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3 Areas To Improve Your Candidate Selection Process | S2:E8

  • Episode 8
  • 'Inside Executive Search' Podcast

    Attracting, selecting, and retaining top talent is a challenge for many businesses. Join long-time executive search professional Scott Peterson, alongside Steve Yakesh, President of Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search at one of the leading executive search firms, to discuss insights and techniques to assist companies to achieve their best results. If you’re an executive leader looking for advice on hiring the best talent for your company, you’ll want to hear this advice from these industry experts.

    Steve Yakesh | President, Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search

    As President of Direct Hire & Executive Search, Steve Yakesh leads Versique’s award-winning permanent placement division with more than 20 years of experience. Additionally, he guides strategy for Versique’s twelve practice areas, including IT, HR, Finance & Accounting, Engineering & Operations, Sales, CPG, Digital Marketing, Executive Retained Search, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Family Owned and Demand Generation.

    Scott Peterson | Vice President, Executive Leadership Search

    Scott Peterson leads the Retained Executive Search division at Versique as the Senior Practice Director. In his role, Scott fills critically-important senior level positions such as CEO, CFO, CIO, COO. Scott has over 20 years of experience in executive recruiting. Additionally, Scott has also served on the Board of Directors the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, Medina Golf and Country Club, as well as several youth sports organizations.

