As recruiters, one of the biggest mistakes we see companies make is when their idea of a “perfect” hire prevents them from hiring the great candidate already in front of them.

As a CEO and hiring manager for my own team, I can totally understand it. Hiring is a big deal and it can be risky.

Within the Salesforce and Sales Operations roles our team works, we have found that the more senior level the role is and the more it is tied to strategy, the slower hiring managers can be to make a decision. Sometimes it can be that the interview team waits too long to debrief with each other and their recruiters, and it is dragging out the process. However, the biggest reason companies delay making a hiring decision is because they want to shop around.

Nine times out of ten clients will tell us that even though they love a candidate they spoke to, they still want to see more candidates because they either want to compare, or they hope there is even better talent coming down the line.

No matter what the reason for not making an offer is, the truth is that waiting too long to make a hire (especially for more experienced talent) can hurt your chances of hiring at all.

1. You will lose top talent.

Last year LinkedIn reported that the top 10% of candidates in the market get hired within 10 days of being active in the market. It is always in your best interest to assume that good prospects you are speaking to are getting messages from other recruiters every day. Not only are they getting messages but if they are open to interviewing with you, no matter how passively they were when you reached out, they will likely look to interview at other places too.

The longer you to wait move forward with an offer, the lower your chances of securing that candidate becomes. They could receive alternative offers faster leading them to pull out of the process with you or send you into a bidding war to win them over. No hiring manager wants that. 

We have seen time and time again, candidates with several options on the table chose the organization that shows the most interest in them. One of the simplest ways to express your interest is to move quickly through the process.

We have also seen that talent that is not interviewing with other companies but pull out of the process because an interview process is unorganized, or drawn out. Again, talent that is at the Manager, Director, or VP level talent will lose interest even faster if they feel like you could not come to a decision on hiring.

2. You can damage your brand in the market.

Your image in the market from a hiring perspective should hold just as much priority as any other business relationship you have because it can be just as damaging. If you are known for excessive interview rounds or stringing along candidates for weeks to make a decision it will not only affect the pipeline of potential candidates for that specific role but it can affect future openings as well.

You may be surprised how small the world is, but we see this all the time within the Salesforce ecosystem when candidates share their interviewing experience with their network it can either significantly boost or hinder your hiring process.

Just remember, candidates are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them!  Make the process enjoyable for them, and be respectful of their time and career.

3. You lose the excitement factor.

You don’t want to hire a candidate that is lukewarm on joining your firm, the same way a candidate does not want to join a company when it takes them a long time to decide to hire them – it just doesn’t sit well. You want them to be excited – so make a decision and get an offer out as quickly as possible!

Waiting even just a few days may portray a lack of confidence or enthusiasm, ultimately leading the candidate to lose their own excitement to join your company.

As recruiters, we will always present you in the best light to candidates and we will try our best to keep candidates engaged throughout the process. One of our favorite things about our job is getting candidates pumped about the opportunity and potential offer. But we can only keep them warm for so long before they naturally lose interest or start to question why things are taking so long to move forward.

At the end of the day, our most valuable asset is time, and time is money. The longer a search goes on, the more it will cost you. Don’t get cold feet when you have some who is more than capable of getting the job done, and fits in culturally.You don’t want to lose great talent, and then realize there are no better people for the job when it’s too late!