Too Many Cooks in the Recruiting Kitchen: Simplify Your Hiring Decisions

January 16, 2013

Too Many Cooks in the Recruiting Kitchen: Simplify Your Hiring DecisionsIt is so cliché I am almost (operative word almost) embarrassed by using the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.” When it comes to discussing hiring decisions, however, this phrase is fitting. If you have too many stakeholders involved, something is bound to go wrong.
As a recruiter, the most difficult searches are ones that take several rounds of interviewing to get various parties sign off on a candidate. It’s a process that becomes tedious for both the candidate and the company.

A Negative Candidate Experience

From the candidate’s perspective, the longer the interview process drags out the less sure they are of the position and their security in the process.
A few years ago I was interviewing for a recruiting role at a finance company in Boston. I went through four rounds of in-person interviews and a personality test. The total process took four weeks of interviewing. A month of my life — gone. And it was for an entry-level role!
In the interim, I had also been interviewing elsewhere and received an offer. When I told the finance company I was taking myself out of process they were shocked and said I was their top choice. They certainly had a funny way of showing I was the top choice by having me meet with a total of seven people across all levels at the company. Lesson learned: No one wins when you over screen.

Tough to Make a Decision

Something else to consider when you have a convoluted hiring process involving multiple stakeholders is that it is tougher to come to a decision.
Envision trying to get feedback on candidates when you have four or five people weighing in. It’s difficult to get everyone on the same page, let alone in the same room. Someone will always play devil’s advocate, and that can throw a wrench in the hiring timeline. Sometimes the only thing that comes out of having more people involved in the process is having even more people as a tiebreaker.


This issue goes back to setting expectations up front with your team and the candidate.

  • Get crystal clear internally: Make sure your internal team has a clear understanding of who will be involved in the hiring decision.
  • Be up front with your candidate: Be sure that you clearly delineate the hiring process to your candidate so they know what to expect.
  • Stick with the plan: Don’t throw in additional interviewers ad hoc as it creates chaos and contributes to a poor candidate experience.
  • Trust your gut: Remember, you may never get a unanimous thumbs up from your stakeholders, so trust your instincts on a candidate.

What other tips can companies use to simplify their hiring process?

Senior Corporate Recruiter

<strong>Lindsey Gurian</strong> is the Senior Corporate Recruiter at <a href="">Acquia</a>. She was previously a Senior Talent Specialist at Sonian, responsible for recruiting initiatives at both the firm and its portfolio companies.