I’ve seen this movie over and over. Candidates have their first interview with a client and like a first date, they fall madly in love. A perfect match! The new benchmark has been set and all other candidates are marked second best over Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful. In some cases, the client is masking the blinders they’re wearing because – to them – it’s game over. They want to move immediately towards making an offer to this great candidate NOW. Like ‘forbidden fruit’, they want what they see and they want it PRONTO!
Not so fast, please. Let’s not put the proverbial cart before the horse. After all, we’re still on the first date. I’ve found that in many search assignments, clients tip their hand too early and set off all kinds of alarms with the very person they’re trying to hire before all of the vetting has been completed. I use the term “all that glitters is not gold“, and in many cases, this concept has proven true – until all the hiring boxes have been checked, falling in love too early during the search process often has a different ending.
The risks are obvious and include:
- Giving the candidate an inflated sense of their perceived value (higher earnings expectations)
- Ignoring some of the other talent options and risking that talent opting out by focusing myopically on “the chosen one”
- Big Hat – No Cattle. The candidate you love turns out to be a non-performer, falsifies their resume or has terrible references
I could add plenty of other risk factors – but I won’t. Just fill in the blanks and the possible setbacks that lie in wait if you make the wrong choice too early will be obvious. Yes, I know most clients want to have their superstar on-board sooner rather than later, but acting on pure instinct and emotion may prove to be costly when you fall in love with a candidate on the first date.