One of the panel members told the group that his company had the philosophy to “hire slow and fire fast”. This is certainly not a new philosophy, but one that I had not heard in quite some time. It gave me pause for thought.
Is the “hire slow and fire fast” still valid? I did some research.
Based on a study by the Department of Labor, the number of job openings has now exceeded pre-recession levels, about 5.4 million job openings. That’s good. However, the number of hires has not reached pre-recession levels, about 700,000 less. So even though we have plenty of job openings, we are not yet hiring at an equal level…interesting.
In addition, Dice Holdings has been keeping track of the average number of days it takes to fill a job. Guess what? We are at an all time high…27 days across all positions. Experts can explain this phenomenon away by a number of different factors such as the skills gap or slow GDP growth, but we are definitely hiring more slowly.
Is there a correlation between hiring slowly and hiring the right candidate? After spending a great deal of time on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, I find that the average tenure of employees in the workforce has remained relatively unchanged. Hiring slowly has had little effect on the length of time that employees stay on the job. Whether it has had an effect on the quality of hire remains to be seen.
I will tell you what the effect of hiring slowly has had on highly qualified candidates…it makes them mad…and then they go away. Lately, I have seen more highly qualified candidates remove themselves from the hiring process simply because the company has needlessly taken too long.
Don’t get me wrong. I do recommend that you completely vet your candidates with multiple interviews and assessments, but keep the process moving forward and keep the candidates informed. Make sure your candidates completely understand your hiring process. Inform them of the next step within 48 hours of the previous step. Condense the timing. Taking two months to hire a candidate makes your company look indecisive not careful.
Hiring slowly may have worked in the past, but in today’s market, it can discourage top candidates from remaining in the process…and they go to your competitors.
Oh, and why in the world would you want to fire fast after you were so careful to hire slowly?
Keep the process moving!
Ken Lazar, CEO
Ability Professional Network, LLC
Experts in Recruiting Sales Professionals