Finding the perfect job candidate quickly

These days it is taking companies too long to fill positions, so how do hiring managers speed up the process without skimping on talent?

A number of employers are having difficulty finding worthy job candidates, researchers recently found. Almost half of the respondents to a survey on talent shortage in America – 40 percent – stated that they are having difficulty filling positions. Additionally, 56 percent related that the talent shortage has had a "medium to high impact" on the company's ability to meet client demands. And some of the hardest positions for hiring managers to fill are finance and accounting jobs

Job openings remain that way for too long, so how do hiring managers change that?
Average job vacancy periods have actually reached their lengthiest stretch in 13 years, according to recent research. In June 2014, the average time a position was left open was nearly 25 working days. The Northeast had the dubious honor of being named the region with the longest average vacancy period at 30.6 working days. 

"There's a fear that the economy is going to go down again, so the message you get from CFO's is to be careful about hiring someone," John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University told The New York Times last year in regard to employers' search for perfection. "There's this great fear of making a mistake, of wasting money in a tight economy."

"How do hiring managers fill open positions quickly and avoid a month-long job vacancy quagmire?"

So how do hiring managers fill open positions quickly and avoid a month-long job vacancy quagmire?  First, make sure that you are always recruiting. Constantly searching for candidates means that when a position does open it up, there is someone in line to take it.

This hiring strategy is reflective of the Arizona Cardinal's Bruce Arians' unique philosophy regarding his players. The head coach of one of the NFL's leading teams believes the most important player at a position is the next man up. Always make sure your company has a next man up.

Additionally, avoid in-person meetings, which can be a waste of time if the candidate isn't right. The interview process should consist of several quick phases, in order to ensure that it runs along efficiently without sucking too much of your time away from other vital tasks.

First set up a five minute phone interview in which you vet candidate's desires for his or her career jibes with the position you are trying to fill. If so, great! Call the individual back for a slightly lengthier discussion in order to break down his or her skill set. Only after this call should you bring the candidate in for an in-person interview. While there are more steps to this process, it will weed out bad candidates quickly. This means you won't have to sit down with every person who wants the job – only those who will be good at it. 

Finally, if something doesn't seem right about a candidate, listen to your gut and say no. The person you need will come along, don't rush into hiring the wrong one. 

Make sure the job candidate's goals match the company as well as his or her personality.

Seth Bannon, founder of the social fundraising platform Amicus, provided contributor and venture capitalist Schuyler Brown with several useful hints for ensuring that hiring managers find talent quickly. He described a situation in which he thought he found the perfect candidate for a head of business development position. The individual seemed a perfect match for the company culture and had all the requisite qualifications and Bannon was nearly ready to pull the trigger, but something bothered him about the interviewee.

The seemingly perfect job candidate's crowning achievement was a highly analytical presentation that had little to do with business development. It turned out the individual was more interested in running strategy than business development. It turns out that the person just wasn't right for the position, so Bannon decided to go with someone else.

Don't be like the hiring managers who find themselves slogging through a wasteland of unqualified and unworthy job candidates – it is simply a waste of time and money. There are better ways to round out your firm's team. Use the advice above to make sure you find the best person for your company's latest job opening as soon as possible. These days talent is hard to find and open positions are hard to fill, but if you handle the interview process correctly, you can bypass the struggles that most other companies deal with and get down to integrating the perfect candidate into your team.