Time Is Of The Essence

Businessman in office has problem with deadline

There is a simple notion in sales that time kills all deals and while this can be anecdotally true, it can also be practically true regarding the multi-step technical interview process that our clients sometimes use.

As a staffing agency, we have every reason to believe that our clients’ interview process is intentional and well thought out.

  • Why HR is involved.
  • Having the candidate meet the team after successfully passing other managerial rounds of interviews.
  • Why a technical assessment might be requested.
  • Why there are multiple (3+) rounds of interviews.

All these steps can be vital for an organization to feel comfortable they are hiring the right person. But have you thought about what the candidate is going through during this technical hiring process? Or how your interview process could be costing the company great employees as opposed to aiding in finding good ones?

In a competitive job market, these questions matter. Technical candidates have all kinds of thoughts on how and when they accept positions.

  • Are they looking to accept the first offer?
  • Are they interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them as a candidate?
  • Are they in no rush and will wait for an amazing offer?
  • Are they hating their current employment (or lack thereof) and want to move fast?

It can vary, of course, but how do you know if you are running the risk of losing good candidates because your hiring process is too slow, too arduous, or too complicated?

We have some clients that will interview technical candidates as many as 5 times. We have some clients that will ask each candidate to complete a technical skill test or exercise to validate their skills that can take hours upon hours to complete. But how far is too far? And how often are you finding that 3rd or 4th interview is identifying a less-than-ideal candidate? At what point do you have to consider the law of diminishing returns?

Technical Hiring Process Circumstances To Consider

Candidates are fine with technical screens… sort of

When looking to hire a technical candidate, the ability to “put one’s money where one’s mouth is” is vital. Candidates understand they need to demonstrate their abilities when interviewing for a position and they likely will need to complete some sort of technical assessment.

However, 10+ hours to complete the assessment? No candidate wants that. A hiring manager or organization might love it. It may make them feel secure in making a decision. But trust us, the candidate is already starting to question if you are right for them if you are putting them through the wringer before they are even on the payroll.

Candidates expect multiple interviews… sort of

Very few candidates are surprised by multiple interview steps in the technical hiring process. Involving HR, the team, the supervisor, or the manager to help with the process is typically a non-issue. However, once you get beyond a 3-step process, interviewees start to care.

The number of steps to the process is not typically what candidates begin to question. It more has to do with the length of time the process takes. On average, regardless of steps, once the interview process goes beyond 3 weeks, you are either losing the candidate’s interest, or you are going to lose the candidate altogether to an organization that does a better job streamlining their interview process and therefore makes an offer to their top candidate quicker.

Candidates are fine with salary negotiation…. sort of

Most job seekers expect to have some type of negotiation or discussion regarding salary. But the most damaging thing you can do is to lowball a candidate.

Obviously, the organization wants the best deal financially for the best candidate while the candidate wants to maximize their value and worth with pay. And perhaps the idea is to come in low so there is room for negotiations. But, if you lowball a candidate based on what you already know to be their salary requirements, it is highly likely you have either damaged their excitement and perception of the company or have lost the candidate entirely. Salary and benefits have an emotional component for many candidates and if they feel disrespected by a lowball offer, the candidate probably is not only NOT getting over that feeling quickly or will not get over it all, ultimately resulting in them walking away from your company altogether.

It is vital to consider candidates (especially ones with unique or niche skills) as the asset they are. If they feel valued, (which comes from an efficient interview timeline, reasonable assessments, and an enticing offer) they are more likely to become one of the company’s champions. Filling your organization with champions will only benefit you in the long run.