Decisive Recruiting: 3 Benefits for Leaders


January 11, 2012

Several months ago, I decided to give my bathroom a facelift.  I don’t know if you’re like me, but once I get an idea like that in my head, it’s on and there is no stopping me.  After choosing just the right paint color, accessories and all the amentites a bathroom needs, I was nearing the completion mark.  Save one item.  The mirror.

You see, my home came with those large, plain, rectangular mirrors that the builder installs.  All I knew was that I was not about to leave that plain mirror up a moment longer.  I began the search of all types of stores for the perfect mirror.  Then, I found it.  It was a colorful, mosaic mirror at Pier One.  But I did not buy it.  In fact, I doubted that something so colorful and unique would work in that space.  I kept thinking that maybe there was still one more mirror out there I had not seen.  So, I left the store and went home.

I continued to look at mirrors but my mind kept coming back to the mirror with the mosaic frame.  I finally decided that I was crazy not to buy it, even if it was bold and even if it was different than all the other mirrors in the house.  I headed back to Pier One, ready to make the purchase.  One problem…

The mirror was gone.

Sold out.

Can’t be ordered.

The same thing happens each day as leaders make hiring decisions about high potential candidates.  Recruiters work hard to source just the right person, one with the mix of experience and skills that also has a strong possibility of being a culture fit.  Sometimes, the leaders stalls on the decision though because the candidate seems just a little too unique, too cutting edge or too different than the rest of the team.  The recruiter tries to keep the candidate warm on the idea of joining the company, but many times, the candidate is lost once the hiring leader comes to his or her senses and decides to make that offer.

The reasons for a leader to be decisive are many, but three strong benefits of a faster decision are:

  • Cost-  The longer you wait to fill the role, the greater your chance you will lose the strong candidate and have to keep the recruiting process going.  As days to fill increase, so do your costs.  Also, you run the risk of needing to pay current employees overtime or hire a contract employee if the role remains unfilled for many months.  Making a decisive decision will cut your expenses up front.
  • Tone-  When a candidate has the interview process and hiring decision dragged out for months, even if the offer comes through and the candidate accepts, it plants that nagging seed of doubt about how other decisions in the company are made.  It leaves the candidate not feeling as valued or wanted as they join the organization.
  • Impact on Current Team-  When positions remain open for long periods of time, it puts stress on the existing team.  Often, they are not fully aware of the behind-the-scenes activity so they may begin thinking that the role will never be filled.  This may mean that they are doing more work and feeling over extended which if there is no end in sight, may impact their decision to stay.  By communicating the progress with the team and that a quick decision is the desired outcome, it gives them confidence they need to pitch in and work even harder while the interview process is going on.
The goal is to find the best candidate and make that offer.  Next time you see the unique candidate, don’t make them your mosaic mirror.   If you do, you just might be to late once you make up your mind.


One Comment

  • Good take on this, and just to add a job seeker perspective, that uncertainty during the waiting games is a demoralizer. The candidate feels unwanted even if you call and make an offer, they still wonder what took so long. The relationships starts out weird.

    Rock on

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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