How to stay focussed when filling a vacancy


It’s essential to hire the right people to successfully grow and expand your organisation. Put your hands in the trust of the wrong person, and things can get messy, fast.

So naturally, when it comes to hiring, you need to stay vigilant, focussed and purposeful. There are hundreds of candidates in the marketplace, but only a handful will be the right fit for you and your team.

The infrastructure needs to be in place for the new hire to fit into, the job description and person specification needs to be top notch and most importantly, the timing needs to be right to make the hire.

Over the last 10 years, we have worked with clients who have all of the above in place. They start off organised and committed to the recruitment drive.

However, somewhere along the line, they seem to lose their way. Niggly issues begin to surface and key decision makers along the process seem to go missing. So what happens. Why does the fog begin to descend? Why is that position still open? Where are we going with this? Do we really need this hire?

Here are some common pitfalls:

1)The hiring manager keeps on getting distracted by other candidates.


Like we said. There are hundreds of candidates in the marketplace and your recruiter has whittled down the selection to half a dozen. You have been impressed by what you have seen and definitely want to progress further with at least 4 of them. After second interviewing, you are keen to follow up with 2 of them.

Then you begin to wander. Is this all that’s on offer? Have I seen enough CV’s? Am I missing out on somebody else? The human trait of ‘is the grass greener elsewhere’ begins to creep in.

You do one of two things.

You either a) call your recruiter and ask them to send over another half dozen CV’s or b) for fear of not offending your recruiter/assuming they have exhausted all avenues you turn to a different recruiter and find half a dozen more CV’s.

What tends to happen next is that the process gets elongated seeing more candidates, and the previous 2 stronger candidates get frustrated waiting for a decision from you. They either lose interest completely or get snapped up by a more decisive organisation.

And so your cycle continues… and continues…

The root of the problem here is indecision. Once you have screened a strong hire and have decided you want them: Stick to it. The options out there are limitless and there are plenty of time wasters out there. If you find a good thing, hold onto it. Before somebody else takes it away.

2) Key decision makers get distracted by other business issues

Everybody begins the recruitment process with strong intentions. But it would be foolish not to acknowledge that key decision makers higher up the organisational hierarchy have a lot of other business issues on their plate. Granted, it is essential to involve key decision makers in the hiring process, but in practise this can be time consuming.

And we all know, time is money.

Understandably, most decision makers may have important client requests they need to be working on. It may be coming up to the end of quarter and the workload is exceptionally high, therefore that 2nd interview they need to be sitting in may need to be moved to another time. Perhaps an internal employee has started to perform exceptionally well so there becomes a question mark over whether hiring is really a priority right now.

Whatever the issues, everyone involved in the hiring process needs to be 100% committed to the plan and not become distracted. They need to factor in the time it will take to interview. The less time spent, the better. The higher the quality of the candidate, the better. If key decision makers only have 4 hours a month to dedicate to hiring, use it wisely. Don’t fall victim to point number one and schedule in key times with all decision makers beforehand.

3) Not setting a deadline for when the new hire needs to come on board

This point is more common than you may think. Logic tells us all, that if you fail to set a deadline for a task to be completed, it will almost never be completed at all.

Yes, we need to make sure we get the right person, yes we need to make sure we are thorough, yes we all know that the average recruitment cycle from the very beginning of starting the search to the point of the actual person hired starting their first day with you takes, between 4-6 months.

Wait a minute, it can take up to 6 months?! Crikey, maybe we should have started this search earlier…


Hiring is an important but also time consuming and sometimes challenging process.

Several key decision makers, differing opinions, schedules and priorities all need to be managed seamlessly to get the job done properly.

Having a last minute panic just to fill the headcount is not the best way to go about things but this often happens due to clients falling victim to the common pitfalls mentioned above.

Stay ahead of the game, stay focussed and you will be sure to get the best talent in the market working for you.

Have you ever got distracted whilst hiring?

Like this post? You may want to take a look at How to Avoid Losing Out on Star Candidates

Reach out here for further resources on how to screen candidates