Slow Down to Go Faster

Slow Down to Go Faster in Recruiting

If you are a leader in a company or Law Firm of any size, talent has become one of the critical components to your success. The pressure you feel to go faster than the competition is real, but it creates demands on employees to move just as quickly and for some parts of your business faster isn’t always better. Sometimes you have to slow down to go faster in recruiting.

This is especially true in Talent Acquisition.

Speed in business is important, but achieving it is not about simply going faster. It’s about Trust.

Stephen Covey said that when we trust the other side of any conversation – business or personal – the conversation naturally moves faster and bypasses all the nonsense that people need to get through in order to make a decision about whether to engage or not. I maintain that the success of any recruiting effort is directly proportional to the amount of time spent building trusted relationships. It is the most critical thing a recruiter can do. If your recruiters feel they aren’t empowered to invest the time in an activity that may not yield an immediate result, then you, as a company, are dependent on the luck of the draw, i.e., who is available through inbound and cold outreach. 

That slows down the process.

Companies have tried to solve this issue with recruiting technology. They spend tons of money on employer branding and content marketing to candidates to create awareness. If this is THE answer, why does recruiting often lag behind demand? I would suggest that it’s because leaders have “transactionalized” the act of recruiting, thinking that solving the equation is about volume and speed of interactions only, rather than the quality of the relationship that is being built.

What’s the solution?


First, don’t abandon your tech or stop your branding or content efforts. Instead, take time to understand their place in the process. Revamp your views on how recruiting happens. Encourage your talent teams to spend time on the right activities, measure those things, and give your people the space to do the good work.

A recruiter’s primary job is to build relationships with talented people that you may want to hire at some point, not processing applications. They should continue to measure “time to hire” but add in metrics, like “quality conversations” or “new relationships” rather being forced to run with “blinders on” toward speed metrics only

To make this happen, work with your talent leaders to simplify the role of the recruiter so that they can focus on the right things and not get buried in administrative tasks. There are technology solutions and team structures with more coordinators and support that can help make this happen. Candidates are smart and it’s not a buyers’ market (despite what you might think). The where, when and how of work is changing. Being able to compete will mean having relationships with candidates at the right time.

I am 100 percent positive that someone reading this is saying, “Ron, that sounds great, but we have tons of inbound applications to keep us busy”.

Busy doesn’t equal productive.

Unfortunately, with inbound applicants, only a small fraction of them makes it to the interview stage and an even smaller portion get offers. Take a hard look at your engagement metrics outside of the inbound applicants you get. Look at response rates to emails, InMail’s, social outreach and I think you will see there is a lot of unproductive activity going on and not because your teams are not trying. Inadvertently, you may be pointing them in the wrong direction by assuming pipeline speed = quality hiring.

Think of it this way, would you send a salesperson out to represent your company and then hang so much admin work on them that they couldn’t generate new business? Of course not. It is time to acknowledge that recruiting is a sales role inside your “people” function. Stop thinking of them as processors but rather as ambassadors for your company that need to be focused on building new relationships to keep the talent pipeline flowing

If you continue to: 1) “transactionalize” your talent process, 2) exclude outside vendors who can help you fill in gaps in your process while you transition to this new way of thinking, and 3) fail to understand that candidate preferences are changing again, you do so at your own peril.

Stop focusing so heavily on cost per hire. Instead, look at the cost of “not hiring the right one”

Going slower seems counterintuitive. But if you can adopt this approach, speed will increase, quality of hires will go up, attrition will go down and you will have an opportunity to deliver a candidate experience unlike any other.

So, what do you think? How is your organization addressing today’s recruiting challenges? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the authors and speakers themselves, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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