What's wrong with my interview process?

Careers Advice

Recruitment is an ever changing industry. We all know that. All it takes is a quick look at LinkedIn or Google and you'll see thousands of posts about how to format your CV or how AI is going to render all of us Recruiters useless in X years. (preemptive to anyone saying it - yeah yeah loads of us already are useless - thanks)

Jobs change, people change, advertising, sourcing and applying for jobs changes. It's a minefield trying to keep up and make sure you're showing yourself or your company in the right way. The majority of companies think they're doing this yet so many of them fail regularly to secure the best talent or constantly have a plethora of unfilled positions - why?

Here are a few of the worst and most common. With some nice pics, because memes.


1. You think you're doing people a favour by offering work.

This is a huge one. In my opinion, this is probably the most outdated, ridiculous misconception anyone hiring anyone might have. But its a shit attitude that relentlessly plagues hiring managers, HR and recruiters everywhere.

Here's the thing: unless you're hiring from a completely unskilled workforce in a market something akin to the USA from '29 - '39, you're not. If you want the best people, you need to give them a reason to want to join your company. If you don't, what the hell are you doing running a company? The future is now, and you need to get out of that mindset and convince people why they should work for you, not why you should hire them.

More on why people should join your company in point 2.

People will argue to the death about this one, bonus points if they mention that millennials are lazy.

2. Your offer/salary/benefits/culture/environment sucks.

The frequency of which I hear something similar to "we can't compete with the (pick any from above)" is ridiculous. If that's you - give up, shut up shop and go home or do something about it! You can change things. Review your salaries, progression and benefits packages. Make your office or studio a great place to work. If you don't have the imagination then ask your staff what they want. Hell, ask the people who are turning down your jobs.

Here's a shocker: people want to earn a decent living. I know right? wtf? People also want to feel valued, like they're making a difference, like they're going somewhere. They want to enjoy going to work with whoever they work with. Culture isn't a pool table or a beer fridge, it's the difference between 'colleagues' and a family. Don't know where to start? There are people who can help with that, don't be afraid to get help, but a good start would be asking your team.

Salaries aren't always #1, but you better be offering something pretty damn special if you expect anyone to take your offer that's >10% below what they're asking for when salary affects everything outside of work (which isn't you know, everything). Bottom line: put your hand in your pocket and pay people what they're worth, and treat them how they deserve to be treated. This one could do with a whole new article - I'm going to move on.

3. Your hiring and interview process is a joke.

To quote Alan Walker "Stop dicking around." This one is the most simple of all and I think loses more people than the rest combined. You're giving CV feedback a MONTH after application? Get out. Seriously? That guy/girl is long gone and has signed a contract with your competitor. You were top of their list at the start but now they've forgotten all about you no matter who you are, what you're paying or working on. Big awesome company - can't hire someone in less than 6 months. The exact same applies to: lack of flexibility on interviews, slow feedback of any kind, excessive testing, excessive stages, too many people interviewing, treating an interview like a black ops interrogation - I could go on forever on this. If in doubt, ask a recruiter. I know we're all idiots and scum etc but seriously we deal with multiple companies and multiple roles - we know what's working, what's not and what you're up against in terms of competition. If in doubt, refer back to point 1 - you're not doing people a favour by interviewing them. 50% at least needs to be you selling to them!

Get a proper process and recruitment team in place and stick to it. What a shit reason to be losing people. You're also not getting the best out of people so you're likely losing good people without even noticing.

6 interviews and a 2 week test? You're dicking around.

4. Misc (I won't bang on about them but come on)

  • Your adverts are crap. (Mitch Sullivan can help with this. I don't know the guy but I hear good things and I've seen the ads - they're good)
  • You refuse to use recruiters or take advice because "you know what you're doing" Try a recruiter, if they're crap, don't use them again (I'm talking people not agencies - good agencies have bad recruiters sometimes and vice versa)
  • You limit your search (too much) on background, location, job title, years experience (this one in particular - ability > years and years ≠ ability)
  • You don't know what you're looking for - don't start a hiring process as an experiment - these are people you're dealing with.
  • You treat hiring as a secondary activity to whatever else you're doing - get it done and get it right and it will make your life easier!

What have you got to add? Tell me some of your ridiculous recruitment stories as candidates, hiring managers, recruiters!

Honestly, almost every recruiter I know would be happy to talk to you about your recruitment processes and how they can be improved - for free. Just ask.

I'm not just highlighting these because they make me tear my hair out. It's also because I care about the people I'm working with and I want to see my candidates treated fairly and my clients with their jobs filled.

To those who recruit well:


If you got to this part:

I'm a recruiter for Skillsearch Ltd in the games and interactive industry, specialising in C++ Programmers. I've worked in recruitment for 3 years so probably don't know everything yet (but remember years ≠ ability) and I work with a fantastic bunch of people and studios. I honestly love games, so I love my job.

This isn't an attack on anyone, so please don't take it as one. If you want to talk to me about anything, I'm moderately friendly so feel free to drop me an email or a request to connect on Linkedin. I also accept berating comments.

About the author Giles Fenwick

Giles runs our Gaming & Interactive division and specialises in forming tight knit teams, whether that’s for a studio or in our office. He represented his county at rugby for every age group from 12 onwards which no doubt helped him to cultivate his excellent understanding of team dynamics. Giles is known for his warmth and willingness to take time to work through any issues that may arise, although make sure you don’t try and share his food as then you won’t be getting a warm welcome – Giles doesn’t share food!

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