Making a new senior hire seems like such a big decision. The impact of the chosen executive has the potential to make or break your business, and you want to make absolutely sure that your business priorities are reflected in your choice. The process goes smoothly, you have a good choice of candidates, each with different skill sets, but (as always) none of them are perfect.
That is when the hesitation startsâ€¦.
Maybe you should wait for the perfect candidate? What is stopping you putting their name down on that contract? Maybe you have even typed out the contract and offer letter, but canâ€™t bring yourself to press the send button. For someone usually so decisive, why does the hiring decision make you weak at the knees?
Fear of the unknown can paralyze your judgement at this point. As with any business decision, there comes a point where you have to gather all the available evidence and make a judgement call. The bit that makes hiring decisions scary is that you are not deciding what sort of printer to buy or what make of company carâ€¦. You are bringing in a living, breathing person who will interact with others and change your company dynamic ever so slightly.
Hesitation at this point can prove fatal. The candidate also wants to feel that they are â€œwantedâ€ by a hiring company, and for the best candidates, who have multiple offers on the table, even a delay of a few days can set off alarm bells. Maybe the company doesnâ€™t have the budget? Maybe the hiring manager has reservations? Maybe the role is not as strategically important to them as they say?
The time period between interview and potential offer can be one of the most insecure periods for both parties. If you run a clear process, communicate up front about the various stages and the feedback loop, then there will be no issues. Expectations have been managed and the candidate knows where they stand. On the other hand, if you hesitate and call the candidate back for â€œjust one moreâ€ meeting with the team (after they think that they have had the â€œfinalâ€ interview), then they are bound to have concerns.
As the recruitment market improves, the best candidates are going to be in the driving seat. They are naturally going to want to join the companies who seem to be â€œfightingâ€ for their signatures, and the ones who are dithering will be left in the dust.
Pull the trigger, press the send button on that offer, and make sure that you offer them the maximum that you can. Now is not the time for delicate negotiations â€“ if star candidates feel that they are not being valued, they will go elsewhere. Not only are you losing a potential star, but your competitors are gaining one.
There is everything to be said for pulling that trigger and pulling it now!
Written by David Ford
Edited by Paul Drury