January 16, 2020

The Importance of Momentum & the Psychology of the Search

Running an efficient recruitment and interview process has never been more important. The current job market is a highly competitive one. Hiring and retaining top talent is more difficult now, than in recent memory. Taking the time to consider the variety of components that influence a candidate’s decision making, can help provide an edge to achieving success. One factor that is no less important than the others, is considering the importance of momentum. Maintaining momentum during hiring process has a strong influence on a candidate’s thought process and having a positive impact during this time is a key to bringing on your ideal candidate


There is an old saying in business that time kills all deals, and that sentiment carries true in the search for your ideal candidate. Keeping a momentous process shows both interest and initiative, creating a positive reflection of the company in the eyes of the candidate. It also keeps the candidates intrigued, and the interest displayed by the company should encourage the candidate to reciprocate the same drive to keep the process moving.

It is important to remember that it is now a candidate’s market, since the start of 2018 we have seen unemployment rates ranging as low as 3.9% and never exceeding 4.5%. With the current unemployment rate of 4.2% , we have seen over a year of consistently low unemployment rates, resulting in the best unemployment rates of the last decade. Given these market conditions maintaining that momentum should be treated as a priority, rather than a courtesy. With the current economic climate, strong candidates will have various options and it is imperative to remember there is a wide variety of excellent companies competing alongside for that great new talent. Yet, it is crucial not to sacrifice quality for speed. Do not rush the process, but if you find a great candidate be decisive and don’t overthink the hire.


Considering the psyche of a candidate during the hiring process is of the upmost importance to achieving success. Maintaining momentum will provide a positive impact on the candidates thought process throughout their search. Taking the time to be respectful of a candidate’s current situation will go a long way. Candidates may be juggling the interview process while trying not to alert his/her current employer, adjusting to this is a positive reflection of the company.

Losing momentum during this time can result in a state of “analysis paralysis”. This mental state of overthinking a situation can cause a candidate to field other offers or even get cold feet, resulting in the loss of that perfect candidate. The number 1 reason why job offers are rejected is due to the candidate accepting another offer. This simply highlights the importance of maintaining momentum and making sure the potential ideal candidate doesn’t enter “analysis paralysis” and choose to go in a different direction. Taking the time to “think like a candidate” and truly consider the psychology of the prospective candidate can end up paying dividends.


Remember that the hiring process is a window into a company, and providing a positive reflection is imperative for both sides. Showcasing the ability to keep momentum and be decisive will provide a positive first look into the company. To continue that positive reflection and maintain momentum, consider outlining the steps for the candidate upfront and paint a clear picture of what to expect. This will provide the candidate a time frame, keeping them from guessing and will allow them to eliminate some of the anxiety that comes attached with the hiring process. Be sure to follow through with the process that is laid out, this will showcase a company’s ability to stick to what they say.

After painting a clear picture of what the candidate can expect, remember to stay up to date with what is happening with the candidate. If a company feels they have lost touch or hit a fork in the road, contact us and ask for our recommendation. Another great tip to keep the momentum rolling is to make a great first offer, if you found your ideal candidate be sure to act on it. A company should always avoid dragging their feet during the hiring process, a candidate will likely think that the company makes other decisions in the same manner.


When momentum is lost during the hiring process, it has a negative effect for all parties involved. Losing momentum at its worst will cost the company that perfect candidate and can even be a poor reflection of a company. If a company’s search is lasting longer than anticipated, the factor of momentum becomes even more important. Say the potential job is already a tough sell, maybe a difficult location, it becomes more imperative than ever to capitalize on the factor of momentum. It is during searches like these that momentum becomes a tool that helps serve a company, rather than a difficult time frame that is hard to achieve.

With the acceptance of another offer and a lengthy hiring process being 2 of the top 3 reasons candidates reject offers, time and time again the failure to capitalize on momentum has cost companies a great candidate. If you have found your ideal candidate and are approaching the finish line, don’t enter the same analysis paralysis, and close the deal. If a candidate has made it close to the finish line, and the excitement is there for both parties, there is a reason everything has aligned up to that point.


At the end of the day change is hard, and most people simply don’t like change, keeping the process efficient and time friendly truly benefits both sides. Being authentic, transparent, and providing feedback will both keep momentum and provide a strong impression on the candidate. Finding that perfect candidate is never easy, maintaining momentum is one great way to ensure a more effective approach.

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Purple Squirrel Advisors