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3 More Reasons You Still Haven’t Found the Right Person for Your Team

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Part 4:  To Gain Consensus or Not to Gain Consensus in Recruitment

By Kathy Marshall, Director of Quality
And Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

Final Part in Our Series: Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ways:  10 Reasons Why You Still Haven’t Found the Right Person for Your Team

See:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

In today’s tight job market your recruitment and onboarding process has to be well designed and executed in order to survive the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Well, that may be a bit dramatic, but at Decision Toolbox (DT) we have identified several ways organizations inadvertently undermine an otherwise solid recruitment process. In this blog series, I’ve been sharing some of what we’ve learned to help ensure your process doesn’t shuffle off this mortal coil.

Bad Way #8: Failing to get consensus up front

Just as Hamlet never really answered his famous question, there’s no easy answer regarding consensus in recruitment. Consensus is a good thing at the beginning of the search, although it can be problematic later.

Before you even launch a search, you need consensus among the team that will evaluate and interview candidates and make the hiring decision. Additionally, they need to collectively determine how they will court the candidate when discussing the company and opportunity. They need to agree on the position’s accountabilities, must-have vs. nice-to-have requirements, and culture fit. When teams don’t start in agreement, the gap can widen as the search progresses. Suppose one member of the team, Mid L. Manager, has his own agenda. When he meets with candidates, he can deliver a different message than the rest of the team, confusing and alienating candidates. By the time you’ve gotten Mid back on board, A+ talent is likely texting with your competitor about a pending offer.

Another point on which commitment is essential is urgency. Yes, everyone is busy, but filling an empty seat is just as high a business priority as hitting sales goals or implementing cost cutting measures. The cost of an empty seat can be the difference between hitting your goals or smashing them!

Bad Way #9: Waiting for 100% consensus before pulling the trigger

Shared decision-making can be a valuable part of building culture, but today’s talent market moves too fast for delays. As Shakespeare says, without decisiveness, “enterprises of great pitch and moment . . . lose the name of Action.”

But you can have consensus and make your decisions, too. Make sure all evaluators assess the same parameters, and then turn all the evaluations over to one individual to make the final decision based on the input. Each evaluator brings a unique point of view, adding value to the process. Ultimately, however, one person makes the call.

Even with this approach you might not have a clear standout; in that case, you can ask each evaluator to rank the candidates. It can be much harder than rating individuals on specific parameters, but it almost always provides a clear standout.

Bad Way #10: Losing momentum during onboarding

The candidate accepts the offer — everyone can relax and breathe easily now, right? Not yet. According to Melissa Llarena, writing on, as much as 20% of employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment. Further, replacing these people can cost between $3,000 and $18,000.

Your onboarding program should be much more than a two-hour introduction to company policies. Just as you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, you need to create a proactive onboarding process that ensures new talent never even thinks of leaving. Always assume that A+ candidates have other offers, and now that you’ve brought one aboard, make sure there is strong sticking power.

Here are some of the things we do at DT are designed to draw new people into our family. Shortly after hire, they receive a giant fortune cookie in the mail, with a welcoming message about a great future. Between the offer and day one, every member of our leadership team reaches out to welcome the new person. On day one everything is in place: login, phone, email, business cards, etc. During the first week, everyone at the director level reaches out to make that person feel at home.

To recruit well or to not recruit well — is there really any question? Hopefully reading about these 10 Bad Ways will help you prevent your recruitment campaigns from slipping off into the Undiscovered Country.


For more information on Decision Toolbox, check out the DT infographic here or contact us.

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