We all generalize. It’s part of how we get along in life. Sometimes, we generalize inaccurately. In the absence of information to the contrary, candidates assume that delays and un-kept promises they see during the hiring process are the way you manage your practice pretty much all the time. What can look to you like little more than the everyday impact of being busy can look to a candidate like a poorly-managed office, which undermines the positive impression you want to make.

How many times have you told your candidate you’d get back to her by Thursday, but you didn’t actually follow up until the next Monday, or even Tuesday? Has a candidate ever arrived for an interview and the person he was supposed to meet wasn’t there, leaving you to arrange a suitable replacement? Do you tell your candidate to expect an offer by the end of this week and it’s not actually finished until the end of the next week?

These circumstances may feel momentarily embarrassing to you. But, you think about them in the context of everything you have on your plate. Your candidate doesn’t. She is focused on one thing: How you respond to her and whether you can be counted on to do what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it. Why does this matter? Because candidates think the way you hire is the way you manage.

When you have to fight hard to attract and hire high quality candidates, you can’t afford to lose an advantage because you made easily avoidable mistakes.