Don’t Waste My Time: Interviewing the Employed

Let me paint the picture.  You work for ABC Company and you have a critical hole in your information security team.  You need someone smart, experienced and dedicated – and you need them fast.  However, all of the candidates who actually meet all of those qualifications are already working for someone else and there are at least 50 other companies in the market hunting for this same talent.  Sound familiar?

So, you head into the search armed with everything your HR policies have outlined as well as a cultural norm for interviews.  Company wisdom states that you should hold at least three interviews and conduct your 2 hour personality assessment in order to make the right hire.  All told, your ideal candidate will need to devote 6 hours, including drive time, to determine if they want to work with you.

Well, Company XYZ doesn’t do that.  They hold a brief phone interview with the decision maker and then they bring the candidate in for lunch or breakfast to meet with the team and experience the environment.  They close the deal either on the spot or within 24 hours of the in person interview.

You missed out again.  This is likely not the first time someone beat you to the punch with top talent and if you continue doing what you’re doing, it will not be the last.  Here are the points to remember:

  1. Top talent is already employed and has another job to do during business hours
  2. They don’t have 6 hours to waste in the interview process with one company
  3. Your ideal candidate is interviewing you too
  4. Respecting their time in the interview process set the stage for mutual respect moving forward

The bottom line is that A+ talent knows their value and if it takes you 3-4 interviews and a personality test to see it, they wonder about your decision making skills, the strength of the organization and their ability to get the job done efficiently if they join your team.  The days of, “If they want the job, they’ll make the time” are long gone – especially in the information security industry.  Welcome to the era where, “if you want top talent, you have to be smart.”