Given too many choices, some companies just can’t pull the trigger on a hiring decision. The attached article describes a company that couldn’t find a viable candidate out of 25,000 applicants, and another company that bypassed on a candidate because he didn’t have two years experience using a simple database tool he could have easily learned in a short period of time.
Some companies attribute this to a “talent shortage” when other factors are really in play. Two factors that the author referenced that I tend to see in my searches are:
1) Employers want candidates to fit their roles perfectly. The author calls this the Home Depot effect. It’s like wanting to buy a part for your dishwasher that fits perfectly. When dealing with candidates, this type of approach can lengthen searches and bypass candidates with great potential. Hiring companies need to prioritize their wish list for a candidate, and appreciate the differences a candidate might bring to their organization.
2) Companies want superstar employees but at C grade compensation levels. Even when a position has been vacant for 6+ months and the opportunity cost of the vacant position is escalating, companies are sometimes not willing to reconsider the salary range for the right candidate.
Another factor I observe in my work is “too many cooks in the kitchen.” I am a proponent of a team approach to interviewing because it solicits input and buy-in from people who will work above, around and below a candidate. However, if enough people interview a candidate, someone is going to find a fault. I recommend assigning a point person on the search who gathers the feedback, keeps priorities in check among the group and makes the final hiring decision.
Companies needs to understand the opportunity cost of their vacant position, consider that they can train a skill and make a choice from a set of capable candidates.