There’s Fast, and Then There’s Hiring Manager Fast

Time for action - freeI’ve been in recruiting now for 20 years!  Can you believe it?!  That I started recruiting at 10 years old…

The other day I was thinking about how the word ‘fast’ takes on many different definitions when you talk to various hiring managers, or in my case, various hiring managers at various companies.

When most people think of the word ‘fast’ in the world, I assume they are thinking about timing – quick timing, short timing, etc.  In the recruiting world when a hiring manager tells you, “We need to fill this position fast!”,  99.9% of recruiters will feel that means if I find the a good candidate that manager will move right away to interview, offer, and fill the position.

Not so ‘fast’ my friends!

When I hear ‘fast’ come out of a hiring manager’s mouth I get excited. Finally! A hiring manager who wants to move – a go-getter – a doer – I’m closing this puppy by the end of the week!

In my mind I start to calculate how fast we can actually fill this position. It’s Monday. I can find a candidate by Tuesday; interview on Wednesday; offer on Thursday. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the candidate can start on Monday! That’s like hitting for the cycle in recruiting!  A one week recruiting process – now that’s ‘fast’!

Here’s how Webster defines ‘fast’:

1 –
a : firmly fixed <roots fast in the ground>
b : tightly shut <the drawers were fast>
c : adhering firmly
d : not easily freed : stuck <a ball fast in the mouth of the cannon>
e : stable <movable items were made fast to the deck>

2 –

a: firmly loyal <became fast friends>

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It’s not until you get down to the third definition in Webster’s that you begin hearing words like, ‘quick,’ and ‘rapid’!

Now, as a recruiter, fast in terms of a hiring manager makes complete sense. Firmly fixed! Tight! Adhering firmly.  Not easily freed…

Twenty years is how long I’ve been recruiting and thinking that ‘fast’ actually meant ‘quick’ and ‘rapid’ when filling positions. Now, I just feel stupid!

This whole time I thought hiring managers wanted me to fill their positions quickly.  So many days being frustrated when the hiring managers were slow to move on candidates, when I thought they were going to move ‘fast’ – now – only to find out they were moving ‘fast’ – hiring manager ‘fast’…

I’m sure HR never would define ‘fast’ like a hiring manager…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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