The One Thing Most Recruiters Overlook
September 16, 2019

The One Thing Most Recruiters Overlook

by Brian de Haaff

Does this sound unrealistic? A screening call on Monday. An interview with the hiring manager on Tuesday. A chat with another cross-functional team member on Wednesday. A video call with the CTO on Thursday. This rapid cadence is not unusual at Aha! — our team acts quickly to schedule conversations with promising candidates who have applied to an open role. But I know this is not the case at the majority of organizations.

Many companies are operating in a vacuum — ignoring the reality that most applicants are pursuing multiple opportunities, not just one.

This is not a groundbreaking concept. The best candidates will always be in high demand. And in a competitive job market, hiring managers cannot afford to move slowly. You need to be able to quickly determine whether or not someone can contribute meaningfully to the organization.

And yet I consistently hear stories about candidates waiting for weeks between interviews and an offer. Now, I understand why this slowdown can happen in the hiring process. Because even if hiring managers know exactly the skills and background needed to thrive in a given role, there may not be an organizational plan in place to efficiently help candidates move through multiple rounds of interviews.

Moving fast with standout job applicants is essential to building a superstar team. It is the one way you can truly make your hiring process great.  

Our People Success team at Aha! does this every day. We average 50 interviews per week by leading with responsiveness and using a hiring framework to increase efficiency. While we cannot respond to every single person who applies because we receive a few thousand a month, we do our best to stay in close contact with candidates as they progress through the interview process.

We follow The Responsive Method — we take a goal-first approach and strive to move swiftly, especially when it comes to hiring. Here is how we do it:

Strategic You need a plan and a purpose behind why you are hiring (and who you are looking for). We set and evaluate our hiring plan every year. We also have a framework that documents the journey a candidate takes at Aha! — from awareness of our company to interviews to getting hired. Along with extensive documentation and training resources for the team, strategy guides how we approach recruiting.

Curious I wrote earlier that we cannot respond personally to every person who applies. The sheer volume of applicants who apply to Aha! each month makes that impossible. But we do review every single one — with curiosity. Since we have a well-documented profile for each role, we do not rely on an automated system. We can look past specific job titles or degrees and spot patterns in career growth that indicate potential success in the open role we have available.

Responsive Interviewing people is a valuable opportunity to show our values as a company. And we know that most candidates who are actively searching are considering more than one company, often simultaneously applying to other roles. So, we work hard to always communicate proactively and transparently. We schedule interviews quickly, embrace efficiency, and stay in close contact with folks throughout the process.

Productive Structured interviews mean that we can learn a lot in a short period of time. Candidates typically speak with several Aha! teammates over a week or two. Asking generic or repetitive questions is a waste of time. This is why teammates who conduct interviews come out of each conversation with detailed notes. We also share these notes with the next teammate who will be interviewing someone so that each chat can build upon the last.

Our hiring process is not perfect, but we strive to make it as smooth as possible for both the candidate and the company.

People are the most important asset for any company. When you are able to assess mutual compatibility quickly and decisively, you make the interview process more enjoyable and purposeful for candidates. And you help set the entire organization up for success.

How should companies best interact with job applicants?

Our team is happy, productive, and hiring — join us!

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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