Your Hiring Process: A Trip Down the Red Carpet or an Episode of Survivor?

There’s no doubt that hiring qualified people is important. Having top-notch talent who do quality work will help your company reach its goals. Unfortunately, in an effort to get hiring right, some companies have made their selection process an obstacle course.

Take, for example, a prominent company in Seattle. It’s a great place to work. However, a less-prominent employer in town, with whom it competes for employees, is winning the war for top talent. Is the lesser-known company’s jobs and work environment better? No. It consistently ranks slighter lower on Glassdoor.

Why is the lower-ranked company winning the war for top talent? It’s simple. It’s its process. It has created a fast and efficient red-carpet experience for candidates. Top talent are treated with exceptional care, and are whisked through an expedient selection process. This includes one phone interview followed by one face-to-face interview.

The more prominent company hires differently. A phone interview is followed by four separate visits for in-person interviews. As one candidate put it, “Interviewing with them is like being on the show ‘Survivor.’ They make you go through a ridiculous obstacle course to get to their jobs.”

Does this mean the prominent company is more rigorous in their selection process? No, not at all. In fact, when compared side by side, both companies maintain high standards. The lesser-known employer is meeting these standards quickly and efficiently.

How can you turn your hiring process into a red carpet experience that attracts instead of repels top talent? Answering these questions, in collaboration with hiring managers, will get you started:

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  • How many steps are there in our selection process?
  • Which steps can be condensed or eliminated without sacrificing quality?
  • What do we need to see, hear, and experience in an interview to know if someone is a fit or not?
  • How can we do this more quickly and efficiently?

Speed and quality are not mutually exclusive. A fast and efficient selection process can be thorough and effective (I’ll be speaking about this during my session at the ERE Spring conference). This is vitally important. Talented people have choices. Rolling out the red carpet makes them much more likely to choose you.

Scott Wintrip

As president of the Wintrip Consulting Group, Scott Wintrip has helped thousands of companies improve their ability to hire talent on demand. He helped these organizations to grow faster, increase revenues, improve profitability, and expand market share. In the process of advising, educating, and coaching his clients, he has created more than $1.3 billion in positive economic impact for them. An astute strategist, he is respected for his strong leadership and practical advice. He is also the author of High Velocity Hiring: How to Hire Top Talent in an Instant (McGraw-Hill, April 2017). You can learn more about him and his services at