The Coq au Vin had no flavor. The color was unappealing, the mushrooms were spongy, there was practically no aroma wafting up from the plate and the sauce was runny. Mon Dieu! I wanted to complain to the chef. But, I was the chef!
I never had a slow-cooker, or “crockpot.” It seemed like a good idea to buy one after eating a yummy stew cooked in my daughter’s slow-cooker. We had happily spent the day shopping and NOT in the kitchen. So, I did my research, chose the #1 model as recommended by Cook’s Magazine, and looked forward to a winter of walking into my aroma-filled home after a long day at the office, then serving up a delicious dinner.
This was a real departure for me. I usually make dinner in a relatively short amount of time. I sauté or quickly roast a piece of chicken, fish or something else, toss up a salad, maybe heat up some bread, open the wine and voila ! With the slow-cooker, time is spent slicing, dicing, seasoning and preparing the ingredients for the pot. When it’s assembled, the timer is set and the meal cooks while I work. What could be better?
But, sadly, I’ve been disappointed. Although I have tried a number of recipes, the flavor never seems to be as intense as I would like it. It’s convenient, yes, but the slow cook method kills the intense flavors I want. Slow cook recipes, for the most part, use lots of spices. That’s where they get their flavor. I prefer the more intense flavor that a faster and hotter process guarantees. There’s nothing quite like a sauce that’s laced with wine and reduced over high heat! (Julia Child is my patron saint.)
DON’T “SLOW COOK” YOUR HIRING
Some managers like to “slow cook” their hiring. They believe the “low and slow” method of making a hire will get the results they want. They believe they should interview a certain number of candidates before making a decision and are hesitant to act too fast. They think if they hire too fast, the result will suffer. They are comfortable taking a long time (sometimes months) to find, qualify and interview candidates; they seem to value the process itself as much as, if not more than, the result.
I think these managers ignore the realities of a brisk labor market and miss opportunities to snag the best people – because those people who are looking to change jobs are making quick decisions themselves. I know. I work with them every day.
HOW TO MAKE IT FAST AND GOOD
Here are four strategies to execute when you make a concerted effort to hire in a short amount of time:
- START WITH THE END IN MIND: Pick a target date for your new employee to start. Just like salespeople have sales targets, set a date to use as a goal. That date may slip a week, but hold it out as a clear target.
- CLEAR VISION: Have a clear vision of the job, a detailed job description and a statement listing what your company has to offer. With a detailed job description you can easily match the skillset of the candidates to the requirements of the job. This document will save you a ton of time!
- INTERVIEW SCHEDULE: Once candidates have been identified and phone screened, be sure that your calendar is clear to interview candidates in a timely manner. It’s always best if you can schedule candidate interviews into a compressed amount of time in order to easily compare each one. Be sure there is not too much time between the first and second interviews. Remember, you’ve got competition and that candidate is probably interviewing with them, as well!
- SOLID OFFER: The numbers may change a bit depending on the candidate you choose, but be sure to prepare a solid offer letter. A written offer letter with blanks to fill in the candidate’s name, start date and other critical information is best. That way, if you find yourself making a verbal offer to a candidate (highly recommended), you can send that letter ASAP. Be sure your offer letter has a deadline to respond. Remember, candidates have real choices. You want to get that deal done as soon as you can. That deadline helps tremendously.
While you can be sure I won’t be slow-cooking my turkey next week, I do follow the manufacturer’s instructions on time and temperature (even though it seems pretty low and slow!)
And, while I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings, let me tell you what I’m grateful for: I’m thankful that for over 23 years I have been placing great people in good companies where they have had the opportunity to thrive – to grow in their professional careers and be happy and excited about what they do every day. That is so important. So, who could have a better job than me?
What are you thankful for? And, what’s your special dish that you’ll be preparing this Thanksgiving? Click here to let me know.