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Scott McKearney

25 Years of experience in high technology employment and recruiting. software software engineering information technology startups

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02/24/2011 07:29am
CRISIS BEGINS: SPEED TO HIRE 2011 mckearney.wordpress.com

Speed To Hire 2011

Posted on February 24, 2011

For the past three years employers have enjoyed the option of taking their time, being very picky about things like culture fit, and the hiring process taking 3 to 4 weeks to reach the point of making an offer.

Those days are officially over entirely.

In the past two days I have lost three offers in a row to small startups. My clients were mid-sized employers who went through the laborious exercise of three visits for interviews, needless 10-14 day background checks, and unwise decisions to make lateral or near lateral offers.

There was time for all of that sort of thing between 2007 and 2010, but those days are over. I have great client firms. The working environments and career paths are excellent. But when Goliath-like lack of agility meets the speed and finesse of hungry startups–all the trouble begins.

There is a lot of “pent up demand” among candidates in the present moment and also among startups who have finally begun to get funded after nearly three years of near starvation conditions. They move quickly. They move with certain and unquestionable interest and their speed to offer-as measured by time from presentation of resume to offer can be counted in days not weeks.

If mid-sized and larger employers are interested in competing successfully in the feeding frenzy that is fully underway in the software and information technology domains (among many others), they need to fully wake up–immediately–to their new competition–small, agile and swift moving organizations who consciously intend to beat you to hire top talent.

Plan on taking no more than 5-7 days between receiving a great resume, completing the interviewing cycle and Fedexing that best possible offer. Plan on obtaining a quick and instant criminal record check instead of this foolishness provided by the background check firms that fool around with credit, facebook, marital history and other needless invasions of personal privacy. Plan on getting your offer letter Fedexed for morning delivery within 5-7 days from the day you receive the resume. Plan on making the best offer you can. Plan on reviewing the salaries of your software and information technologies (and others) now and making immediate upward adjustments. If you do not, you will not be able to make successful offers and you will start losing your best people-fast.

The days of taking advantaged of a depressed market by suppressing wage increases and making lateral offers are fully over.

Either develop the agility, quick thinking and generosity of your upstart startup competitors or face dire consequences.

I speak from the experiences of not merely this week but from a market that has been heating since the middle of last autumn.

Stop and take stock. How many staff have you lost in the past six months and how many offers made were lost? And if it has not happened yet that the figures are not yet alarming–just wait for the next 9 months of the year to beat you into a reasonableness that just might come too late.

Scott McKearney


technology software employment recruiting startups
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