1.) Vetting vs. Recruiting
This is a balancing act. No one wants to make a bad hiring decision, but knowing when to vet and when to recruit can be the difference between getting a great new hire or just someone to fill a seat. Most hiring authorities start vetting before they have sold any value. Sell your opportunity first and then explain to the candidate what you are looking for. Give the candidate a chance to tell you: why they think they would be a fit, and why they want the opportunity. The “great” candidate will stick out immediately and the “wrong” candidate will quickly be dismissed. Remember, a good candidate is vetting you as much as you are vetting them.
2.) Too Many Interviewers
People disagree on many things and trying to get multiple parties interested in a candidate is difficult. Yes, you want to be collaborative. You need to make sure all the stakeholders have a say in the process. However, think about how much weight you put upon the “no vote” or the “blackball.” Should this interviewer be in the process at all? What value are they adding? Are they there to vet a candidate, sell the opportunity…or make the hiring manager feel good that they are including them in the process?
3.) Lengthy Process
“Time kills all deals”. It is especially true when recruiting a great candidate. The more “active” a good candidate is, the quicker the hiring process needs to be. Use technology to save time. Video connections like Skype save time and money. It is better to keep a candidate engaged with phone meetings and Skype meetings than to have the perfect on-site visit scheduled far into the future. As the saying goes… “shift happens.”
4.) Moving Goalposts
Does everyone agree on what a perfect candidate looks like? Is each member of your leadership team looking at life through a different lens? Are there several versions of what is needed for the interviewee to be successful? Make sure all the stakeholders agree on what attributes a good candidate will need to make an impact in the company. If your team doesn’t know what they are looking for, a good candidate will not know either and will quickly lose interest.
5.) Happy Ears
Don’t ignore red flags! A candidate says to you, “My high school daughter has just made the varsity cheerleading squad. Don’t worry, she will follow her dad anywhere”. This scenario is a kryptonite in the interview process. Ask early and often, “Can I get the candidate to the finish line.” Ask tough questions and look for the “non-starters.”
6.) Disconnected Hiring Manager
“I don’t have time to recruit any of my team members.” Many hiring managers take a passive approach to recruitment. They are very smart people that intuitively realize a great hire will not only make their job easier, but will advance their own career. Yet, the whirlwind of the day leaves them having others over-screen their candidates. Great leaders in healthcare today know that to get the best, they must be “hands on” from strategy to on-boarding.
7.) Post and Hope
A common practice is to simply post a job on the company web site along with a couple of selected job boards, then sit back and wait for the resumes to roll in. This is known as a “post and hope” strategy. With this passive approach, you will see candidates that are ON the market, but you will be missing out on the best candidates IN the market. Use a proactive practice to reach out to a targeted audience and network tirelessly.