In this market, candidates have something they haven’t had much of over the last 6 years; options. Losing really good people due to a slow job offer process may be costing your company a lot of money. Recruiting and hiring is a delicate emotional dance, if your date has to wait too long to be asked to the prom, they will simply go with someone else. I tell all my clients an offer needs to be made to a candidate within 48 hours of the final interview– sooner if possible. So where does the job offer process break down? Maybe some of these sound familiar:

1. Having Too Many Cooks In the Kitchen: When too many people are involved in the hiring decision, the process is going to be sluggish. One person has to be in charge and retain full authority. Seeking other’s input is important, but if multiple people are involved in a purely democratic process, it’s going to be next to impossible to get them to all reach the same conclusion in a timely manner. Keep the decision “Influencers” to no more than 3 people and the decision “Maker” to One.

2. Make the Offer Process Parallel, Not Serial: Many companies need more than one approval to make an offer. If this describes you, line up the approvals to occur at the same time [parallel], not in a succession [serial]. If you need the General Manager, Human Resources and Legal all to approve an offer; ensure you have a system in place to do all three at the same time. This will help get the offer out the door in minimal time.

3. Use Verbal Offers to Expedite the Process: If the decision has been made to extend an offer, make it over the phone as soon as possible. Don’t let preparation of documents or a 2-3 mail delivery of documents slow the process. Follow-up the verbal offer the same day with an e-mail or overnight delivery of critical documents.

Top talent will still have plenty of options, especially with advanced technical specialties and hard to find skill sets. Get them off the market as quickly as you can and put those skill sets to work for your company.

About the author: Eric Murphy serves as National Practice Leader in the Advanced Composite space and conducts searches that are mission-critical and have direct impact on revenue for advanced composite fabricators, engineering services firms and composite material and equipment suppliers all over the country. To learn more about Eric, click here