“No, you can’t wait a week to retake a pre-employment drug screen, after you’ve already tested positive for methamphetamines,” was my response to a potential hire’s inquiry.

Human Resource professionals have to deal so often with crazy situations in the workplace, even to the point of becoming desensitized to outrageous behavior. Recruiters typically make up a segment of an HR group, or work closely with HR and hiring managers during the interview process and onboarding. In my opinion, recruiting is one of the most difficult professions. No matter what industry, company or size of an organization, the recruiters are overworked and deal with immense pressure from management who tend to have sky-high expectations of securing the “perfect” hire.

These are some of the most nightmarish situations recruiters are tasked to solve for and how pēpəlwərk can take over the reins to help alleviate the stresses on a recruiter.

People Lie, and This Will Never Change

Don’t you wish you could add a lie detector test to your interview processes? The reason recruiters ask for references and skill assessments is people lie.  Since FBI resources are not available to just anyone in Corporate Recruiting, recruiters must make the most of word of mouth, reference checks, and skills tests.

For a good chunk of my recruiting experience, I recruited for customer service positions. We required a basic computer competency test and typing assessment to be completed as a part of the screening process. Due to limited resources, it was difficult for hundreds of candidates to share a few onsite computers to complete the process. As a creative solution to the lack of time and resources for high volume screening, we decided that a candidate could take the assessment at home. Our vendor at the time had the ability to email assessment links, so it was very convenient. I think you know where I’m headed with this story at this point. Yes, it was great to show hard data that a candidate “passed” our tests, but it turned out many cheated. Candidates would be hired, show up on their first day, and obviously struggled with basic tasks that should be a breeze based on the assessment. We could only conclude these candidates had someone else complete the assessments on their behalf since the mismatch of skill was unmistakable once they started the job.

It really looks bad on a recruiter to have hired a seemingly qualified candidate through due diligence, yet recruiters still face the issue of wasting time and money on deceitful hires. Reference checks and assessments are the answer to weeding out these bad apples, but the time it takes to successfully manage this process is crippling. To add insult to injury, the time it takes to finally get back to the hiring process after onboarding one of these double-dealing candidates, another handful of competent applicants could already be working away at their new jobs. pēpəlwərk stands out of the crowd of most services by administering heightened validation processes, ensuring authentic results.

Long Turn Times from Job Posting to Hire

If you are a recruiter, you know that there is a wide range of high-volume applicant tracking systems for sourcing a single position that requires a skillset…that no one seems to have.  Hiring managers have gotten into a bad habit of overselling and over complicating their job descriptions to the point that no one can qualify for the job.

Average time-to-fill ranges from about two weeks to four months, depending on the industry. The reliance we have cultivated on keywords to screen applicants have left tons of qualified candidates out in the cold if their resumes didn't include *just the right* words. Keyword screening also encourages "spray and pray" on the part of applicants, as they create multiple versions of their resumes to send to anyone and everyone offering a job.

Employers are guilty of posting "entry-level" jobs that require two to three years of experience, offering salaries well under market value to see if they can get a desperate candidate to bite, and posting jobs publically and then filling them internally with a candidate they already knew they were going to hire to begin with. And, the bain of the recruiter's existence: declining every single candidate interviewed and then reposting the job. The hiring manager could have already trained a person in the time it takes to get from the job post to onboarding!

This all increases the time to hire and adds to the frustration of not only the recruiters but the hiring managers (not to mention the candidates).  pepelwerk solves these problems by focusing clearly on the skills needed for the position and matching them with the skills that candidates bring to the table. We want to reduce the time to hire and give employers qualified candidates. These things are not mutually exclusive.

Chaotic and Inconsistent Interviewing Practices

Companies are plagued with poor reviews that target the unpleasant experiences potential hires undergo. One only need to check one of the many online company review sources, such as Glassdoor to see what I mean. These reviewers pick apart everything: the company’s website, the level of ease when submitting an application, the timeliness of being contacted, the types of questions asked during interviews, the way they were spoken to, and whether they got a good feel of what the company is like. The list goes on, and they’re all equally important when attempting to attract the best talent.

Through my time as a recruiter, I have faced many opportunities to experience, assess and think through solutions to improve interview processes. Processes include improving job descriptions, skill validation assessments, background checks, and overall vendor relations that touch any part of talent acquisition.

Companies that do not have consistent recruiting processes tend to be more susceptible to recruitment discrimination lawsuits and other prohibited practices outlined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

It is important to have checks and balances in place to support that an equal opportunity was administered, whether or not someone feels discriminated against during the interview.

I personally recall a time in which my manager told me that they received a discrimination complaint from a potential candidate that I interviewed earlier that day. The candidate also threatened that she was planning on making a claim of recruitment discrimination to the EEOC for not considering her for the job, due to her being pregnant. I was shocked, of course, because she didn’t even look pregnant! How was I to know? Aside from that, she was not qualified for the role.

In these dire times in the recruitment world, ensuring that processes are in place and good records of job requirements, completed assessments, reference checks, and background checks help protect the company if the result is the candidate not being a good fit. No matter the type of role, or department a company is recruiting for, it is also important that all candidates go through the same experience. A misstep of showing any kind of bias will only hurt the company if a discrimination claim is involved.

pēpəlwərk utilizes clear, consistent sourcing of candidates, orderly interviewing practices and assessments that are designed to ensure not only the candidates have a seamless experience, but also assurance that any legal claim against the company will be soundly refuted.

Although I do not miss recruiting, it is a relief that companies like pēpəlwərk are dedicated to advancing technology in the talent acquisition space, which helps keep these nightmares at bay.

Amanda Imperial
Boss of Product and Projects