In my last blog I highlighted, and many of you commented on, two of the Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make When Recruiting and Hiring: having too many people involved in the interviewing process and having an unrealistic idea of what kind of candidates might be available and the money it may take to hire them. (See: Top Hiring Mistakes, Part 1.)
In this followup blog, I would like to explore two additional mistakes that can hurt high-tech companies as they add critical employees to their operation.
- “Process takes too long.”
- “Interviewing or not interviewing a candidate on the basis of a resumé.”
An additional mistake, and one often exacerbated by having too many people in the interviewing process, is that the process takes too long. It stands to figure that involving more people may drag out the process, but responsiveness and timeliness of screening the resumés, returning phone calls, conducting initial interviews, and scheduling the face-to-face interviews can all slow down the hiring process unless conducted in a timely manner.
Many people think it takes about 30 days to fill a vacant position. According to Tony Beshara, author of the list, the truth is “between 90 and 120 days! Why? Because folks drag things out that should be simple — not easy, but simple.” Good candidates have options, and once candidates get over the inertia of beginning the job search, they generally don't stop at interviewing with only one company. These candidates can be lost to more decisive firms.
I recently had a candidate turn down a good offer because she received a slightly better offer from another company the same week. The process with my client took four months while the second company made its offer within three weeks! Had my client's offer come in just one month sooner, it would have been accepted. Time kills, and as Beshara points out, “the 'shelf life' of quality candidates is shorter and shorter.”
Another hiring faux pas ? Putting too much emphasis on the resumé. Industry experts estimate that 40 percent of hiring a person is based on personal chemistry — not resumé layout, font, keywords, etc. Many candidates have asked me to review their resumés, rearrange them, and make suggestions. Of course, a resumé should be free of errors and factual, but there is no one correct way to write one. If there was, there would not be 3,590,000 hits when I Google the words “resumé writing books.”
Resumés should be used as a high-level screening device to help define the candidate as a “possibility.” Spend 10 to 15 minutes on the phone with the candidate or have someone in your organization (or better yet, a recruiter) screen those worthy of your time. I look at a resumé for approximately 15 seconds — checking educational background, prior work experience, and any job-hopping history. If the applicant passes this 15-second test, I set up a phone interview, where the real scrutiny begins.