Let’s face it: NO ONE enjoys jumping through hoops…BUT…we tend to jump a lot, don’t we? I know as a working mom to three young children, my hoop-jumping game is stellar, to say the least. Merriam-Webster defines the idiom “jumping through hoops” as the act of doing a “complicated or annoying series of tasks in order to get or achieve something.” Who knew this was even in the dictionary? Nevertheless, I love Mr. Webster’s choice of words to describe this common phrase…complicated or annoying. Quite the contrast, right? Complicated implies these hoops could be challenging. Annoying is quite the opposite. Personally, I choose to view those complicated hoops as a challenge…that’s the competitive athlete in me, especially if the outcome is rewarding. The annoying hoops, though, seem to be just that, ANNOYING. The Cambridge dictionary defined the popular idiom using these words, “to have to do a lot of things that seem difficult or unnecessary in order to achieve something.” Cambridge seems to think the hoop jumper’s perspective plays a part in determining if the hoops are difficult or unnecessary. Difficult and complicated OR annoying and unnecessary, hoops are around every corner. It’s important for us to examine those hoops and how they might play a part in the key areas of our firm. In today’s blog, let’s look at hiring hoops and how they might be deterring potential team members from applying to become part of your organization.
If you were to ask a marketing director or someone in direct sales if they want their advertising to cause their potential customers to jump through hoops to buy their product, what would they say? Well, NO, of course. I can imagine you would say the same of your clients. You don’t want them to jump through hoops to find your firm, and I can bet you’ve worked relentlessly to make your sign-up process seamless and non-hoop-like, right? Part of the customer service aspect of your firm relies heavily on a streamlined procedure. The same needs to be said of your hiring process. My colleague, Kendall Abbott, wrote an incredible blog series on creating and nurturing unforgettable first impressions. (If you missed them, check out Part 1 and Part 2.)
Your hiring process could be a person’s first glimpse of your firm. What first impression are you creating? Have you taken a deep dive into what you are asking potential team members to do before they can submit an application to work for you? Could your expectations be viewed as flaming hoops of fire? They might not seem that way to you, but from the candidate’s perspective, they could be very annoying and highly unnecessary. Keep in mind these hoops might look good to the insider, but are they really serving the right purpose and getting the best candidates through your door?
The Top Three Hiring Hoops to Avoid
Take the time to look at your hiring process as if YOU were the candidate. Are you making a good first impression through what you are asking the candidate to do and the language in the ad? Do the hoops communicate the warm and friendly culture you’ve created at your office? Or do they come across as difficult and annoying? While some of us find it fun and challenging to jump through hoops, others tend to shy away from them. In the end, the hiring process isn’t a game. If your application process isn’t clear and concise, you could be losing those quality candidates you are so desperately searching for.