Eggs in one basket?

When interviewing several candidates for a job there is often a bias towards one candidate. In fact, there should be! After all, you need to pick just one person to offer the position to at the end of the process. But it’s those last few words that get can be overlooked and prove costly: “…at the end of the process”

On numerous occasions, I have seen recruiting companies try to shortcut the process to reach a conclusion more quickly. Feeling that recruiting someone is a distraction from the day to day activity and needing to get someone in quickly, the hiring manager decides who their preferred candidate is at first interview and only brings back that person for a second meeting usually caveated with something along the lines of “we’ll just keep candidate B warm in case things don’t work out with candidate A”  

This is a poorly judged gamble. If the company isn’t successful in hiring candidate A and they want to go back to B they will encounter the following problems:

  • Delay of appointment: Having spent aborted time with candidate A they now have to go back to candidate B and will add at least a couple of weeks by restarting the second interview with B. 
  • Back to square one: Feeling second best, candidate B has withdrawn their interest or been offered a job elsewhere. The company may be looking at starting their recruitment from scratch with no viable candidates in the pipeline.
  • Increased salary cost: Candidate B now knows that their negotiating position re salary has considerably strengthened given the hiring company’s lack of alternatives and possibly B having established an alternative job offer in the interim period.

So what is the cost of mitigating all of this risk?

An hour of your time.

That’s all it takes to bring candidate B in for a second interview at the same time as A and make sure your process is completed before making a decision. If you need to revert to candidate B you won’t face the difficulties outlined above if you have moved swiftly in switching your job offer from A to B.