIR

You finally found the perfect fit for your organization; the candidate brings leadership, integrity, and experience to the table. Friday becomes hectic, and you decide to send over an offer on Monday. Being a hot commodity, the candidate receives an offer on Friday, and you are unable to get an offer on the table before you lose them. I see this happen all the time……

The job market is extremely competitive, and high quality candidates often receive multiple job offers. Having the first offer on the table gives you a huge advantage. Prior to starting your search, make sure to lay out a plan with all the steps of your hiring process. Do you have three steps, seven, or maybe ten? The number of steps is not necessarily important, but the speed at which you move is extremely critical. The hiring process should not take longer than 3-4 weeks from initial contact to offer letter. Taking over a month to make a decision is a recipe for disappointment.

Let me give you an example of hiring steps:

  1. Initial Phone Screen
  2. Formal Phone Interview
  3. In-Person Meeting
  4. Assessment (Cognitive/Personality) – preferably an online tool
  5. 2nd In-Person Meeting
  6. Offer – Contingent on steps 7 & 8
  7. Reference Checks
  8. Background Checks

I know some of you may balk at offering a position prior to the completion of reference and background checks, but rest assured that this is a common practice. Having the appropriate verbiage within the offer letter is the trick! In order to move quickly, you need to have an offer letter template ready, or access to one quickly. Being able to produce an offer letter in less than one hour is important, given the tight job market.

Making sure you have all your ducks in a row, prior to starting a search, is invaluable. Take some time to create a game plan for your upcoming hiring needs, so you can move quickly to secure your unicorn candidate!

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