Baseball and your Search Process-Slow Play is a killer

I was reading a post this morning from Brad Remillard and it made me think of the baseball.  For those who know me well you will say, “what does not make you think of baseball?”  Hang with me for a few innings, I mean minutes, and I’ll explain further.

Baseball will never be the fastest game you attend.  The game is not time based and there are times that it can go on for hours when it might have been finished much earlier.  I attended several games earlier this spring when Vandy faced off against Long Beach State and LBSU purposely played slow.  It was grueling for the fans and I am sure it was frustrating for the players as well.

Slow play in baseball creates problems and it also causes challenges in the hiring process.  Here are a few of the problems from slow play in baseball:

  • players in the field get bored and lose focus
  • batters start to play along and step out, making the game even slower
  • slow play makes the game boring for the fans
  • umpires lose focus when players “play slow”

The hiring process is very similar to a baseball game.  While you may not agree, there is no clock that controls the hiring process.  The speed of bringing someone on board is determined more by the system of the firm and the players/employees on the field.  Let’s draw a few analogies between baseball and your hiring process, especially if you “play slow”:

  • a slow hiring process causes the hiring manager and related managers to lose interest and place less emphasis on getting interviews done in a timely manner
  • candidates recognize “slow play” by a firm and make judgments about their value as a candidate as well as about the firm and how they value new hires; the judgments may not be correct, but the perceptions are real
  • other members of the firm recognize slow play and wonder why their counterparts cannot get their act together; if HR is one of the challenges in keeping the play moving it only makes things more difficult on future searches
  • those who monitor and grade the hiring process wonder why things take so long and either “take their eye off of the ball” or over react

In my world I have a phrase I use often when it comes to slow hiring processes:

“Time Kills All Deals”

Think about it; if you are a candidate and you keep seeing things drag on you wonder if you are the one the firm really wants and you wonder what else takes too long in the firm.  You begin to lose interest because of this slow play by the firm.

Slow search processes also take the wind out of the sails for any search firm.  Your search partner wants to help your firm be successful and keeping things moving along is one of the ways to help ensure success.

Most of us don’t like slow play in baseball.

Slow play in the hiring process is just as painful.

Don’t “strike out” in your next search due to slow play.

Keep the ball moving and you’ll score more easily and more often with future talent acquisition opportunities.

Take it from an old ball player and umpire.