The number of hoops you jump through for a job helps determine its culture

Job Discrimination Comic

I have learned in my job search history experience that the number of hoops you jump through for a job largely determines its culture.

A hoop is an unnecessary thing that is done because it is the process/procedure. Both the hiring manager/recruiter know that you have the skills for the job, but they don’t want to offer it because their process is trying to screen out problem employees.

Now this is interesting. In HR/People Ops now is a movement to move to skills-based hiring. That means that people who have the skills should get the job. It shouldn’t depend on artificial reasons that have nothing to do with success on a job. Let me give you some examples.

I had an interview where the recruiter shared that the last person had great skills for the job, but due to their location from the company and their family responsibilities, it was impossible to maintain reliable hours. No doubt that the company felt they made a good choice, but in six months they had to let him go and search for a new person. Now what is the cost to the company for the lost time/energy/effort in their hiring process? Tens of thousands of dollars on average. These kinds of stories are common, and yet companies still stick to practices that don’t help them.

Job Discrimination Comic
job discrimination comic

It is understandable why companies are slow to change their hiring practices. They may feel that employees have no choice and that their process is good enough. The truth is that the most intelligent, creative, and capable people don’t want to jump through hoops and won’t jump through yours. Let’s take this discussion step by step.

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Should a company read a resume and then just offer you a job? Why not? It happens all the time. People get hired by relatives or friends in HR and they don’t have an interview. An interview is just for companies that don’t know if they like you or not. If they like you an interview is optional. Now, to be frank, I have had jobs offered with just one conversation. I have accepted jobs with one conversation. In some of them, the company culture was terrible and others were great. You don’t know anything based on one conversation.

Now I have also spoken to many hiring managers who warned me that their company process was ridiculous and that I was clearly qualified for the job. They said if it was just their decision they would have already hired me. I also accepted jobs from this kind of experience and was turned down in these circumstances. Some of the companies were terrible and some were good. No hard and fast rule here.

So what do I mean by the number of hoops? Some companies made it extremely difficult to be hired and I had to leave some of the processes. One company had done 6 interviews with me and had two more scheduled. I had another job offer so I accepted it. Another company had interviewed me 5 times, and then offered me the job, and then told me they put it on hold for a month due to factors in the environment. Then a month later they hired me as a temp on a month-to-month basis and eventually offered me a full-time position.

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This is what is reasonable in the hiring process. Fill out a form, upload your resume, do 3 interviews, and then find out if you got the job or not. What is not reasonable and things I have done is: wait an unspecified period of time for a decision (and sometimes never being contacted), demand a social security number to apply for a job, demand your high school transcript and date of graduation, demand personal information before an interview is given/suitability is assessed like health information, personally protected information like date of birth, drivers license number for a position that doesn’t require driving, drug test/background check before interview, one-way video interviews, IQ/other tests that are not related to the position, purchase of software to do something, gift to the recruiter/hiring manager is strongly suggested by recruiter. All of those things reek of corruption. Once someone is suited, then you can do the rest of the process.

There is a point where it just doesn’t make sense to invest your time in a company that on average looks at your resume for six seconds. Know what you are willing to do and be willing to say no when the request is unreasonable.