First, hiring someone really isn't that important to most companies. If it were, you would have a written plan for how and where you are going to find the candidates you want to attract, a schedule for when you are going to have interviews, who will be involved in each interview with their availability confirmed, and the agenda for the interview. This would include the final decision makers. You won't do this — most don't. But if it were important you would.
Realizing that the top performers are interviewing you at least as much as you are interviewing them, the plan would include your presentation on where the company is headed, exciting new initiatives and a capture strategy for making an offer that will be accepted. The plan would include every detail from where the candidate will stay if out of town, transportation, and where you will take them to dinner (Oh no, you don't take them to dinner?).In my limited experience, I suspect that this level of planning (i.e. deep thinking about if/whether/who/how we are going to hire) doesn't happen as much as it should. Part of that is that most everyone thinks they're going to be a good judge of character and they know already "what the company needs" -- so why think about it?
The article also makes a set of interesting points about Generation X and Y and what they're looking for:
Fourth, and this is especially true with the Generation X and Y candidates, they don't trust your company. Unlike the baby boomers, who grew up with a certain level of trust in institutions like the government, big corporations, schools, and organized religion, Gen X and Gen Y don't see a reason to trust anyone. There is a 50-50 chance that their parents are divorced, they probably have a parent who has been 'downsized' or 're-engineered' out of a good job, they've seen wars they don't understand, and they've lost all faith in government (Congress' approval rating is around 16 percent as I'm writing this).
I grew up in Cincinnati, and if you could "get on" at GE, or P&G or Milacron (it was Cincinnati Milacron back then), you were set for life. We baby boomers miss those days, but understand they are gone. The Gen X and Gen Yers grew up with that reality, so even if you are a company with what you believe is a prestigious pedigree, they don't trust you. They desperately want to trust someone, but understand that you will have to do something to earn that, or the top performers that we are talking about will not resign from their current company to come to yours.
Finally, your company does not understand what the candidates want. Many studies have been done of Gen X and Y to see what is important to them. When compared side by side with what most employers think is important, the correlation is closer to the opposite than to lining up. Prestige, power, salary, and so on, the things that are important to boomers, rank near the bottom of the list for X and Y. They are looking for things like flexible hours, relationships with colleagues and interesting work.I hate to admit it, but I resemble a lot of the above comment (with the exception of the flexible hours - that's not really my thing, even though I wouldn't mind it.)
[More on this later -- I don't think I'm done thinking about this.]
*One notes that the author appears to be a consultant on hiring executives in plastics, so maybe a little grain of salt.