9 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Hiring Process

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Challenging the Legacy Hiring Processes That Are Turning Candidates Off

It’s easy to blame the unprecedented job market for your hiring struggles. Unemployment is low, competition for talent is intense, and candidates are calling the shots. It’s hard, sometimes impossible, to fill positions – and it’s not your fault.

But, is that 100% true? Perhaps not.

Sure, there are a number of tactics that have been adjusted to accommodate new candidate trends and business needs. Many businesses now have video interviewing options, more automated communication with talent, and more candidate-focused job descriptions. All of these updates have improved the candidate experience.

Yet there are still antiquated steps built into the hiring process, simply because “it’s always been done this way” and they’ve never had reason to question them. Now, there’s a reason: the hiring market has changed, and companies need to change, too.

Have you adjusted your role requirements to fit today’s candidates and the true needs of your business? Have you taken a hard look at your application process? Are you maximizing your screening process to make better hiring decisions while not turning off top talent?

There are a number of areas within the hiring process that contain outdated and sometimes unnecessary steps. These place hurdles in the recruitment process where candidates stream out rather than in. And, in today’s market, there’s often no way to get those candidates back.

Today, we’re challenging some of the most common legacy hiring approaches. Are they working as is, need to be adjusted, or even necessary at all?

Hiring Requirements

There have been A LOT of headlines over the past year or two debating whether or not candidates truly need to meet certain job requirements. Years of experience. College degrees. Industry expertise. Everything is up for debate.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re rethinking your hiring requirements:

  1. What is really needed from a candidate to be successful in the role? Think very carefully about what is actually needed for a candidate to be successful. Would a candidate with only four years of experience vs. five years really not be able to do the work? What about a college degree, which The Burning Glass Institute says many companies are dropping from the must-have list?
  2. Are the requirements in line with compensation? It’s worth doing some analysis on whether or not your requirements and compensation are in line with the market. For example, if competitors are offering 20% more pay for candidates with the same requirements as you, it could be worth loosening requirements to better attract candidates and compete.
  3. Are the job requirements filtering out too much talent? It’s important to try to uncover whether candidates are self-selecting out of your application process based on requirements. In certain areas where the unemployment rate is particularly low or the market is really competitive, you need to do everything you can to open up your positions to as many candidates as possible.


Once you’ve overhauled your job descriptions to better appeal to today’s candidates, it is time to turn your attention to the application. A poor candidate experience at this stage can undo all the hard work you did grabbing their attention and getting them to take action.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your application process:

  1. Is our application process too long? According to a recent survey, 70% of job applicants feel an online application should be five steps or fewer. Today’s candidates are applying for multiple positions at the same time. Remember, you only need to collect the information you need to start screening.
  2. Is our application process too complicated? Along those same lines, it should be easy for candidates to apply – and that includes being able to do so from a mobile device. One survey found that promoting a job application as mobile-friendly will increase the number of job applicants by 11.6%.
  3. How does our application process compare to that of our competitors? It’s really important to understand how your application experience stacks up. Candidates aren’t applying to your jobs alone. If your application process takes twice as long as the last one they filled out, they’re more likely to quit halfway through and move onto the next.

Candidate Screening

There are a few different tactics used by recruiters and hiring managers to screen candidates beyond reviewing their resumes and conducting interviews. The downfall of many of these tactics is that they can be time consuming. Workable found that giving assessments, for example, can slow down the hiring process by several days. In today’s market, that is a huge risk that companies can’t afford to take.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when debating the value of your candidate screening tactics:

  1. Do our assessments tell us anything valuable? If you are currently using assessments, how often are hiring decisions made based on those results? If the assessment is not a key decider in hiring decisions, consider replacing them with technical- and behavioral-based interview questions. These allow for real-time follow up and probing of answers, without incurring added costs and time.
  2. Is our team accurately scoring candidates throughout the hiring process? Most hiring managers in favor of assessments find value in having candidates objectively scored. However, there is a massive financial, time, and experience cost to administering these. What can provide just as much value is establishing a scoring system for each stage of the hiring process, and using that data to compare candidates.
  3. Is our reference check process working in our favor? Reference checks are often little more than a check-the-box type initiative executed at the very end of the hiring process. They add unnecessary time to the process, and hiring decisions are rarely made based on these calls. In nearly all cases, reference checks are truly an unnecessary hurdle being placed in front of candidates.

The key theme around hiring today is continuous improvement. Employment conditions and business needs are in a state of flux. Job requirements, the application process, and candidate screening are just three areas that should be evaluated on a regular basis in order to gain the widest access to talent. Just because a certain hiring practice “has always been done this way” doesn’t mean that it should.

We can help you determine if your hiring processes are working for you or against you. Reach out to our team today.