5 Knee-jerk reactions to avoid when recruiting in haste

Ange Connor

An employee has resigned and now it is panic stations. You’ve been given a 2 week or maybe even a 4 week notice period but you know from past experience that running a recruitment process takes time. Time you really don’t have. Your team are freaking out; they’re concerned about who is going to carry the workload once this person finishes and until the new recruit is on board and trained up. You can feel your blood pressure rising by the second.

To handle the situation you pull out all stops to get someone in the role as quick as possible. But in your state of urgency and your panic to get the vacancy filled are your actions compromising the quality of the end result?

Here’s some knee-jerk reactions you definitely want to avoid in your rush to fill a vacancy; and why it will end up hurting you in the long run:

Floating your vacancy with multiple recruitment agencies 

More is not always merrier. Floating your vacancy with multiple recruitment agencies (on a contingent basis where the agency that presents the successful candidate gets paid and the other agencies don’t) you will be compromising the quality of the candidates you are presented. When agencies are working on this basis they only get paid if they fill the job. One of two things will happen in this situation. They’ll float you candidates as quick as possible to get in first; their focus is on getting in first, not on sourcing the best candidate for the job. On the flip side, they won’t bother investing the time in your vacancy as there is no guarantee they will be compensated for their time and effort so instead they’ll invest their time in recruiting for clients that value and appreciate the service provided. Either way, your recruitment process will be compromised.

Jumping the gun when applications are still open 

You’ve advertised your vacancy and allowed 7 days for applications but as applications start trickling in, you jump into interviewing candidates. The first candidate you interview can do the job so you act swiftly and offer them the job. While they might be able to do the job are they the best person for the job? When you set a deadline for applications you need to be mindful that great candidates may have seen your advert and will be taking their time to prepare a tailored stand out application. By jumping the gun you might be missing the best talent.

Cutting corners during the selection process 

First round interviews are complete. Time is of the essence so you pick the candidate you felt was the best at first round interview but you cut corners with the rest of the process. You’ll just go with your gut on this occasion as you don’t have time to try and tee up second round interviews. Your preferred candidate seemed pretty genuine so you reckon you’ll be right to skip the reference checks this time; besides no one ever provides a referee who is going to give them a bad rap (If this is the value you place on reference checks you need to read my blog on Reference Checks). Cutting corners and rushing the process is guaranteed to end in headaches for you. What might take you an extra few days or another week now will save you time in the future; you don’t want to end up back at square one because you recruited the wrong person.

Setting a ridiculously short application period 

Advertising your vacancy for only a couple of days will compromise the volume and quality of applications you receive. Even with candidate job alerts for online job boards, you need to give candidates sufficient time to see the advert and then prepare an application. The best talent will take the time to prepare a specifically tailored application for your job – this shows they are genuinely engaged in the opportunity. Candidates who submit an application simply by hitting the apply now button are being lazy. Wouldn’t you rather wait just a little longer for the engaged job seeker to apply?

Scaring off candidates by appearing desperate

Rushing a recruitment process can scare off top talent. Candidates will be assessing you and your business throughout the process and assessing if it’s the right fit for their next career move. Trying to rush them through the process and coming across desperate will only give them the wrong vibe and you’ll run the risk of having them withdraw.

Taking a little bit extra time and not rushing in will save you time down the track. If you select the wrong person for the job because you compromised the recruitment process you’ll only end up costing yourself a lot more time, money, headaches and stress. Instead of rushing in, take a step back and look at what options you have to help you through the interim period so you can run a thorough recruitment process. Engaging a temp, outsourcing some tasks to a contractor, seconding an internal staff member into the role or offering opportunities for overtime to existing employees to take on some extra duties are all options worth exploring.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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