Does Your Interview Process Suck?

Suck is a strong word to use in any context, but if you were to ask your last five candidates to describe their interview experience, would any of them use this word? If the answer is yes (or even maybe), then you may need to give your process a tune-up.

Get a process in place: now!

Every recruiter has a slightly different process in terms of communicating with both candidates and hiring managers. This variance depends on the department the customer falls in, the level of the role and the importance of that role within the organization. Our job is to make sure we are supporting everyone in a way that makes them feel fully supported, both with a good pipeline of candidates and also with a process they are comfortable with. However, this can be a fine balance – it’s important to ensure you are actually creating a great candidate and manager experience.

In order to do this, you need to have a process in place and manage expectations. I feel as though both the candidate and manager are equally important throughout this process and should both be held as top priorities.

If you are evaluating your interview process from start to finish, here are three things to consider:

1. Do you know what a hiring manager really wants? Many times, recruiters can get caught up filling a requisition with an existing manager, and we may not be asking the right questions when engaging with new candidates. To avoid this, take the time to sit with your hiring manager and dig into what they really want to see in a candidate profile and process. This is the time to set a strong foundation for realistic candidate expectations. If the manager is looking for a gold unicorn, this is the time to reveal the reality around that expectation – and also the time to tell them the truth about Santa Clause, while you’re at it.

2. Does everyone know where he or she is in the interview process? As a candidate interviewing for a big role, there is nothing more frustrating than having no idea where you stand in an interview process. We have all been there – so consider how much this sucks when you are evaluating your candidate “touches”. While we can’t have perfect interactions with every single candidate, having a good process in place can make or break you.

Even if the hiring process has slowed down due to a financial hold up or headcount shift, a candidate still needs to understand what the adjusted timeline is and what the next steps are. This ensures you not only keep those qualified candidates engaged, but also provide a great candidate experience for the people you do not select for the role. Any candidate who walks away from the hiring process that isn’t selected can still refer five to 10 friends to work for your organization – so don’t burn bridges. Rejected candidates are walking, talking job boards with opinions. It’s our job to make sure they have positive things to say about their experience.

3. Is there even a Process? Many organizations think they have a perfect hiring process in place. But when you actually investigate, it’s really just a list of things they have done in the past (that may or may not have worked) and no real formal process exists. If you can’t actually write down the steps for each of your requisitions in three to six steps, then your process sucks.

This is why it’s so important to have a clear process in place and that everyone involved knows what each step of that process is. The only way to tell if you’re failing at your process is to actually have one. To build your process, consider the following:

What are the series of actions you need to take in order to determine if a candidate will succeed in a role? How are you evaluating this person? Generally speaking, if your process takes a candidate through anywhere from three to six steps and you have an efficient way of measuring that candidate’s fit, then your process is good to go. If you are below three steps, you might need to re-rethink your candidate process, as you may not be evaluating that candidate thoroughly enough. If your process takes more than six steps, candidates will probably get frustrated at how long and outdated your process is. This can also make an organization seem unorganized and slow to make decisions or get things done.

What you can do now

As a rule of thumb, it’s always good to take a step back and review any systems you currently have in place to see how well they’re operating. Here at Glassdoor, our recruiting process isn’t perfect, but we’re constantly looking to improve the process from both a candidate and hiring manager perspective. It’s healthy and transparent to acknowledge your weaknesses or mistakes you have made – and don’t just own it, but also constantly work to improve upon it.