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angle-left Does any company need 6 rounds of interviews?

DOES ANY COMPANY NEED 6 ROUNDS OF INTERVIEWS?

19th July 2019

Leading authorities in recruitment now use AI to assist with selection and are considering whether references add any real value when technology such as blockchain has the potential to allow the fast and accurate verification of work histories. Yet while such innovations are advancing the world of recruitment, there’s at least one Australian organisation that still maintains as standard a six-round interview process for all roles, regardless of seniority.

A contact of mine has just been through this interview process. It involved a functional interview, skills interview, cultural interview, peer interview and two Skype interviews.

The job on offer was not a CEO position, but a standard mid-level role in a mid-size company. Many of the questions asked were repetitive, with little apparent communication from one interview stage to the next.

This made me reflect on the time commitment this company expected from both the candidate and their existing employees who were conducting the interviews. What insights could possibly have been gained from the fourth interview that couldn’t have been obtained from the second?

Maybe there’s a level of arrogance involved. Perhaps this organisation believes that their standing in their market is so strong that any candidate should be happy to go through such a lengthy process for the possibility of working for them. Or perhaps there’s a consensus culture in which people struggle to make decisions.

More likely, someone designed the recruitment process a while ago without input from others, and it has since taken on a life of its own.

In my experience, two face-to-face interviews are usually sufficient to gain all the necessary insights required to make an informed hiring decision. Of course, there will also be some form of initial assessment to ascertain who gets to the interview stage, and perhaps some follow up conversations to iron out the details. But the face-to-face formal interview component of any recruitment process can normally be restricted to two solid meetings.

I am interested to hear from anyone who has a different view. Do six interviews result in better hires or people who stay longer and perform better?

AUTHOR

Richard Barnett
Client Solutions Director, Australia and New Zealand

Richard has over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in the Australian recruitment and HR services sector. He has particularly strong experience in the IT recruitment sector, gained over a 15 year period as General Manager for one of the country’s largest IT agencies. Outside work, he has been on the Board of the ‘Australian Network on Disability’ since 2008, helping guide the country’s leading body for the development of employment opportunities for people with disability.