Career Resources

Career Resources

Why You Can’t Find that Perfect Candidate

Posted March 10, 2015 & filed under Hiring Resources

Why You Can’t Find that Perfect Candidate

That vacancy in your team is driving you mad. You’ve been searching for weeks and the perfect candidate is nowhere in sight. Is the talent pool as dried up as Death Valley or is something askew with your hiring criteria?

The Toll Open Positions Take

Your hiring woes are not the exception. Extended vacancies have become the norm as more employers hold out for that singular candidate. In fact, the national average for the time an advertised position remains open has risen to a 13 year high.

Businesses with under 5,000 personnel take an average of 25 working days to bring a new employee into the fold and those with 5,000 or more take upwards of 58.1 working days. Financially speaking, this practice is not cheap.

According to a CareerBuilder study, the average job vacancy that remains open for 3 months or more costs over $14,000 or $4,666 per month. That’s without examining the repercussions from lost revenue, decreased productivity, and the additional strain placed upon existing employees, immeasurable losses that aren’t any less detrimental.

Where do we go from there? No one should sacrifice good talent for a shorter hiring process but businesses may need to sacrifice perfection to stay competitive.

The Misguided Quest for the Perfection

Author David Foster Wallace had this to say about perfection. “Perfectionism is very dangerous, because of course if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything…” Those words are as true for writing as they are for hiring.

We erect these monumental candidates in our minds, people who are technical Adonises and naturally charismatic, and are disappointed when no real candidate gets close. Essential needs get substituted for the totality of our desires. Then, no one appears worthy of hiring.

In the end, that mentality turns strong candidates away at the door and sends them down the block to the competition.

Changing Expectations

Instead of just throwing away every hiring measurement and accepting candidates strictly off of gut feelings, successful hiring managers reevaluate what is important and what is realistic.

Certain technical skills are niche and some are universal. Process Engineers need to have eliminated waste and redundancies. Quality Supervisors need to have identified root causes, isolated issues, and taken corrective action. As long as a candidate meets a position’s primary qualifications, any secondary skills can be learned on the job or picked up through outside certifications.

No one wants to settle for second best. You’re committed to your company’s success and do not want to bring any lesser talent onto the team. Yet unrelenting standards requiring nothing short of perfection can undermine a candidate search. Though the wave of a wand won’t fix it, changing your mentality can be the first big step to speeding up your hiring process.

by James Walsh

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