Day after day, employers stumble on the ability to get through the hiring process at a speed that’s aligned with candidates’ expectations. The National Association of Colleges and employers published a study that says it takes employers more than three weeks to move from interview to offer. Whether it is an employer who moves slower than average, or a candidate whose idea of seeing an offer within a few hours of the interview, great candidates are often lost because of a prolonged hiring process. This can be prevented.
Too slow can hurt
The speed of the recruiting process can be slowed down for a variety of reasons, including the hiring manager’s workload, committee hiring, emergencies, events & conferences, vacations, holidays or just a general hesitation to take the next step. Managers will have many reasons for not making a decision in a timely manner, but it usually is not communicated to the candidates.
Communication is key!
Hoteliers are busy. When a manager’s workload doesn’t include the ability to communicate updates to candidates, there is nothing wrong with having someone else do it. By setting expectations up front and letting the candidate know who they’ll be hearing from throughout the process, they can alleviate some of the communications concerns. A human resources assistant or hotel recruiter can easily handle the communications with candidates, and has the added benefit of giving the candidate someone to connect with if they haven’t received feedback in a while, need to reschedule an appointment or need an update on any changes to timing or expectations.
Waiting and negotiating
Taking too long to make a decision and then low-balling (under their salary range) or going into hard negotiations will not appeal to a candidate. Employers lose leverage and put themselves in a weaker position. A candidate will not feel wanted or even worse, they’ll know they were, more than likely, the second (or third) choice. There’s a psychological issue at play here for each party:
– The hiring manager may feel as though they were more apt to pay their first choice more than they are willing to pay their second choice.
– The candidate receives a lower than expected offering, and starts to question whether the hiring manager has full faith in the hire.
This can lead to undesirable results, from candidates feeling completely turned off to asking for a salary request that far exceeds what has been budgeted. All of these things will lead to starting the search over.
Awakening the beast
A large number of passive candidates are open to hearing about new opportunities, but are not out there looking. They are content in their situation and aren’t applying for jobs or networking for the next opportunity. If an employer engages with a passive candidate and doesn’t make an offer in a timely manner the likeliness of them starting to look around for other opportunities is high. The candidate has now opened their eyes to new opportunities and can now see themselves working somewhere else. Even if the hotel was their number one choice, the lack of movement will have them looking at other potential properties. Other managers that can move quickly will win out.
Too fast hiring the first candidate
Sometimes the first candidate interviewed is amazing. Most of the time managers hold out too long, but hiring the first candidate on the spot can be a mistake. It’s always best to interview a few candidates, compare and hire the best one. The best candidate for the job doesn’t always have the most amazing resume or meet all the requirements. Candidates must be a good fit for the team they’ll be working with, bring knowledge and be flexible for training. Hire the best match so you’re not back at the recruiting process in a month.
When the first candidate is seemingly a perfect fit, hotel leaders need to take a step back, and interview at least two other candidates. In many cases, their initial feeling will be confirmed, but more often than not, a set of options will allow a hiring manager to make a better decision. In sum, hiring the right people is difficult enough to begin with, but making sure the time from first interview to offer lines up with everyone’s expectations can add an extra wrinkle. Leaders should always make sure to respect the process and the candidate’s time. Being true to what feels right for the hotel and not what looks great on paper is always best. HR teams should add steps to the recruiting process to include timeline for when interviews start and stick to it. Building the right team will ultimately lead to high guest satisfaction, more return business, and increased revenue.
By Zoe Connolly
Zoe Connolly is Hospitality Spotlight’s founder. For more than a decade, she’s pioneered innovative and proactive recruiting efforts, connecting the best talent with the best companies, across all levels of organizations. In her career, Zoe has worked with a variety of companies, from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms. While her focus early in her career was in technology and linguistics, her passion for the travel industry lead her to Hospitality Spotlight. Having recruited at all levels and for different industries, Zoe has learned to focus on the human connection and their passion for what they do. The search process is just as much about the candidate as it is about the employer. If a candidate and a client have made a connection, this will fuel and drive their passion for their everyday functions. This connection places an unconscious goal for the new employee to meet, the goal to make their employer happy. In turn the employer will also work harder for the employee. This connection turns a job into a career and co-workers into an extension of friends/family.
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