The 7 Worst Job Search Hoops

Jumping Through Hoops for a Job

The 7 Worst Job Search Hoops

As recruiters, we do our best to help our candidates, but sometimes we are forced to stand by as circumstances try patience and test resolve.

The market is currently turning in the candidates favour and while companies may have had the leisure of considered deliberation during the recession when there were plenty of candidates to choose from, now things are changing.

Companies should look to streamline their interview processes if they want to hire the best talent. The battle is no longer only about attracting them; it is about running a professional recruitment campaign, which engages candidates rather than puts them off. This is easier said than done, so I would like to highlight seven key stumbling blocks:

Application forms. The application process for some companies is so daunting that potential employees won’t even consider applying. If a miniscule amount of applicants are successful, why should a candidate spend two hours filling out a form when he doesn’t even know if he has a chance of being invited to interview?

Death by testing. Candidates need to be fully engaged in the interview process, but the process of preparing for and sitting psychometric and other tests often sucks the enthusiasm out of a candidate and lessens their hunger for the role. Keep tests to a minimum and (apart from the most basic ones) only ask truly engaged candidates to complete them.

Lack of feedback. This is a big one. There are so many reasons why a candidate may not hear back from an interview. Maybe a key decision maker is on holiday? Maybe another candidate in the process has postponed their interview? Maybe the hiring manager is just a little indecisive? Companies must be open and honest with the situation and set realistic timeframes for feedback. If a candidate’s expectations are managed, then they are generally happy to wait.

Multiple interviews. Time is of the essence if you want to hire the best talent. They will have other opportunities, and if your interview process is not a well-oiled machine, then you could easily miss out. Stories of multiple interviews with the same person are common. Why not find out what you need to in the one sitting? If a company truly understands who they are looking for, then six interview stages with ten people are not going to be so much better than three with four people.

Irrelevant interviews. It is important for a candidate to be able to showcase their skills and background to the maximum extent. The best interviewers can facilitate this, but when interviews go off track, candidates can feel like they are wading through molasses. Value their time and keep it relevant.

Slow decisions. The interview process is over, but some companies will still mull it over for a few more weeks. Maybe they need to discuss it at the next board meeting, maybe they hope that another candidate will miraculously appear, but this will inevitably dampen the spirits of any candidate. Candidates need to feel wanted – why would they take the risk of joining the company if they were not 100% sure?

Strategy presentations. This would make any quality candidate groan. They have talked about their experience until they are blue in the face, but are still asked to give a 60-minute presentation on their future strategy for the role. You should understand what they are capable of by now. This is often the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

If a candidate has had to jump through many of these hoops during an interview process, they are unlikely to accept a role if it is offered. If they do accept, their motivation on day one would be at rock bottom. In their eyes, they are already a candidate for redundancy before they have even started.

Make sure you secure the best people. Make it easy for them to get the job!

Written by David Ford