Many companies follow the mantra of “hire slow, fire fast” when they’re building their teams. There are many advantages to this strategy — particularly the slower hiring process. A slower hiring approach gives you more time to thoroughly assess all applicants and evaluate them for cultural fit, instead of just hiring the first qualified applicant you find. Of course, there are also downsides: You may miss out on good candidates, and it can take a longer time to get the right candidate up and running.
Trying to decide if you should slow down (or speed up) your hiring process? We asked members of Business Journals Leadership Trust to share the potential impacts of taking your time to hire.
1. It’s a more inclusive way to hire.
Sometimes, a slow hiring process is necessary when you are hiring for a management-level position. I find that you have to include more people in the hiring process, such as other managers they would work with, the staff they would supervise and board members they would work with. It is a very inclusive way to hire and can ensure you absolutely have the right person for the job and the right fit, too. – Muriel Smith, De La Salle, Inc.
2. You could end up with the candidates no one else wants.
Hiring slow will ensure that the candidates you hire are the ones no other company wants. It is possible to have a comprehensive selection process without making it “slow.” Top companies know what they are looking for and make decisions when they identify the right candidate. – Kimberly Lucas, Goldstone Partners
3. You can avoid snap decisions.
Whether your hiring process is slow or quick, it’s important that you take the steps needed (i.e., phone interviews, assessments and in-person interviews with the team) to truly understand a candidate’s skills, abilities and cultural fit in your organization. An extended period of time can keep you from making a snap decision while assessing the candidate’s interest in the role. – Robin Throckmorton, strategic HR inc.
4. You’ll see less turnover and more employee satisfaction.
We follow the mantra, “right people, right seats” from Jim Collins’ book Good to Great. We may not always hire quickly, but we hire quality people who are the right fit for our company culture and the specific role. We have seen that we have less turnover and greater employee satisfaction when everyone is in the right seat. – E. Tanner Milne, Menlo Group Commercial Real Estate
5. You won’t have to ‘unhire’ them later.
There are so many reasons to hire slow! Take your time to find the right person, or else you’ll likely spend three times the initial hiring time later trying to get them out of your organization. It’s easy to hire but often less so to “unhire.” Make smart decisions going in and you get great employees later. – Tashina Bailey, The Bar Method Portland
6. You’ll build up a larger candidate pool.
While slow hiring is often viewed as negative due to added financial costs and the potential to lose good candidates to firms that hire more quickly, there can be benefits. For firms that need to hire multiple candidates in similar positions or for positions with a high turnover rate, a longer hiring process can provide a larger pool of candidates from which to choose. – Jeffrey Bartel, Hamptons Group, LLC
7. You can better evaluate organizational fit.
When dealing with a poorly performing employee, the leader’s dilemma is figuring out how many times to try to mentor and remediate the employee up to standards. Two times? Three times? Four? There is no magic number. Hiring slow gives give hiring managers and employees more opportunity to assess the fit of an applicant within the organization and team before making a decision they may later regret. – Daniel Serfaty, Aptima, Inc.
8. You’ll wait longer but get to know the candidate better.
The downside is you have to wait longer for a role to be filled. The upside is that you get to know the candidate so much better and over time, identify clearly whether or not they are the right fit for the organization. This is particularly challenging for rapid growth companies, but it is critical to get it right. – Jonathan Keyser, Keyser
9. If your industry moves quickly, you might miss out on top candidates.
Our business has a fast hiring process due to the pace and nature of our industry. One downside of slow hiring is that you will likely miss out on top candidates. High-demand candidates are likely receiving multiple offers, so if you delay an offer, you could miss your opportunity to bring an all-star player onto your team. – Scott Scully, Abstrakt Marketing Group
10. Candidates will get a chance to showcase their expertise.
A slow hiring process doesn’t necessarily mean a “long” hiring process, but you would want a slow hiring process to give candidates a chance to showcase their expertise. If you utilize the process enough to let them show you their hustle and their grit, then you can see who stands out from the rest. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
11. You may lose ground to a competitor.
A candidate who possesses the skills, knowledge and abilities a hiring manager is seeking should be thoroughly vetted as quickly as possible without compromising the integrity of the review process. A highly desirable candidate who will contribute to the success of a company can either benefit your company or your competitor and should not be lost due to archaic candidate pools. – Mark Zinman, Zinman & Company
12. You can avoid a hire who ends up damaging the team.
Your team is your top resource. For small companies, in particular, every hire matters. One wrong hire in a 10-person company can have the potential to bring the whole company down, while one great hire can elevate everyone on the team. It’s important to carefully vet each candidate’s hard and soft skills as well as to understand their unique characteristics to ensure a cultural fit. – William Balderaz, Futurety
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