Avoiding Lengthy Interview Cycles

Interview process

Avoiding Lengthy Interview Cycles


Interviews can be a grueling process, both for the hiring firm and for the applicant. Every year the cost of turnover increases, which makes the hiring process even more exhausting.  And if turnover costs aren’t enough to scare you, there’s the costly mistakes underqualified staff make that can effect anything from operation and labor costs to brand asset.

There is so much pressure to find exactly the right person for the job in order to avoid huge expenses down the road. Most companies respond by taking months to comb through resumes or even going through as many as 10 interviews before finally making a decision.

In a lot of cases, this approach often backfires when the best applicant has since been picked up by your competitor or are simply no longer interested to work with a company that comes across as indecisive and bogged down by red tape.

There are a few ways to circumvent the lengthy hiring process, while improving results.

  1. Require References with the Application

It’s becoming more and more popular for resumes to replace the reference section with a little asterisk stating “references may be requested”.  Most of the time that means they have no references to speak of.  This is a telltale sign of performance or attitude issues at previous jobs.  If an applicant can’t find a single previous co-worker, supervisor, manager, boss, professor, or even intern leader to agree to answer a few questions on their work performance, that says a lot. It even possibly says more than a few group interviews where the applicant has the opportunity to put their best foot forward. Interview Cycles can be reduced by requesting and completing references.

  1. Know What You are Looking For

Before you post to any recruitment sites, or reach out to a staffing agency, take the time to meet with your team and determine exactly what you are looking for.  Be clear and specific on what you want and need when writing your job description.  Sometimes, companies tend to be too vague because they are afraid they may be missing out on something great, because they’ve limited themselves by an overly specific job posting.

Staffing is like working on a puzzle, the interview cycles process can make it harder or easier.  The only thing that matters is that the piece you are looking for fits the specifications required by the already assembled portion of the puzzle.  The texture and smell are irrelevant if the piece isn’t the right size and shape.

  1. Set Deadlines for your Interview Cycle

This may seem oversimplified, but you’d be surprised at how often the simplest of techniques can yield huge results.  People looking for a job are on a time table. While they may really want to join your team, there is always the reality of financial obligations that will limit the amount of time they can wait for your decision.  Far too often, you’ll be in a fourth or fifth interview with a great candidate, all the while they have no idea how many more of these interviews they’ll need to go through or even how likely they are to get the job.  Suddenly, another company picks up your candidates application and makes them an offer.  Three quarters of the way through your eight session interview, you find yourself having to start from scratch.

By using these tactics for interviewing, you will not only cut out a lot of unnecessary work during the recruitment process, but you will also increase your chances of obtaining your first choice for the position.

More Information from our blog on hiring for employers Here!

Other resources on this subject


Harvard Business Review




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