Author: Laura Mazzullo
I see this scenario too often in hiring:An HR leader opens a role on their HR team.They have the headcount, the budget, they are ready to hire! They believe they have clarified what they need/want to find in their ideal candidate, and how the responsibilities of the role are defined. So, they rush to start meeting candidates.
Candidates start taking time out of their busy HR jobs to come to meet these leaders. The candidate experience isn’t the greatest, and the employer keeps meeting people…They don’t feel like they are finding what they want, something isn’t right but they can’t define it. So, time goes on…they keep interviewing…they’re not rejecting or advancing anyone, because they aren’t sure what they want to do…they are feeling more and more confused and it is clear they are now indecisive…
Fast-forward: 3 months later, this HR leader tweaks their idea of what they need/want to find, and how the role is defined. So, they start meeting new candidates. Still, no one is right (they’re not identifying or reviewing data to understand what the market bears, or how they can stretch/grow/train someone. Instead, they’re going off gut…something just doesn’t feel right with anyone they’re meeting…) So, time continues to go on…the HR role has now remained open over 4 months, over 10 people have interviewed…
Some may argue:Well, who cares? Why is this a problem? Hiring takes time, they say! We are waiting for perfection!
Well, let’s consider why waiting this long to hire has a negative impact. Not just on the hiring manager, but also on:
1) Your Current HR Team
2) Your Business Leaders
3) Your Employer Brand
Do you really want to put any of those in jeopardy? Still not believing how stalling, or lack of decisiveness in hiring, has a negative impact on your business? Let’s look deeper into each of these:
1) Your current HR team
You have an open role on your HR team, which is likely based on a replacement hire or completely new headcount. In either case, your HR team is likely excited about this role being filled! Why? It is probable that they are working harder than ever with this role unfilled. They are likely wearing more hats than they want to, and are risking burnout.Chances are: You have asked your current HR team to step it up, cover more than they typically do—and you probably haven’t promoted them or given them a raise in this period. Sure, a stellar HR employee will happily do more than is asked of them for a month or two…but by month 3-4, what happens? Well, as time goes on, they may become disgruntled and frustrated. They may start taking calls from potential employers, and you can risk turnover! Yikes! Your current HR team is at risk of becoming cranky and overworked. This leads to disengagement on your HR team, which is really hard to rebuild once you lose it. Are you willing to let this happen?
2) Your business leaders
Surely, you have worked to create a strong partnership between HR and various leaders in the business. This took you time, effort influence, data and strategic input over a long period of time. Your business now really values HR, they want it, they need it. You have your C-suite fully invested in HR and the impact your team has on their business. But, your HR team is understaffed. You have this role sitting unfilled for months. Each and every HR function impacts the business; No HR role is more important than another, all positions impact the business a great deal! Alas, the business notices this role remains unfilled. They may not be able to turn to HR as frequently as they did before (because they see how burnt out your team is becoming, and they recognize that they don’t have the HR resources to support them). So, they stop relying on HR as often and begin shutting out HR from their meetings and discussions. Now, you’re watching everything you’ve worked to build between HR and the business—start to dismantle. The business learns to live without as much partnership from HR. Yikes! Are you willing to let this happen?
3) Your employer brand
So, your opening has remained open for over 3 months (an entire quarter of the year!), you and your Recruitment partners have talked to over 30 candidates, you’ve interviewed over 10…. Guess what happens next? Stellar HR pros talk to each other! They are in touch with their network of fellow HR pros and they share information with each other. Have you heard this role is STILL open? Yeah, that Manager has NO idea what they want? Oh, that role? Yeah, I interviewed for that a month ago.This becomes what is said about your brand behind your back. So, what happens next? Candidates stop becoming interested in the opportunity. They see it as stale, as unexciting, as an employer that is indecisive, not confident in their choices, not clear about their goals, not kind to their peers…HR pros are smart and savvy job-seekers! They perceive the job-search process/their candidate experience as a window into life there if they were hired. Most HR pros I talk to want leaders who are confident, decisive, self-aware, efficient, nimble, agile and creative. A slow and indecisive hiring process is anything but exemplary of these traits. You will push top talent away, the longer the role remains unfilled. Yikes! Are you willing to let this happen?
So, the next time you are hiring…You may get defensive and say: Well, this role has remained opened for a while but… I haven’t found the person yet, I’m taking my time, I don’t want to rush, I don’t know exactly what I need, the needs have changed, no one has everything on our wish-list, I’ve been busy…
Step outside of yourself. Put the excuses away.
Instead, consider your employer brand, your business and your HR team. See if bringing empathy and understanding for those three entities help you to be more decisive, clearer, and more confident in your decision-making.
Remember, letting that role sit unfilled isn’t just impacting you….
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