I Wish We Knew Some of the Best Answers to These Questions

It’s strange that some of the most important questions related to hiring people never seem to get clearly answered.

Yes, I realize many of the questions below could be answered with, “it depends” and “it’s different for every job/company.”

But after all the time they’ve been discussed, I’d think there would be some solid information as to what would be considered “best practices” for some of the following (or at least what “worst practices” to avoid): 

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Job Descriptions

  1. How long should a job description be?
  2. How many requirements should it have?
  3. Should it be very narrowly or more broadly defined?
  4. Should degree requirements be listed if they’re not really necessary?
  5. Is a degree really needed for most positions? If so: why is it needed?
  6. Should recruiters do the entire job description, or should we do the basics and let marketing “spice it up”?


  1. What is sourcing, and how far does should sourcing go in the hiring process?
  2. Who should do sourcing: people working internally, people working externally such as for a sourcing firm, or in-house recruiters who handle everything?
  3. What kind of sourcing works best for which kinds of positions?
  4. How much time should be spent researching for sourcing?

Candidate Development

  1. How much time should be spent developing a relationship with a candidate, and what factors might determine this?
  2. What are the best ways to interact with candidates, and does it just depend on the situation?
  3. How much information is necessary to get from a candidate?
  4. How frequently should you contact a candidate?
  5. Who should contact a candidate during the hiring process?


  1. How many interviews and what kind of interviews should there be?
  2. How long should interviews last, and how many interviewers should there be?
  3. Who should schedule/coordinate the interviews?
  4. If you can’t train your interviewers in formal behavioral interviewing techniques, what should you do/how should they interview?
  5. How much feedback should you get from the interviewers?

What do you think about these? What additional questions do you believe are important, but unanswered? Why do you think these are unanswered?

Keith Halperin is currently working as a senior contract recruiter and performs additional sourcing work. He has worked in recruiting, placement, search, and research for highly diverse clients (from startups to Fortune 500 firms) throughout the San Francisco Bay Area since 1986. He conceived, designed, and implemented corporate recruiting strategies, and developed a white paper for a $70 million, five-year NASA CS recruiting project. He developed the Recruiting Process Methodology, a comprehensive open-source roadmap of recruiting. He co-founded MyIPOJob job fairs for pre-IPO companies, and founded Recruitersforum, an online job site for all types of recruiting positions.