Want To Win The Talent War? Identify Top Talent Faster. Here’s How.

Imagine 100 stones were dropped on the ground and 40 people were allowed to look through them. Some of the stones were precious gems, others valuable – but not as valuable – quartz and others were worthless fool’s gold; although they all look similar to the untrained eye. In that case, who wins?

It isn’t the person who just grabs a stone first. The winner is the person who can identify the precious gems the fastest.

The same applies for hiring. One of the biggest metrics in hiring today is time to fill a position, as a faster hiring process generally leads to better talent and always leads to less unfilled days for a critical position. And yet, hiring the wrong person versus the right person is a huge price swing, as a great employee can be worth 14 times their salarywhile a bad hire can cost 30 percent of theirs.

Instead, the real advantage is in identifying top talent quicker than your competitors. How do you do that? Here are four key steps:

1.       Build As Large Of An Applicant Pool As Possible

Spending an extra few hundred dollars or so posting a position on two job boards instead of one, as an example, is an investment worth making. A large applicant pool is crucial to hiring the right person – the more people you have to pick from, the better chance you’ll get a great one.

2.       Screen Them Quickly

The problem with a massive applicant pool is that it can slow you down sorting through them. That’s where a system like VoiceGlance comes in and helps screen the candidates for you. It also allows candidates to take their interviews anytime, instead of being constrained to whatever hours your employees work, which shortens your screening time.

3.       Bring Them In Immediately For In-Person Interviews

Once you have whittled your candidates down to three people or so, it is time to schedule in-person interviews – fast. If necessary, agree to meet with them after hours, if they can’t get time off of work. Great talent goes quickly, so the quicker you meet with them, the better. That also leads to the final step….

4.       Be Prepared To Make An Offer

Say you do have three candidates you want to talk to in-person, it is probably best to interview all three before making an offer. But not always. If you interview someone and your entire hiring team is confident it will be a great fit – not a good fit, but a great fit – make an offer right there. Again, top talent goes fast, and the faster you can get an offer into a person’s hand, the faster your company is zooming along again with a new, great employee helping lead the way.


All told, your hiring process could take less than a month – faster than the average of 47 days – if you follow the aforementioned steps and everything works perfectly. And if you do find a diamond in the pile of stones, don’t hesitate to make an offer, because chances are they won’t be around for long.

Conversely, if you don’t find the right person, don’t be afraid to recast the net (as we argued in this article). Yes, you want to hire someone quickly, but you want to hire the right person as well. No matter how crucial the position, hiring out of desperation is usually a recipe for disaster.

Credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRock.com

Views: 684

Comment by Keith Halperin on April 28, 2014 at 3:01pm

Thanks, Paul.


There's a "War for Purple Squirrels" and a "War for Excellence on the Cheap" but let me repeat:


It’s a term 3PRs and recruiting consultants use to scare you into giving them your money, instead of using it on some much more cost-effective and proven things like:

1.Improving your career-site and application process,

2.Setting up a gamefied ERP,

3.Using a low-cost & high quality RPO to get you job board and internet resumes/get contact info of LI profiles,

4.Using carefully-targeted direct sourcing of the people you want,

5.Hiring a contract recruiter, etc.

IMHO, telling an employer that they need to hire as quickly as is efficient is like having to tell guys leaving a men's room to examine their zippers- it's sometimes necessary, but should be obvious to most....

I’ve pointed out in the past that if an employer has an unfilled job there are basically two things they can do:

1) Make the job more attractive (money, benies, QoWL, telecommuting, stock, free food, SOMETHING more than the marketing hype of deluded wannabe, also-ran, and has-been companies) to the people you want to hire.

2) If you can’t/won’t do that- settle for who you can get at the price (etc.) you’re willing to pay.

I’ve also said on occasion:

“If you’re in a situation where you have a position(s) that’s unfillable at ANY price etc. then not only are you ******, but you’ve ****** yourself, AND you’re an idiot for getting into that situation.

Keep Blogging,


Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 28, 2014 at 7:37pm
What a nice vapid waste of space by captain obvious the not a recruiter.
Comment by Keith Halperin on April 28, 2014 at 9:36pm

@ Sandra:perhaps there is an attempt to follow in the grand tradition of self-proclaimed "Recruiting Thought Leaders" who neither recruit, think, nor lead but spout the obvious and/or impractical as if it were the Word of God.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 29, 2014 at 2:12am
Keith, it never ceases to amaze me that these jugbutts will flop this junk out there to a bunch of recruiters thinking that they have any clue about what we do, how we do it or with no realization that they are making complete fools of themselves while they are trying to sell us their crap. The arrogance of ignorance is sometimes just too much to ignore.

Comment by Paul Petrone on April 29, 2014 at 8:26am

Hey Sandra! Appreciate the feedback! Always great to hear from other people. Also, just for the record, I never proclaimed myself a recruiting thought leader, but hey Keith I appreciate the feedback as well. 

Comment by Jerry Albright on April 29, 2014 at 10:28am


Comment by Keith Halperin on April 29, 2014 at 12:48pm

@ Paul: All flaming aside, IMHO you would have a better reception here if:

1) You didn't openly self-promote your business

2) Consider the background of your readers prior to submitting a blog



Comment by Linda Ferrante on April 29, 2014 at 3:53pm

Keith, you made me giggle.  Thanks for that!

Comment by Sandra McCartt on April 29, 2014 at 4:41pm

It's always a pleasure to point out to Larry the Cable guy that he shouldn't try to be something he's not.

Comment by Keith Halperin on April 29, 2014 at 7:21pm

You're welcome, Linda. Actually, this time I was trying to be serious....



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