Removing the Hoops: The Ball is in the Candidate’s Court


I saw a humorous, but accurate video the other day on LinkedIn of an individual running around a room jumping through hoops, over barriers, and through tunnels, to get to the obstacle course’s finish line; the content of the post was referencing the steps that we as employers sometimes make our candidates go through, just to provide them with an offer letter.


As an employer, I can tell you we’ve been guilty of this! We want to eliminate as much risk as possible when we hire someone. But the difficult truth is that right now, the ball is in the candidate’s court. They call the shots. When we started our business 4 years ago, the candidates had to sell themselves to us. They arrived at the interview with their elevator pitch of why we’d be remiss if we didn’t hire them.


But times have changed post-pandemic. We continue to reevaluate our own process to make sure we are staying on top of candidates and pitching our company in a way that intrigues and motivates individuals to take a position with us, especially when it comes to entry-level positions.


Here are a few things that we’ve done to remove the hoops our candidates may have had to jump through in our hiring process in the past.


  • Evaluate who the decision makers need to be. Our leadership team, while we all may read people slightly differently, are in sync with what we are looking for in ideal candidates. We don’t need our entire leadership team to become involved in the hiring process for entry-level positions. Generally our process starts with a phone screening, and is followed with a Zoom or In-Person interview, allowing us to make a final decision after 2 interviews and move quickly on making a job offer.


  • Make quick initial contact. This has always been the case and remains true today; the good candidates always go first. Staying on top of your applicants & candidates is equally as important as jumping on to the offer letter. Make sure you’re touching base quickly (within 2-3 business days), and getting them scheduled quickly (the next business day, if possible). The common theme here is--move quickly.


  • We’ve eliminated unrevealing interview questions. Do you ever ask questions that generally yield the same generic answer from all candidates, and then wonder why you asked those questions to begin with? Yeah, we did, too. All it took for us was a couple busy days full of interviews for us to realize we were wasting our time and the candidates’ time with unimportant questions, such as, “are you comfortable talking on the phone?” Now we explain with more clarity the exact expectations we have for our employees in regards to talking on the phone, so that the candidate can identify if the responsibilities of the job will be of interest to them.


So take a moment to conduct a quick audit on your hiring process. Ask yourself, what can my organization do to make things easier on ourselves and our candidates? Are there any unnecessary steps, or steps I can combine to shorten the recruiting and hiring cycle (which will ultimately yield in more hires)? And if you’re a current client of ours, we’d be happy to conduct that audit for you, and let you know areas that can be trimmed down or improved.


Niki Kukla, Managing Partner