Employers often believe that there’s always a better candidate available, that there are many people desperate seeking new positions or there’s an infinite number of job seekers available for work.
As a result, employers take a long time to fill open positions waiting for a “better” candidate, they don’t properly communicate to job seekers who have already been interviewed by the organization, or they repost the position continuously to solicit more applications leaving previously interviewed candidates in the dark as to the status of their applications.
While there may be a large supply of candidates available for certain positions, the pool of qualified candidates could also be limited for other positions.
You may think that you are helping your organization by waiting for that “perfect” candidate to fill the position, but this mindset could do more harm than good.
- Your approach may be frustrating for recruiters who are working on the role (externally or internally) to the point that they will stop trying to present you with new candidates.
- You may be increasing the workload and stress for existing employees who are doing the work of more than one person.
- Candidates who interviewed well for the position may feel confused if they don’t hear back from you but see the position reposted.
- You might be sending a negative message to potential applicants who weren’t brought in for an interview as to “Why is the position still open?” or “What’s wrong with the organization if they’re taking so long to hire?”
Following are some suggestions if you are running into difficulty filling a position:
- Communicate with candidates who have interviewed for the role – let them know where they stand. If they are lacking certain skills or experience, be honest and tell them you are continuing to interview candidates.
- Keep existing employees in the division/department in the loop regarding the status of searches/interviews.
- Give updates to recruiters or anyone sourcing for the position so that they are aware of your intentions.
- Let stakeholders (e.g. recruiters, employees) know an approximate date as to when a hiring decision should be made.
- Reconsider previously interviewed candidates – people won’t stay on the market looking forever; perhaps a previously interviewed candidate would be a good fit;
- If the position is open for a long time without someone in the role, it may not need to be filled. Reallocating the work and revisiting the search at another time may be the best option.
- Hire someone on contract or a temporary basis to assess how they perform in the position.
- Change the job description to accommodate a good candidate – reallocate work internally
- Consider hiring someone and giving them a longer probationary period to properly assess how they do.
As the title of this article implies, don’t delay too long to fill a position. Doing so can at times do more harm than good. Many reports continue to indicate that Canada is in a labour skills shortage that will only get worse over the coming years.
Marc Belaiche is a CPA, CA and is President of TorontoJobs.ca, an Internet recruitment business and recruiting firm located in the Greater Toronto Area. Marc is also the author of the book “Tales from the Recruiter”. Marc has been in the recruitment industry since 1995. TorontoJobs.ca allows companies to post their positions online, search a resume database to find candidates, provides full temporary and permanent recruitment and outplacement services. TorontoJobs.ca also allows candidates to search and apply to positions directly online and get career, interviewing and resume tips all at no charge. Marc is also President of TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca, an organization geared towards business owners (see www.TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca) and has the annual Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference (see www.TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca/conference).