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I don’t know about you, but for me, Top Gun still ranks as one of the best movies ever made.  My title is from that movie and is completely appropriate to apply to businesses who are looking to hire quality people today.  I can’t be more blunt, speed matters in today’s job market. When a candidate is found, don’t make them cool their heels for a week and a half before you find the time to interview them. Speed to hire is critical today.

Look, everyone is busy.  I am not aware of a business owner, C-Suite executive or other management types that are sitting around looking for things to do.  We all have more than enough to do and not enough time to do it in. I get it. But in the same breath, know that if you aren’t going to prioritize the search for the position you are hiring for, then I wouldn’t recommend going to market with it today.  All you need to do is look at the current unemployment rates and realize that many of the people you want to hire are already employed. Candidates need to make time for interviews. If you aren’t going to prioritize them, why would they prioritize you?

Looking to hire? Here are the questions you need to ask yourself first!

How important is this role to my business?

This is the very first question you need to ask yourself. This question will tell you if this position is critical to your business, helpful, or a luxury to make life easier.  The more critical to your business, the more critically speed matters. If the position is a luxury, you can afford to miss out on great candidates before you find the right person on your timeframe. But you need to be prepared for those losses to happen.

Do I have the time to prioritize a job search today?

In today’s market, if you cannot prioritize interviewing for your open role I wouldn’t recommend starting a search. Great talent is on and off the market fast. They don’t have the time, nor the inclination, to wait for you regardless of how great you may believe your business is. The reality of today’s recruiting market is that candidates, especially top-level candidates, will have multiple job offers from firms just like yours.  They will not wait for you.

What are my risks if I continue to hire like I have always hired?

Many business owners have very specific processes and/or strategies they were told to follow when hiring at some point in their careers.  In many cases, those strategies may work fine in a normal job market. Unfortunately today, speed matters. The market is tight and candidates do not have the patience, time, or need to wait. I am not saying the old strategies or processes are wrong, but rather that if you want to continue to follow those processes you need to find a way to make them move more efficiently.

How do I attract the “right” employee for my business?

First and foremost, show them you are interested. Respect their time. Treat your candidates like you would a customer. Secondly, get to know them and what drives them.  Yes, the salary will always be part of the equation. But find out why they are leaving their current role, what drives them and what can bind them to you. Sell your candidates like you would sell a customer. Let them know they will be valued in your business.

I know I am not telling most of you anything new. But I do think business owners and hiring managers need to be reminded that candidates will have choices today. If you want them to choose your business, you need to feel the need – the need for speed, to make that happen.  If you are local to the Tampa Bay area give us a call to help you with your next hiring need!

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