Hiring: “Time Kills All Deals”

Time… It’s on your side and heals all wounds. If you’re lucky, you’re having the time of your life. When hiring, however, time can be your biggest enemy.

It can tarnish your reputation, drive away prospective employees, and kill your hiring efforts.

Over the last 12 months, we’ve had several clients commit each of these hiring crimes. As a result, a few were left scrambling to keep their top hire interested, while others watched their “perfect candidate” walk away, straight into the arms of a competitor.

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3 Mistakes Killing Your Hiring Efforts


Too much time getting your act together

Between 2017 and 2018, we had three clients who did such a poor job getting the decision-makers on the same page, that 2 out of the 3 lost their lead candidate out of frustration. They were continually given mixed messages about the primary components and KPIs of the position. In the end, they knew they were set up for failure from the get-go by serving multiple masters with varying expectations. The ramifications of this go beyond a hiring fail and wasted resources. 72% of job seekers report sharing their bad candidate experience online. You’ve just poisoned your own pool of potential candidates.

Lesson learned: Ensure all key stakeholders are on the same page regarding current needs within the role, who’s in charge, and how success will be measured.

Too much time in the dark

Our clients were no small fish. With revenues between $10m and $35m, these tech companies needed a top-notch, specialized candidate. Obviously, they were prepared to efficiently execute their hiring strategy and scoop her up as soon as she presented herself, right? Wrong. Our first client dragged their feet so long they lost their top THREE candidates to competitors. The second had to increase their offer to compete with other offers that came in while “the powers that be” scheduled more interviews and went radio silent for weeks on end.

Lesson learned: Your hiring strategy is not a government secret. Be transparent regarding the next steps and a timeline. More importantly, streamline your process to prevent candidates from losing interest and moving on.

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Too much time (and too many changes) between the verbal and written offer

Your new hire masterfully navigated each piece of your hiring process and proven they will be an asset to your organization. So they’ve got the job, right? Not officially. A verbal offer is not enough. It’s not official until the ink dries on the all-important written offer. No one wants to answer, “I think so?” when asked if they got the job. Extend your written offer in a timely matter out of respect for your candidate.

Signing the written offer should be nothing more than a legal technicality… If you’re playing it straight. We’ve seen several deals crumbles in this final stage. Clients extended written offers that do not reflect the salary or titles originally advertised. We’ve also had clients incorrectly present the total package in the initial presentation. In order to guarantee your candidate understands what he is getting, complex commission plans and benefit and vacation specifics should be clearly outlined from the get-go and reiterated throughout the hiring process.

A little advice: To accurately determine a competitive offer, thoroughly research compensation levels outside your HQ city. You may have to make a few adjustments to your original budget to attract the right caliber candidates and woo them away from their current role or your competitor. Remember this client? You don’t want to end up back to the hiring drawing board over pennies.

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Hiring/Executive Recruiting