    Podcast Transcription

    Intro: 00:01 Get ready for your weekly dose of talent strategies and tactics from industry leaders to help you attract, select and retain your top talent. You’re listening to Inside Executive Search with Steve Yakesh and Scott Peterson.
    Speaker_1: 00:29 Hello and welcome to the Insight Executive Search podcast. My name is Steve Yakesh and this podcast is for business owners, executives, and board members, looking for strategies to attract, select and retain the very best. If you’re not feeling a hundred percent confident that you have a plan, keep listening, this podcast will help you get there. At this point, I’d like to welcome in the intellectually curious, Mr. Scott Peterson.
    Speaker_2: 00:56 I love every week it’s a different descriptor.
    Speaker_1: 01:01 Well there is just so much about you.
    Speaker_2: 01:03 It’s an enigma all right.
    Speaker_1: 01:06 All right, we’re going to talk about three areas that we’ve identified through conversations with a variety of business owners, HR leaders, three areas that seem to bog down their selection process. So those three are having a key or main point of contact throughout the interview or selection process, the length of the process, including how many steps and the length in between each step, and then finally who’s delivering the offer.
    Speaker_2: 01:37 Right, and I believe if you really focus on these three things, your process will just be smoother, you’ll get the candidates you want and you won’t lose out on the right candidate and then have to start the process over. So we wanted to dive a little bit deeper into each one of these, and you know these are the areas that we see every day in areas that can use improvement in the process, whether you’re using internally your own team or you’re using a search firm.
    Speaker_1: 02:07 Yup. And again, this is on the heels of our podcast last week about slow down to move fast. So, you know, we don’t need to regurgitate that whole podcast, but we’re assuming that you’ve slowed down and you have clarity on the role, who’s going to be on the interview team, etc., and now here are three additional areas that most companies need to improve upon. So we will tackle them one at a time, so main point of contact, why is that important?
    Speaker_2: 02:22 Yeah, this is the consistency of who is communicating with the candidates, right? So, you’ve received any number of candidates in the process responding to your ads or your emails and you’ve got a final list that you’re bringing in for interviews. They need to know who it is that they’re going to hear or communication from about next steps, are you moving forward or you’re not, and why? So, having that consistent person in the company that usually, but it doesn’t have to be HR, or it could be someone from a talent management group within a larger organization, but it certainly could be somebody else. If the CFO is running the search and it’s for a controller, the CFO could be that point of contact along that path. Again, depending on the sophistication of the company and maybe the size of the company.
    Speaker_1: 03:26 And I think that’s absolutely it. If it’s a smaller organization, the hiring manager may just need to be that person, but somebody needs to tell that hiring manager how important it is to provide timely feedback, right? Answer emails, texts, phone calls, however the candidates are reaching out and it can be busy. I mean obviously we do it every day with the candidates that we’re working with, but it’s an important piece, right?
    Speaker_2: 03:50 This is hard, it’s hard because it’s a time management thing. I don’t want to call you back because I’m going to tell you are not moving forward in the process. Its not a fun phone call to do, but it really says something about your company, your brand meeting. If you close that loop and let them know that they’re not a fit for what ever reason it is just the right thing to do.
    Speaker_1: 03:58 And let’s face it, I think we’ve probably shared this example in previous podcasts, but you turn that candidate down in a professional, timely fashion. Who knows whether in three, six months from now they’re sitting having happy hour with someone that’s interviewing with the same company, saying hey, I didn’t get the job, but super professional, loved the people I met, you should really invest some time there. Versus they never got back to me. So, we don’t need to beat that horse dead, but how about time in between steps?
    Speaker_2: 04:46 Yeah. This is another killer of getting the best candidate and if you get three people, let’s say again in the interview process and you don’t let them know, and this gets back to that point of contact person, what the timing of the interviews and what they are going to be, we’re bringing in three people. They’re scheduled now and for the next two weeks. So you’re coming in today. Don’t expect anything from a phone call and next steps until two weeks from now. Again, setting those expectations, but if you shorten that process, the interview process, the better off you’ll be because a lot of these candidates have multiple opportunities going on at one time.
    Speaker_1: 05:21 Yeah. If you’re drying upon and hoping to find your candidate through that active candidate pool, versus the passive.
    Speaker_2: 05:29 Yeah. So, you know the number of steps, we’re going to put you through six interviews. You may turn somebody off with that process plus and all-day assessment.
    Speaker_1: 05:40 That you surprise them with at the eleventh hour.
    Speaker_2: 05:42 I guess if we just step back just for a second, I mean the key is just communication. Not that your process isn’t your process, it’s just communicating what that is so that candidates know exactly what to expect and when.
    Speaker_1: 05:58 Yep, and obviously depending on the type of the role, sometimes you have to go faster. You know, like if you’re looking for a high in demand IT skill set, guess what, you like the guy or gal the first interview. Don’t let him/her leave the office, make an offer, be ready to go. Others you can lengthen out and also like you said, if you are recruiting passive candidates, sometimes you have to slow process down by high levels of communication all the way through.
    Speaker_2: 06:24 Yeah. Just making sure that those time between steps is reasonable and if it’s longer than that, it seems reasonable, then just communicate that the CFO is on a family vacation for the next two weeks, nothing’s going to happen. You’ve let them know and they know the expectations are what next steps are going to be. So just again, communication is huge.
    Speaker_1: 06:44 Yeah. And if you are going to have that two week pause in between step two and three or whatever it might be even though you’ve communicated that to the candidate, that main point of contact, probably reach out a weekend to that two weeks and just check in and see how they’re doing and make sure they’re still interested. Keep them engaged.
    Speaker_2: 07:03 We’re still interested in you. Are you have anything else going on that we need to speed things up? All those things are really, really critical at this point.
    Speaker_1: 07:08 Cool. Well this last one is extending the offer. I was candidly very surprised when we were doing the breakout session at the Vistage event, how many people this was kind of an “aha” moment about who should be the one extending the offer.
    Speaker_4: 07:31 Because we asked the question, who extends the offer in your company to the group we are presenting in front of and most of the people said human resources does. And we said, you know, slow down and we believe that there’s a much more impactful way to keep that employee, that future employee attracted to your company and let’s have the hiring manager do it. It sets that stage for the relationship with the hiring manager. It says a lot about your company from a culture standpoint that this matters, certainly HR will get involved with the onboarding and paperwork, some of those aspects, but again, think about from your personal self of who would you like to hear if you’re interviewing again with the CFO for a controller job, wouldn’t it be great if the CFO called you and said, I can’t wait Steve for you to join our group. We’ve got so many great things going on. We’re growing, we’re doing acquisitions and I need someone just like you to help develop those processes and procedures to he
    Speaker_1: 08:43 Versus, Mr. candidate, Scott Peterson is really excited for you to join his team and he thinks you’re going to be a great fit. I wanted to walk you through the offer, right. You know, it’s night and day, right and its scary how many organizations are doing this or are outsourcing the delivery of the offer. Right. Do it yourself. I mean, it’s employee engagement, it’s employee loyalty and you miss out on that opportunity in what should be an exciting time for your future employee.
    Speaker_2: 09:12 Yeah. Don’t miss this one. It’s hard to put a value on this one, but the impact is huge.
    Speaker_1: 09:18 Yeah, absolutely. All right, well that wraps up episode. Executive producer. Taylor, what episode are we on?
    Speaker_3: 09:27 Season 2 Episode 8.
    Speaker_1: 09:29 Episode 8. Season 2
    Speaker_2: 09:30 Taylor actually spoke on the podcast, so thank you, Taylor.
    Speaker_1: 09:33 Yeah, exactly. I think this might be your first a speaking part in season two.
    Speaker_3: 09:38 Yeah probably.
    Speaker_1: 09:40 All right. Taylor Conger is awesome by the way. Anyways, so that’s a wrap on this one we’ll talk to everybody next week, but if you want to get ahold of Scott, as always, you can look him up on LinkedIn and or on and if you like what you hear, please go out to your favorite podcast channel and subscribe to the channel. We’d love to have you on a weekly basis
    Speaker_2: 10:04 That sounds great, until next week.
    Speaker_1: 10:12 See you Scott.

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