In this aggressive IT market, with demand higher than ever, you really can’t afford to wait to make
your offer or get the interview process going. Standard hiring procedures often take time, but the
more things you can take care of before you start interviewing, the better. It is imperative that
you act quickly if you want to get the best candidate. These are five things that may make the
best candidates walk away from your opportunity.
One of the surest ways to lose a stellar candidate is by not moving quickly on them. Schedule an
interview quickly, keep the process moving, and extend your offer ASAP.
The first resume that comes across your desk might look great. Don’t ask for more resumes and
wait to interview. Get the person started on the process ASAP. See if he or she is as great in
person as they look on paper. The same goes for the first person who interviews. If you’ve
found the person you are looking for, why keep looking?
Use the phone interview to get things moving right away. Once you have the person on-site,
capitalize on the time you have with them. Prevent future scheduling conflicts by getting what
you need from the candidate the first time he or she is on site.
Have realistic expectations for how much time they can spend in your office interviewing. It is a
lot easier for someone to get away for a couple of hours, than take a half or full day off for a
first round interview.
Make the offer when you say you are going to and as near the interview as possible. Too often
companies wait and lose out. That resume is going to get into someone else’s hands. The
person will get an offer. Make sure they get yours first.
Be available. Before you see resumes, make sure your interview team is available to do the
interviews within the next few days. Check there are no vacations planned, or other conflicts
that might delay the process.
A delay in scheduling the first interview, or big gaps in between a first and second can cause
you to lose a candidate either because someone else is acting faster, or because they feel you
aren’t interested in them.
There are reasons for delays. But arranging things prior to your search ultimately will save you
time and allow you to make the offer once you know you’ve found who you want.
If a candidate is waiting for your offer but has another one in hand, do you think he or she is
going to wait for yours? Would you?
Have a realistic, clearly defined role for which you’re hiring. If you don’t know what you’re
looking for, you won’t find it and the awesome candidate sitting in front of you might fall short.
Don’t use an old description for a new job. Take the time before you start your search to clearly
define your core requirements and needs (soft skills and technical) for the position and your
team. Then, when you’re interviewing, look at how the person fits your criteria, not just ways to
weed them out.
Don’t expect to get everything. Even the best candidate won’t have everything you want. But
the best will have the ability to adapt to your environment, learn the skills they don’t have, and
contribute to your team’s success.
Everyone likes a good deal. In the past few years it has been easy to get one, but the tables
have turned for the IT market. Do your research and know what you should be paying.
Don’t interview someone outside of your price range unless you plan on offering beyond your
price range. Either have approval to do this, or don’t waste your time and theirs going through
the process and then being unable to make an appropriate offer.
Be prepared to make an offer that is commensurate with experience, within current market
standards, and will compete with the other offers your candidate may be receiving.
Candidates are interviewing you as much as you are them. It’s your responsibility to sell the job
and the company to the potential hire. You want the candidate to work for you, not just want a
The best candidates will have several exciting opportunities they are pursuing, so make sure
you stand out by giving a positive experience to the candidate, and showing them why they
want to work for you.
Make sure the people who are giving your interviews are committed to this and represent you
Every person who interviews, from the hiring managers to those who tech the candidate out,
needs to know how to interview, be qualified to interview, and prepare for it and be on board
with the goals for a new hire.
The IT market has changed. Qualified IT professionals in high demand technologies are in short
supply and the best get several offers for exciting opportunities. You may still be operating
under the conditions of the last few years—out of work IT pros happy to get what they can.
Those days are gone. You have to be aggressive if you want the best to work for you.