Why? Because as the employer you don’t know anything about the circumstances of your preferred candidate yet. Sure, you can have a guess about how long the candidate’s notice might be. But’s that’s all it will be – a guess.
This year I have encountered an established functional director with a Plc housebuilder who had one months notice and a sales administrator in another national developer on two months. So the more senior/longer notice period relationship doesn’t always hold true.
And what about a candidate who wants to delay a resignation for a few weeks to ensure they receive a hard earned bonus from a present employer? It’s all pushing back their start date with you.
If at all possible, start with when you want your new team member to start and work backwards. An unexpected resignation means this isn’t always possible. However, expansion plans, an internal promotion or transfer or the retirement of a colleague all give you the chance to plan the recruitment in advance.
Be realistic about how long it takes to find candidates to interview and then how many weeks it takes to get them through your various rounds of interviews and generate a written a job offer. Then add on a reasonable estimate for a notice period.
As a rough guide a director level appointment can add up to between nine and twelve months, for a manager three to six months.
You may need to start sooner than you thought.