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There’s a great saying in sales, “Time Kills Deals.” That doesn’t mean that some sales don’t take longer than others. Naturally, buying a new home or choosing a software vendor for a critical business process takes longer than buying a shirt or tie.

What it means, in this case, is that the hiring process has a natural timing to it. And once that timing gets stretched, for whatever reason, the deal (or your hire) is less likely to happen. A longer interviewing process doesn’t mean a better result.

Many hiring managers feel that a long process will give them these advantages:

  • A clearer idea of who the candidate is;
  • An understanding of how the candidate will perform on the job; and
  • Insight into how the candidate will adapt to company culture, and many other factors.

On the contrary— I just don’t think that an extended process does that. As a matter of fact, I think you are in serious risk of losing your top candidates because of your long decision-making process. Many times, top candidates think a long hiring process is a sign of indecision and they shy away from joining a company they perceive as indecisive. Other candidates find another good job opportunity while you are wasting valuable time. In this market, losing candidates to competition is painful enough… when you lose them because of what YOU do, that’s absolutely excruciating.

Here are five strategies that will help tighten up your process:

  1. Begin with a deadline: Make sure you set a firm deadline date for your search to be over. Sure, it may slip a day or week, but have a goal — that’s very important!
  2. Line up your team: If you are having a few people involved in the process, be sure they are lined up behind your deadline goal. Like a good campaign manager, coordination is key.
  3. Keep it on track: Be adamant about the process staying on track. Don’t be sidelined by other projects that may knock you off your timetable.
  4. Wrap up the deal: Be hands on all the way through the process to make sure, at the end of it, you get your best candidate. Take personal responsibility for seeing that the hire is made.
  5. Celebrate your hire: Well, you don’t quite have to throw an elaborate formal ball, but celebrate your hire some way with your team and your new employee. Have a fun lunch, “getting to know you” time, whatever, to get everyone off on the right foot.

As in so many areas of effective business operations, good time management is vitally important in making good hires. Here, taking too much time can kill even the best deal. Be decisive in your hiring. It will pay off in getting you the best new additions to your staff!

Philip Kemper, author of this column, is Founder/President of Kemper Associates, a 36-year-old Chicago-based national executive search firm, specializing in Permanent and Contract staffing for Trade Shows and Exhibits, Staging and Equipment Rental, Business Meetings and Events Production, Video, Training and Incentives and more. His more complete bio is on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/philip-kemper/2/795/308/ . You may view Kemper Associates’ website at: www.Kemperassociates.net, and contact Phil with questions or comments, and employment needs at: Kemperassoc@hotmail.com, or his private phone line: (312) 944-6551.

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