by Judi Wunderlich
Being in the staffing business, I should know better.
I've been condo-hunting in a certain geographic area, where there aren't enough condos on the market but plenty of buyers ready to part with their money. I've now lost out on 4 great condos due to my, or my real estate agent's, slowness and hesitation. Either my agent didn't notify me of the new listing the moment the condo came on the market, or I didn't want to take time out of my workday to go and see it the day it was listed, or I took too long to make a purchase decision and by then the condo was sold.
Then it hit me. I'm like a hiring manager. I need to 'buy' an experienced employee right now, and what I'm buying (let's say a front end web developer with Rails expertise) is in high demand and short supply. But I'm very busy and it's hard to take time out of my jammed schedule to interview the new candidate whose resume sits in front of me. Or I put in a hiring requisition to my HR department a week ago and still haven't seen one resume but I assume it means they couldn't find anyone and that I can't do anything about it.
I see this happen almost every week - a company has a drawn-out and complex interview process, or delays making a hiring decision by a day or a week, and the candidate they wanted to buy is now off the market. Yep, a faster moving (and smarter) company snatched him or her up.
So don't be a bad condo shopper like I was! When a recruiter puts a resume in front of you, and you like what you see, pick up the phone (don't email) and arrange to interview that candidate NOW (or before or after normal biz hours), not when your schedule has an opening. And once you've met the candidate and make the decision to offer them the job, don't wait until your HR department prepares a written job offer and you get all your paperwork in. Pick up the phone and make a verbal offer the minute you decide you want that person.
In today's tech talent driven economy, you snooze, you lose!