Hurry Up and Wait


Hurry Up and Wait

By Alan Davis

Critical success factors in recruiting

There are some dramatic stories flying around the recruiting world these days that illustrate the need for feedback and momentum in hiring the brightest and the best. We recently heard of a young hotshot software developer who was hired sight unseen, and another even better story of a company president jumping on a plane and flying to the candidate’s home city to present an offer at the airport. Although this kind of high drama is usually unnecessary, it does illustrate today’s reality for quick and decisive action during the hiring process in order to get the best. Global competition for qualified employees has never been more frenzied. Statisticians ominously predict that the acute shortage of workers will only continue to worsen.

We have unfortunately witnessed some clients paying the ultimate price for delay in losing their best candidates, more often than not, to the competition. Feedback and momentum in managing the hiring process have become two very critical success factors. By this we mean the need to receive timely, ongoing feedback from the hiring manager about the Job Specification we have drafted, C.V.’s we have provided, and about candidates who have been interviewed. As well, it means putting a plan in place to keep the candidate moving rapidly through the process from the time they are first contacted through to signing an offer of employment.


Inside Alan Davis & Associates, and with a smile, we call it “hurry up and wait”. This is the phenomenon where our client expresses tremendous urgency for us to begin to recruit. The pressure is on, and we’re happy to respond. The first step is to agree on the Job Specification, because we can’t proceed without it, and so we’re always surprised when a client who has been telling us to “hurry up” does not quickly provide the critical feedback necessary for us to begin. This delays the life of the mandate, sometimes resulting in a frustrated client at the end of the process. Quite apart from the accuracy of the Job Specification, it is an essential selling tool to ‘hook’ the targeted candidate. If it doesn’t look good, or if it is not received immediately after our initial contact, the candidate may disappear.

It is equally essential for us to receive feedback on the first batch of C.V.’s that we submit to be sure that we are on the right track. In the absence of this feedback, we assume that our targets are appropriate, and we plunge ahead and deliver more of the same, in order to meet the agreed timelines. This assumption is sometimes incorrect, and we have to begin again, resulting in further delays. Interestingly, many of our H.R. clients tell us that they too need more frequent, ongoing feedback from their hiring managers in order to deliver rapid results.


Targeted recruiting, where we approach someone who is currently employed, and who is not actively seeking other employment, presents a different challenge from simply contacting applicants responding to an ad. It means that the psychology of the targeted individual is that of a relatively content, entrenched employee. Our job, on your behalf, is to persuade him or her to the contrary. Once the idea has taken hold, and we have received a C.V., it is imperative that interviews take place immediately and that an offer quickly follows or the candidate may lose interest, the credibility of the prospective employer suffers, and the candidate has time to shop around. We’ve seen too many top candidates get away because of faltering momentum.
Work with us in partnership to identify, recruit and hire new employees who will add maximum value to your organization by providing the required feedback and momentum to make it happen. As always, we’ll do all we can to help you.

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