Too often as hiring managers, we are constantly conflicted between what kinds of candidates we want to hire and what we can afford to hire in our budgets. Many times we try to make staffing or our agencies force candidates into this role that really should be paid more.
The backlash from this is we set up our new hires to be short term from the beginning. If you undervalue a candidate in the hire, they will promptly begin their search for their next gig.
This section however is not about hiring candidates for the long term, although perhaps it should be. Rather, it's about how to leverage your time to get the best candidates available for your role in the least amount of time.
One thing you should consider is to employ the 20:5:2:1 ratio. First carefully identify your five “Musts” for you role. What do you REALLY need this role to do for you? What background should the candidate come from? Which group of competitors? Is education important? Etc.
Once your role is clearly defined into 5-10 “Musts”, then hand this search to three people and only three people. Your best performing team member that reports to you, your recruiter or sourcer, and to your assistant (who will help you reach out to your own network). Between the three parties a total of 20 candidates should enter the process within 10 business days.
Interview all 20. Why? Well, as leadership, we have to understand that every candidate is a customer first. If someone who was not looking for a new job was approached by your staff or by your recruiter to end up not even getting a call back, there will be a mental tarnish for your company, for at least the rest of that candidates career. Now, if that candidate tweets or Facebooks about their experience then your in real trouble. When we live in a society where the most obscure guy living in his mom’s basement in Iowa can cause complete brand disruption for any given company image, think of what a candidate with a legitimate and on context social graph could do. Truth is, it's the right thing to do. Also, consider this: Most people are really bad at writing resumes. Getting to know someone face to face, even for a 15 minute coffee chat will give you far better context then a resume or a Linkedin profile.
Select the top 5. Interview them a second time and have your key team member interview them as well for cultural fit. This is when you should start getting into the nuts and bolts of the project, gaging genuine personalities, aptitude, and overall potential continuity.
Cut it down to top 2. Now it's time for dinner, golf, sporting event, something. Depending on the level of the search you may want to opt for something higher end but at the very least, buy the candidate a coffee outside of the office. Here you should pre-close, make sure compensation is in line and get your pre-on boarding questions out of the way so there are no surprises. Now pull the trigger! The greatest risk is doing nothing.
This entire process should take less then 30 days and require a total of 10.5 hours of your attention. Consider the impact of this hire or even better, the impact of what another search a few months from now would take...