The Candidate Experience & Hiring Process

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I am very passionate about improving the candidate experience and implementing ‘common sense changes’ to the hiring process. Unfortunately, I am no longer a Human Resources practitioner and the hiring process is full of stupid hurdles and shenanigans that I cannot change.

I received a press release, last week, that said, “Sixty percent of job seekers can expect to participate in three or more interviews with prospective employers before getting an offer, according to a survey of more than 2,000 individuals by Right Management.”

As a former recruiter who has hired thousands of people, I have strong opinions about the hiring process. I believe that HR and recruiting departments often get in the way of hiring good people. I believe that software is a straw man for broken recruitment cycles. I believe that hiring managers should be tasked with developing communities and sourcing from those communities as part of their jobs.

I also believe that if it takes you three or more interviews before you make a hiring decision, your methodology is flawed or your candidate pool is off. Either way, interviewing a candidate more than three times is not the answer — and it’s not respectful of the candidate’s time.

Sheesh. Is this 1997?

I was very annoyed to read some of the key findings in the survey.

  • Older workers participate in three times more interviews. Forty-eight percent of those 55+ receive four or more interviews compared to 18% for those aged 25-34.
  • Women participate in more interviews. Sixty-five percent of women get three or more interviews compared to 61% of men.

Good grief. What does that say about our diversity and inclusion initiatives? Moreover, what does that say about human nature?

My own experience leads me to believe that we don’t really need traditional recruiters. We could put all of the qualified resumes into a hat, pick one, and hire that person with the same success rate as traditional, behavior-based interviewing. That might be a stretch, but what about using an algorithm to make the hiring decisions? Score the candidate on certain factors, stick the data into a computer, and let the Googles make a decision.

Recruiters go apeshit when I write things like that, by the way. They blame corporate culture and HR processes. They blame hiring managers. They blame the system. In my heart of hearts, I think recruiters can make a difference in the recruiting process — but if you’re going to own the process, own the process and master it. At the very least, this means putting your foot down and saying, no, you can’t interview a candidate a fourth time.

It can be done. I’ve done it, and I was a nobody. A minion. A worker bee.

Talented people with amazing skills will not tolerate three or more interviews before your risk-adverse company is willing to make a decision and take a risk. Stop talking about Facebook and recruiting technology and start worrying about the results from the Right Management survey. That’s where you need to spend your time, yo.

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