Speed Kills

Recruiting is all about speed.

The faster you find that purple squirrel the happier every one is.

But be careful out there.

Speed kills.

Sometimes it feels like one of the biggest challenges in volume hiring is getting hiring managers to see the need for speed in the process. If you've recruited you can empathize. You source high and low with incredibly tight job specs, find a slate of candidates to offer and then watch as the process slows as more people get involved.

Yet the truth is going a little slower actually makes the entire process faster.

We call this buy-in

Once I found a golden candidate for a tough role: brought her in and everyone liked her. The director agreed she was great as he left to wing his way back home. Taking that as my cue I made a verbal offer to her that night (having like any good recruiter pre-closed her earlier) and before the weekend was up we'd hired her. Everything was cool.


The director, located remotely, didn't agree with my call. He didn't feel like he'd given me the go ahead. We were in the midst of hiring literally hundreds of people and I thought he had. I wanted him to say yes and did my best to argue that when all was said and done he'd hired a very good person for his shop but the damage was done.

The trust he'd placed in me – the assumption that we were partnering to fill his needs – was shaken. It took me a long time to regain it. Because my need for speed trumped our need for teamwork.

In the heat of the moment we like to move fast, make decisions and keep going. That's good: its called action.

Yet its the trust of our clients – the feeling that we're in this together – that we really need to be successful long term. Cutting a step or two out of the process doesn't speed things up as much as you think – slowing down to build buy-in builds trust and with that speed.

Long term I managed to rebuild our relationship and the hire turned out to be just as awesome as we thought (don't you love it when that happens?) and was later even promoted.

But my desire to make things happen in a hurry hurt my status with a good client for some time.

Speed kills.

If you let it.



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