Is your hiring process a train wreck waiting to happen?

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HR directors and top hiring managers need to know these telltale signs that their hiring process is driving away candidates, not attracting them.

You might think these are just a few worst-case scenarios. But in my years of high-level search, I’ve seen companies lose exceptionally talented candidates from very avoidable mistakes.

First, the interview process is stretching into months, not weeks. This is a train wreck waiting to happen. Does any interview need to go into the fourth or even fifth round?

When it happens, it tells the candidate, “Hey, our company managers really have a tough time making up our minds.” Or “We have a company culture of stretching out our decision-making. Sure hope our competitors do the same thing or we might be toast.”

If your candidate hasn’t grabbed his resume out of your hands and dashed to a better opportunity, you may have found the right person – because clearly they can?t make up their mind either. Might be a perfect fit.

Second, you ask a candidate if they can take two to three days off from work to interview with your company. Seriously? You need to respect each candidate?s time, especially when they?re still working full time.

Anyone with a brain (and a job) is not going to get in trouble or maybe get fired by asking for a few days off on just the “chance” that you?ll hire them. Never put a candidate in such an uncomfortable position with their present employer.

Finally, what could have been a well-organized three-hour morning interview cycle of 30 to 45 minutes with four key managers has dragged out far too long. If this is a top finalist, you may want to ask them out to lunch to try and win them over.

Instead they’ve been waiting alone, reading their emails in your conference room. If they’re lucky, one of the emails will be from another company, and you’ve just lost a talented employee to your competition.

I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. It’s every manager’s job to get candidates excited about your company, your brand and their future. In today’s YouTube world, your search easily could have started with a creative, fun video about your company, linked to your job posting.

Managers must be trained to keep the excitement going by making their interviews an enjoyable two-way process. Long speeches about company projections and policies won’t cut it.

Every candidate worth their salt has their own aspirations. Ask about them and listen. Are their career hopes a true match with your position? Don’t make promises you know you can never fulfill. If you do, your new employee probably won’t last very long anyway. And when they leave, remember, word gets out very quickly.

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