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How to alleviate Hiring Manager continuously wanting more candidates.

Why do hiring managers give positive feedback the whole way throughout the process and then just as you’re gearing up to offer a very keen candidate decide to see more for comparison

This tends to happen because of the immense amount of data and options the HM has (Analysis Paralysis). Often though we can trace this back to our own management of expectations and communication. When a hiring manager feels like they don't have a need to hire (Urgency & Paint Points) or that something better will come along, then they won't make a decision (perfectionistic procrastination).

The big red flag is all positive feedback. This means that they aren’t critically thinking about the current impact nor the implications of a hire. Managers who are focused on relieving their team (vacancy impact) or what it’s going to take to make this new hire successful (onboarding & training) will be critical about who is going to be in that role.  Assuming you are not only offering positive candidate feedback on the presentation, then they should at least have your own critical candidate feedback talking points.

How to Encourage a Hiring Choice

You need to focus their choice. This also fits well with the MFC coaching mentality. You can bring them to a binary decision. This candidate has ABC but this candidate has XZY which ones do you like better. The love it or list it of candidates. Some will do a medalist mentality. That’s this is our gold, silver, and bronze candidate. TOP 3 at any given time in the search. The point is to have the choices narrowed.

Any good Job Intake will ask the cause, hiring need, and impact of the vacancy. This is generally referred to as the "urgency" of the search. If those motivations are weak, then generally you should not have this at the top of your desk either. But as we often need to close things out for our own performance metrics. The best thing to do is create urgency. You do this by presenting a couple of weak candidates with a couple of good ones. Get them to say no before they say yes. Flutter the candidate flow. Don’t keep giving them options as they come along, give them in batches as described before. Another trick is to have regular meetings, the need to get this off the plate and/or having the need to prepare or have something for these meetings will create a “to-do list” push.  When you have some finalists, do not keep adding candidates. That is unless they are exceptionally better candidates than what you already have.

Finally, you need a strong defined process. That also means having a defined timeline for feedback, standard cadences for interviewing, offer letter, etc. For Agency Recruiters this can be a bit harder, but that is why the job intake is important for managing your desk. If they are wasting your time, then move on or use it as a “take-away” close.

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