Recruitment interviews: why too few meetings is as bad as too many

MTA media headhuntersEvery so often, one of our clients will hit it off spectacularly well with a candidate during the first round of the recruitment process. Sometimes, the client even comes back to us, says they’ve found their perfect candidate, and adds it’s unlikely they’ll need a second round of interviews.

It seems perfectly natural, doesn’t it? If you have limited time – and you think you’ve already identified the person who would be the best fit – then why bother continuing with the process?

Well, let me tell you, no matter how constrained your time scale, the answer from us will always be loud and clear: even if you think you’ve found the right person, continue the recruitment interviews…

Last month, we circulated an ebook detailing the seven big mistakes hiring managers make when recruiting executive talent. Those of you who subscribed will have noticed that mistake number four was ‘Too Many Meetings – They Bore Candidates’.

While, of course, that remains true; it would be a mistake to jump to the other extreme and not conduct enough interviews. Conducting too few interviews is certainly a less common occurrence, but it’s just as full of pitfalls.

It may well be that the candidate is indeed perfect; even so, it’s still vital that you devote sufficient time to fully sell the opportunity. Doing this will take more time than you can possibly manage in one interview. The point of a second meeting is that it will give you the chance to go into granular detail about the business, and answer any questions that have occurred to a candidate in the interim.

Additionally, the candidate will want to be reassured that, as an employer, you are doing your due diligence properly. If an offer comes too quickly, they may worry that something’s amiss.

In general, we would advise two or three meetings, including a presentation element to key stakeholders if necessary. That, we have found, is about the right amount, otherwise you could run the risk of putting off your preferred candidates.