Right on cue, sales and marketing hiring is on the upswing. With that comes a “need for speed” in the recruitment process, because hiring managers who take too long to make their decision run a very real risk of losing their top candidates.
The hiring rebound isn’t a surprise. The 2010 Economic Survey conducted by Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search projected that companies would again be hiring in 2010, with the bulk of activity taking place in the second quarter. What the survey couldn’t have projected is the speed at which it reverted to a job seeker’s market – at least for those candidates representing the top of the sales and marketing profession.
But many hiring managers are finding that it has done just that. Those who take too long finding the absolute perfect professional often discover that when they are ready to extend an offer, that ideal candidate has vanished. They allowed the process to drag on and the candidate has given up, moved on or simply lost interest.
Though initial signs of recovery started to emerge late in the fourth quarter of 2009, speed in the hiring process wasn’t quite so critical. Sales and marketing jobs were still scarce. Candidates were still willing – and even expected – to wait for prospective employers to wend their way through a lengthy recruitment process.
Now, however, it is not unusual for top sales and marketing professionals to have multiple job offers in play. For employers, that means that once a prospect’s interest has been captured, they must be prepared to continue moving that candidate forward along the recruitment path.
Once momentum has been established, it must be maintained or that candidate is very likely to drop out of consideration. It could be because they’ve accepted another position, or it could be because they perceive a lack of respect on the part of an employer who appears to be stringing them along.
To “win” the top sales and marketing professionals on the market today, hiring managers must show that they respect a candidate enough to keep moving the process forward. They must take decisive action and avoid prolonging the process. It is no longer safe to assume that a top pick will wait for weeks on end to move to the next stage.
In short, in today’s hiring environment, hiring managers who snooze, lose.