Is Your Company Making This Hiring Mistake? Stop – and Improve Your Process

If there were ever a piece of advice many companies heed, it’s “Hire slow, fire fast.” But, as with most advice, they heard what they wanted and tuned out the rest. They’re dragging their feet. Jobs remain unfilled 67% longer than just 5 years ago, and I’ve seen companies wait two months to give someone feedback after they’ve interviewed. You can’t do that and then go crying that you can’t find good people. There’s a war for talent – get with it.

The War for Talent – Yes, It’s Back

By 2020, that there will be a shortage of at least 18 million skilled, college-educated employees in the labor pool. For individuals with sought-after skills, training, and aptitudes, it’s an “employee’s market.”

The financial services industry is already feeling the pinch: according to PwC, talent shortages have forced major companies to “shelve a strategic initiative or miss out on a market opportunity.” And 40% of financial services CEOs believe it’s “getting harder to hire good people.”

You can see it with junior bankers – previously the low men (and women) on the totem pole. They come out of school and often take two years of experience at a bank. Even before those two years are up, the big guys – Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America – are vying for these individuals.

The junior bankers not green; they’ve learned the industry – and they don’t have to stay in it. They have options. They can go to Silicon Valley. They can ditch the suits and wear jeans. In other words, you need them more than they need you. And it’s not just this one sector; it’s happening all over. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in: you can’t afford to take it slow.

You Need a Smarter Hiring Process – Now

If hiring is really important in your organization, it is imperative that your senior leaders let everyone know that putting the right people in the right roles is a top priority. You need to say, “I will not tolerate you, hiring managers, taking your time to give feedback to internal recruiters, external recruiters, whoever we’re working with to hire the best talent.”

Otherwise, it all starts to look like lip service. Additionally:

  • Foster a culture in which people hold each other accountable. People internally need to have the courage to call each other out: “Our core issue is hiring top talent. You can’t not give me feedback for two months. It is not acceptable.” And this includes you: if you say that hiring is job one, then everyone better fall in line. If they don’t do everything they can to support that initiative, they should be fired. Harsh? Maybe. But it’s that important.
  • Stop making excuses. I am so tired of hearing, “Well, we’re too busy.” Really? Too busy to hire people who will help your company grow and thrive? Guess what: You’re never too busy to fail, so you’d better start making the time.
  • Hire for fit – and fast. Have the audacity to hire for fit. “You’re smart, driven? Great. You don’t fit our culture. Bye.” Have the guts to do that – but do it quickly. Don’t string candidates along because that makes your organization look ridiculous. If this is how you run your hiring process, word will get out, and top talent will look to employers who can make decisions.
  • Recognize people have options. People are not going to uproot their lives or turn down other offers on the off chance that your company is a great place to work. You have to pull out all the stops to show them. Financial companies, like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are doing this with initiatives like higher pay for junior people and “protected weekends.” What do you have to offer? Because if it’s not good enough, then talented individuals have plenty of other options.

Hiring is a priority for your company? Then act like it. Stop dragging your feet, and start hiring the right people now.