We have all had them. Searches that are just open way too long. Many organization deal with long time to fill ratios on an ongoing basis. Here are some four quick tips to hit the “reset” button and get traction on your searches.
Should the title be thrown out the window? One companies Sales Engineer is really called a Systems Engineer but functionally they are a sales engineer. That means a “real” systems engineer will probably not be a fit. While this concept seems simple I have personally witnessed otherwise very good sourcers go by the way side in environments like these. Why? We often put too much weight into a title. The important thing is to focus on must have criteria… of course title can be a strong indication but in situations where the most obvious candidates have likely been cycled through more then once its time to look for the not so obvious choices.
Is your compensation really out of line? Its super common for searches that take a long time is due to compensation being too low. Depending on the organization re-adjusting the compensation for anything meaningful is not likely to happen. What is more likely is redefining the title. If your Major Account compensation is paying more like a Territory Account Manager…why not discuss calling it that?
Location, Location, Location. There are certain parts of the country that are not very well known for top technical talent. Are there some? Absolutely, but the density is likely questionable. In situations like this it might be work looking at either remote developing options, relocation, or allowing the new hire to work from another office. If your salary is reasonable enough to have a little cushion, you could always try convincing the hiring manager to shave 10k off the total compensation. You can get creative with it offering a $5k signing bonus + 5K in relocation expenses.
Your job description doesn't make sense. A lot of times hiring managers will recycle job descriptions that more or less give them what they are looking for. In hard searches that grey area could make the difference. Try adding a section of “from the hiring manager” and bullet point what he or she is really looking for. This will help not only recalibrate your search but give candidates confidence to pursue your role.
If you notice, these tips are not really about how to find more candidates. In most cases, a long shelf life on a requirement is an indication of an internal issue. Sometimes the hiring managers themselves are just not that motivated. Issues like these are both common and unique to each circumstance. My advice is try communicating a “reset” button which includes a renewed commitment from all stake holders involved.