The Business Analyst contract market is a fast-moving space. The really great candidates are snapped up as quickly as you can read their resume and it is as competitive as it gets in recruitment!
Day in day out we see the common mistakes companies make when trying to hire in this space. For one thing, it is absolutely important that the candidate is the right fit for the business in terms of soft skills, domain knowledge, industry experience, culture fit and skill set. However, the door swings both ways. You can bet that these "gun" candidates will be talking to multiple organisations at once, so how can you distinguish yourself from your competitors for the top talent?
Rate is obviously one of the biggest factors for a contractor and is arguably one of the key reasons why a candidate might choose one role over another. However, I am not going to start a conversation about day rates. Here are some of the other factors:
Now some things cannot be helped. It might be that a candidate is offered a role with two organisations and it comes down to the fact that quite simply, one project is more exciting than the other. The only way around this is to demonstrate the benefits of working for your organisation over another. What are your key selling points? Long term, do you have more work in the pipeline which is something that will greatly attract a contractor? Do you have a fantastic team culture? Does this opportunity offer longevity and the chance for them to up-skill within a new domain? Why do you enjoy working there? Whatever it is, if you like a candidate in an interview, selling your unique points to get them interested from the outset is essential.
Alternatively, if you are working on a hugely exciting project, tell them as much as you can upfront to get the candidate invested and interested in your position. This could be the difference in the candidate holding off on other offers and opportunities until they have gone through the process with your organisation.
This can be the biggest downfall. I cannot stress how quickly the best talent is snapped up in the BA market. Unfortunately, if you require a 3-stage interview process with a week in-between each, 9/10 of the candidates will have accepted another role. This can be hugely frustrating for line managers as at this point, they have committed a large amount of time to this candidate and have probably made up their mind after the first or second interview. If multiple interviews are required and you have a fantastic candidate, a quick turn around and fast tracking (as much as the calendar and those interviewing can allow) will make a huge difference.
The interview itself:
Everyone has their own style when it comes to interviewing candidates and I would need another blog to discuss this in detail so let’s leave it at this; this "gun" candidates need to want to work for you. Being friendly and finding some common ground by learning something about them always goes a long way. I have had candidates turn down other opportunities purely because they want the chance to work with certain managers they have interviewed and jelled well with.
There is no guarantee in the world of recruitment. Candidates will change their mind and have multiple factors to consider when job searching, however, if you can take these three steps into account, this should help to avoid losing the best talent.