Hiring someone is part science and part art.

But more often than not, companies, executives and in-house recruiters treat hiring as a black and white, step by step formula, using a dry job description or posting and view it a necessary evil that must be tolerated, then wonder why they can’t get enough people or the right person.

They forget about the “art"… and when I say art I mean the soft skills. The human side.  

The art of hiring is as important, if not more than the science because you’re dealing with another human being and not a bag of Doritos, a car or a big screen TV.

Unlike a human (which are wildly unpredictable and emotional) the Doritos, the car and the TV don’t have a choice whether they wish to be sold, jump in your grocery cart or come home with you. A person does. 

There is a lot that can go wrong when making a match… but here are 3 of the most obvious, egregious, and easy to fix reasons why employers lose the candidates they want. 

You Don’t Understand Time.

People (Candidates) are like produce and milk… they spoil if left out too long.

Recruiting and hiring is similar to dating. If you go on a date and the person doesn’t call or text until a week or so after… you know that you aren’t the one or you lose interest. 

If the candidate you interviewed is actively looking for a position or talking with others besides you, don’t be surprised if they have taken the other job or lost interest when you wait 2-3 weeks to follow up with them.

Have a dedicated time frame, communicate that time frame to the candidate and stick to it

Nothing frustrates a person more than a company that has a drawn out, disorganized or outrageously demanding process. They are thinking if your company is a train wreck on the front end before they get there imagine what it is like once they become an employee. That is how you lose them.

Recently a hospital CEO I work with interviewed a CFO candidate and liked her. She was actively interviewing with other companies and I communicated that to him. He said he was interested in her and would get with me in a few days to move forward.

He never responded. He called me SIX WEEKS later asking if I would call this CFO to arrange another meeting because he wanted to move ahead with hiring her.

Hey, Mr. CEO, she has taken another job and has already been working for two weeks. You snooze… you lose!

Strike while interest is high! Time kills interest. 

You Screen More Than You Sell.

Of course you want to screen thoroughly to make sure you get the right person.

But too many hiring managers and in house recruiters act like a thick necked bouncer judging who will make it past the velvet rope and into the club, rather than a welcoming host. It takes a bit of both. 

I’ve experienced employers who treat the candidate as if the process like a Cold War interrogation and then pop up with an offer and wonder why they get turned down. Or they screen so hard.. they will never find anyone.

Know what is most important to you. Know what your deal breakers and red flags are. Then once you’ve worked past those then you need to flip into sales mode.

Once you’ve decided on the right person and that they are what you want to meet your standard it is then ALL ABOUT attraction, wooing and seduction. 

What if you interrogated a date, made them jump through hoops and acted discontented or were only concerned about what they would do for you….then suddenly ask them to marry you, shove a ring in front of them and expect them to say yes on the spot and be thrilled?

Everyone wants to be wooed, enticed, wanted or sold… and often it is about much more than money and title that seals the deal. Which leads me to reason number 3. 

You Have No “WHY"

“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” — Simon Sinek

Too many people focus on the what or the how much… but not the why?

If it were as simple as more money and better title… then it would be easy, but it’s not. Why?

Because people, human beings have a myriad of things that interest them, motivate them, that they value.

A job description, a title, and a BS corporate overview or mission statement is not a WHY!

The people you really want to work for you are the ones asking themselves, "Why should I leave my current situation to come to you?"

You must have compelling story to get them to leave. You must communicate WHY they should leave a good situation to join you. 

The person who has just lost his/her job and is low hanging fruit and may not be as interested in the why. The person who knows they are about to be canned and needs to find something before they let him go is trying to leave and is looking for a life raft not a why.

They can end up being good candidates, but the they aren’t who you really want. 

The BEST candidates, the GREAT candidates, the GAME CHANGERS are the ones who are successful and not really looking or need you desperately. 

The great ones need a WHY. 


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