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Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Have you considered that you could be the reason for that recurring vacancy on the team?

Learn how to get the top 1% of IT Talent on your team...for the long term

If you requested this short read, then you’re most likely a hiring manager or HR recruiter who’s been there, done that. You’ve placed folks on your team with success BUT the process is excruciatingly long and tedious, and oftentimes results in that perfect candidate getting swept up by another company.

Have you considered that you could be the reason for that recurring vacancy on the team?

Well, good news- it doesn’t have to be that way.

It doesn’t have to be that way WHEN you attract the right people AND move them through the process efficiently and seamlessly.

This short read was created to blatantly point out hiring managers' mistakes before, during, and after the hiring process that keep the top 1% of IT Talent from joining your company.


01 No initial conversation was had with an external staffing agency

Staffing agencies- the reliable and honest ones- are a great resource for filling that vacancy with “hidden” top IT talent. They have access to candidates across many regions, of all demographics, and with all skillsets you could be looking for, especially to fill those niche roles. If you choose to engage an external staffing agency, then it is imperative that an intake call be scheduled with the group in order to yield the best search results. This is the hiring manager’s opportunity to convey all hard and soft skills they desire to the staffing agency so they can tailor their search and submit only the most qualified candidates. After the intake call, provide your cell phone number to the staffing agency so you can be reached any time there may be an urgent need.

02 Vague job description or job posting

Poorly written job descriptions and job postings do not attract the right candidates. Make sure your job description clearly lays out the technical skillset you want in addition to any other “must haves.” Does the candidate require a bachelor’s degree? If so, make sure that’s defined in the job posting and/or description. Will they be leading projects? Make your “must haves” succinct, direct, and easily identifiable. It should help vet out some of those candidates that don’t fit the position at all but applied because the job description was vague.

03 Not moving the process quick enough

Your role is not the only one candidates are actively applying to. There is a lot of competition, and a candidate looking to make a move will be more apt to join the company that is organized, clearly defines what they want, and is prompt and moves quickly on the best candidates. They will only be as interested in you as you are in them. To ensure you don’t lose those folks, you must set a realistic timeframe with those candidates and promptly set up the first interview.

04 Unrealistic expectations: compensation versus skillset

To attract and keep the best talent, you must have an understanding of the market. What is that person’s skillset worth and does it match what other competitors in the area offer? Candidates are well-appreciated (and more likely to stay with the company for years to come) when they are paid what they are worth; make sure you enter the hiring process with a budget to match that. Flexibility in others areas- such as work from home, telecommuting, sign on bonus, etc...- can help seal the deal with the best candidate.

05 Holding out for the perfect candidate

Don’t wait for that person to apply who checks off all of the boxes; your waiting will turn out void. The best candidates are those whom do not check off every need on the wish list but who are eager to learn and grow with the company; they’re quick studies, amiable, open and honest communicators, and willing to pick up new skills. Don’t neglect the person side- that is just as valuable, if not MORE valuable, than being the seemingly perfect candidate, technically speaking.


06 Vague- or no- feedback to external staffing agency

Honest and reliable staffing agencies want you to be as thorough as possible with them after interviewing candidates. Why are you choosing to move forward with certain candidates? What was missing in the candidates that you chose to not advance to the next round of interviews? The more constructive your feedback to them, the better they can fine tune their search to get you the most qualified candidates.

07 Long periods of time between interviews

After the first round of interviewing, you should select your top 2-3 candidates and set up the next round of interviews as soon as possible. You must remember that your company is not the only one hiring. For those candidates you really like, prioritize their interviews and make it happen rather quickly so you don’t lose them.

08 Too many steps in the interview process

The longer the process takes, the more likely you are to lose top talent. The best hiring managers will make a decision after 2 interviews: an initial phone screen and then a peer face to face (or web) interview. If you can’t make a decision after conducting 2 rounds of interviews, then you will be looking to make that hire for a long time.

09 Conducting impossible tech interviews and passing on someone with a lot of potential because they miss one question

Candidates will not meet all of your expectations, and you need to remember that. In the tech space, identify the most important technologies the candidate should know, and allow room for learning and acquiring new skills. If the candidate misses a question here or there during the technical screen, don’t be so quick to pass on them. Focus on the thought process. If their response is honest and sincere about unfamiliarity with a technology BUT they express their willingness to learn it, then you’ve got yourself a quick learner and eager mind; those folks are never ones to pass up.

10 Reviewing, then interviewing, too many candidates

After reviewing dozens upon dozens of resumes, narrow down the next steps to a handful of quality candidates (based upon their resume). After conducting the first round of interviewing, select 2-3 candidates to advance to the final round. You should be able to make a decision based upon a few quality individuals. Plus, by keeping the last interviews to a few folks, you can schedule them rather quickly and not risk losing the person whom you extend the offer to.


11 Slow to get out an offer

Too many hiring managers will sit on candidates after conducting the last round of interviews. Don’t wait to see if there are more candidates out there for you to assess. Make a decision and extend the verbal offer to the candidate no more than 2-3 days after the interview. You want to keep the candidate interested in the opportunity by letting them know you’re interested but finalizing the offer package. Too many times we have seen candidates walk away from an offer because another company extended one quicker.

12 Inflexibility with total offer package

For top talent, you need to entice the candidate to not only accept your offer, but to also stay with you for the long-term! How do you do that? By appealing to the needs of the candidate, whether that’s a flex schedule, telecommuting options, 100% remote with occasional travel into the office, etc. Also, don’t lowball a quality candidate! That’s a major turnoff and does not demonstrate appreciation of the candidate and the work they produce. Understand salary expectations earlier in the process.

13 Poor training/expectations

Proper training and introduction into the role will go a long way. Set up your new hire with all of the tools and resources necessary to perform their job well and they will return the favor to you. Get the candidate excited to work with you! The first week or two is great insight as to what the actual job will entail, so don’t skimp on providing the best first impression of the company. You don’t want the candidate to walk after all of the time you’ve poured into the hiring process, so do your part well and you’ll see the company flourish in return!



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