In the increasingly competitive market for strong payroll candidates I was recently witness to a drawn out hiring process that reminded me how critical a strong hiring process is in securing the best payroll people.
Although it appears on the surface to be a straight forward “offer the job” conversation at the end of a process, my experience tells me there are a lot of things in the lead up to that point that can strongly influence the outcome of that final conversation – and the ongoing success of the appointment.
My recent example involved a great Payroll Manager that was technically very well suited to a particular opportunity and was also well aligned to the organisation’s culture and values (this candidate was clearly very good at their job and in high demand – looking for a fresh challenge). The problems started during the first meeting when the hiring Manager was very time poor and everything felt rushed. They spent most of the time grilling the person on their technical payroll expertise (which is totally fine and to be expected) but totally overlooked and bypassed anything else – (nothing around company culture, values, potential career opportunities, showing them around … meeting some existing staff etc). Although not ideal, this was sort of explainable and we moved forward to next round. Second meeting was scheduled, then rescheduled as a particular person wasn’t available, then postponed because of something else internally so ended up taking place 8 days after the initial meeting. By this time the person was starting to have doubts about how people operated within this organisation and their hiring process was not reflecting well. Long story short, by the time they came to offering this person the role (at a very good salary level) they were somewhat surprised to learn that the person had chosen to pursue other options – which also happened to be less in terms of salary.
The moral of the story? Good candidates need to feel valued and expectations should be managed at every step of a successful hiring process …
- Employers need to understand and act like they too are being assessed. Gone are the days when employers can sit back and assume that people are “crawling over hot coals” to work for their organisation. In a competitive market the best people always have plenty of options, so promotion of the benefits and cultural features of an organisation combined with an engaging hiring process is crucial to attracting the best.
- Creating (and maintaining) momentum. Sounds obvious but especially in multi stage interview processes it is really advantageous to keep the process moving as swiftly and openly as possible, right through to it’s natural conclusion. Not only does this create a positive impression of the organisation but more importantly helps to avoid any thoughts of doubt and indecision that creep in when delays and unnecessary hesitation occur.
- Strong first impressions. Make the job offer itself and subsequent onboarding process swift and personal. Make people feel valued from the outset. Don’t offer someone a job via email. Where possible, consider slightly exceeding their salary expectations and observe how that can affect a person’s attitude from the onset. Smart employers understand that they will get the extra salary amount back many times over in attitude and performance from a person that feels valued.
From day one, make sure they are fully set up with a seat, computer, logins, passwords, a buddy to make introductions, show them the coffee / lunch spots. If people feel like they “belong” to an organisation quickly, the chances of a lengthy and successful tenure are increased enormously.
If you wish to discuss specific examples of things that work in a strong hiring process feel free to contact me directly.