Based on the fantastic advice in a number of MT podcasts, I decided to drop the bad habit of only interviewing job candidates when an open-req comes up.  I can't believe I didn't see this before.  It takes so long to get the hiring process going that by the time I find the right candidate, the small window has closed and I'm still shorthanded.

So I've been following M&M's advice (at least I think I got it right) that I should be gathering resume's and interviewing people all the time, so that I have qualified candidates ready to go for the next time I get that coveted open-req. 

My problem is, I'm not sure how to handle these qualified candidates once they've completed the interview and testing process.  I don't give them an offer until I'm ready to hire them, right?  Then how much information do I give them?  Most of the MT answers are simple, "Do unto others..." type answers, but I can't decide how I would want to be treated in this case.  Tell me what  you think...

robin_s's picture
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Obviously if you don't have a position to offer at the moment, you can't make an offer.  If the folks you are interviewing are currently employed, and they are interested in your company, they might be able/willing to wait until a position opens up.  However, if they are unemployed, or need to make a move for some other reason (spouse relocating, etc), they need to know up front if you are not in a position to hire them.  You wouldn't want someone to turn down another job offer on the belief that you are going to imminently hire them, if that's not the case.

mfculbert's picture

What you are doing is putting people on your bench for you to pull from as the need arises. I am not sure if an official interview is appropriate to get to your bench or not. My bench people  are a mix of people I have worked with before, people I interviewed but did not hire, and contacts that I feel could step in if the right job gets created.

When a position opens, I then have the official interviews. I can just cut the gather phase down to a lot shorter than it would regularly be.  

flexiblefine's picture

I think MFCulbert has it right -- you want to cultivate a bench of people you can call upon when and if the need arises. What does your process actually look like? I'm not sure "interviewing" is the right thing to do in that evaluation stage.

Are you interviewing those people like you would if they applied for a job? I don't think you should use that level of formality or structure to put someone on your bench. Yes, you want to know what you can about them, but going through something that looks like a job interview sets an expectation that there is a job in the offing. They shouldn't have to go through a job interview just to be on your bench.

Gather information in a less formal way, and then you can let people on your bench know when an opportunity comes up that might suit them.

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