Hiring Mistake #1 – Making the Interview Process Too Difficult

cartoon of 3 job candidates forced into an egg-on-the-spoon race to win the position

Every leader knows that hiring top talent is a critical ingredient for success.  Most also know from experience that hiring talent that fits is a 50/50 proposition.  In order to “get it right,” how many interviewing tests do you expect your interviewees to endure? Certainly not the egg race in the cartoon above. 

Because we advocate the critical importance of hiring “right,” we would never recommend less than a thorough evaluation of potential candidates. But, take a close look at the interview hurdles you expect them to leap and make sure that they matter in terms of measuring how well they will do on the job and in your organizational culture. With all the competition for “A” players, you don’t want to wear out your top candidates by subjecting them to unnecessary and unproductive screening that tells you little about their ability to succeed.

The interviewing process has grown lengthier in recent years…by quite a bit. Glassdoor, the online job and recruiting site, has published a research report that says “the average overall job interview process takes 22.9 days in the U.S.” And, of course, it can take much longer according to the job level and title. Think back to the last time you interviewed for a job. It can be agonizing to wait for the decision to be made. Try to expedite the process so you don’t lose the candidate you want; and make sure that you do not antagonize the candidate you don’t intend to hire but don’t yet want to let go. 

Depending upon your organization’s interviewing process and the law, there may be screenings that are unavoidable, such as drug tests, skill tests and background checks. Then, of course, there will be a series of behavior-based interviews by phone or video and, ultimately, in person. The further down the path the candidate proceeds, the closer they get to the offer. 

Make sure that each step in the interview counts. Do this by designing and implementing interviewing skills training that teaches your hiring managers and interviewers how to focus on the behavior-based competencies and attitudes that are necessary for success. They need to know what to look for and how to dig beneath the surface to get real answers. All interviewees should, of course, be treated with respect and courtesy. Put them through paces that will inform you as to their suitability for the job, the team and your organizational culture. But don’t unnecessarily lengthen the process. Get organized with schedules. Marshall your forces and assemble your team. A well-oiled interviewing process will result in a top-notch selection and a candidate who is excited about joining your firm.

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