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May 25, 2017
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

You may have been the recruiter, the hiring manager, or the candidate in this horrific Oz of terrible recruitment, and we all know how it looks.

Resume review, recruiter phone screen, send the candidate to the hiring manager for a quick look, then a second phone interview, next a skills assessment because they have to take a typing test (duh), then the hiring manager phone screens them, next a 45 minute online behavioral assessment, ok cool they’re not a psychopath so we’ll bring them in to do a series of six-hour panel interviews where they also do a blind taste test of the best salsas and have to teach us how to Dougie’ (look it up, all awesome candidates should be able to do this) followed by one final phone screen by the COO’s granddaughter because she “just has a good gut about people,” and then six reference checks just for good measure.

Dance Dancing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Seriously, this is bananas. What is more bananas is how remarkably close to many recruiting processes today (minus the salsa test but I would recommend adding that to your process ASAP) this scenario may be.

What are you AIMING to learn, accomplish, and reveal in your process? That is where this all starts.

Of course, as Recruiters, the last thing we want to do is have someone get hired, and then the crazy skeleton pops out of the closet, and the team looks at you with that side eye stank face of “what a terrible recruiter she is, how did she not see this coming?” Seriously. We, nor tests, nor assessments, nor 14 people meeting someone, can uncover all deep dark secrets in a person so why do we keep adding steps that only drive us all nuts at the end of the day? According to research conducted by Glassdoor, “in the U.S., average hiring times grew from 12.6 days to 22.9 days between 2010 and 2014,” despite all these remarkable technological advances. You know who is screwing it up? Us.

Let’s go back to the future, how did we get here and where did it all begin? Somewhere, someone with way too many letters behind their name and way too little time spent in recruitment, sold you this awesome bag of poop-de-doo that an assessment of any kind is the best predictor of cultural alignment and someone’s capacity to do a job now or in the future. If they were on Jeopardy, you would hear that “EEHHHHH” wrong answer sound right now. Then, when someone finally debunked that crapload of a sales job, they told you that having everyone on the team meet a candidate is the best way to figure out if they can do the job. Ever heard of too many cooks in the kitchen? Yeah, that’s a real-life example of that saying four people love the candidate, four people don’t, the hiring manager feels torn trying to please everyone and still get the job done, so they send them back to the recruiter to do another interview and maybe a skills assessment to be the tie breaker. Holy bejabbers help me now.

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These processes are rooted in fear, 100%. They are rooted in the absence of a robust and succinct version of a recruitment process that aims to hire humans and instead hopes to hire a robot of perfection. How do we fix this because literally, I may die if I was ever subjected to this process as a candidate myself? We fix this by recruiting to hire, not recruiting to disqualify.

When you look at your current recruiting process, start to finish, how many steps does a candidate go through? What is the average time spent interviewing? How many assessments do they take? Once the decision is made to hire someone, how fast until the offer goes out? Too long and too many? Cool, we can fix this.

  1. Collaborate and listen.
    • Stop what you are doing that is so, so very wrong. Discontinue the rubbish. Now, listen to hiring managers and what they’re trying to find out with these four million steps. Until you know their fears, you can’t fix them.
  2. Put a ring on it.
    • Get engaged with your teams. Hiring managers, HR, other divisions, recruitment, sourcing, you name it, learn about all of them not just as titles but as people. If they think 20 minutes spent on a behavioral assessment with reveal if they can get along with someone, they’re wrong, and you haven’t proven your case.
  3. When you come to a fork in the road, go off-roading…
    • If the teams and recruitment can’t agree, pick a new plan, try it, and test it. Aim for no more than five steps start to finish (i.e. initial phone screen, submit a candidate to the hiring manager for review, phone screen with hiring manager, final interview with that manager and one to three members of their team together, final review/references/, etc.). More than that and you are dragging your candidate, and your recruiting brand reputation through manure filled mud that sounds like fun to off-road in but ultimately just makes you stink and leaves a big mess to clean up.


At the end of the day, we all want a great hire and addition to our team. Hiring managers want it fast, you want the unicorn to get hired, HR doesn’t want psychopaths to join the company, and the CFO wants cost per hire down. Sounds like a win, win, win, win, win to me if you get down to the nitty-gritty and do it right. Quit making excuses, quit letting hiring teams run all over you telling you how to recruit, and quit letting other people over-rule you when you already know the best way to find the right person without six interviews, three phone screens, a DNA sample, handwriting assessment, psychological testing, and a game of truth or dare with a candidate. Trust me; you’ll be way happier in the end if you cut out that DNA sample swab, just sayin’.



This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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