Is the Hiring Process Broken?

isa2130953's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,301

An Amazon recruiter said that his stats were:

3,500 job applications, 50 phone interviews, 8 onsite interviews and ONLY 3 full-time offers.

A lot of people say this is a broken system, while others say that 8 interviews to 3 hires is a great conversion. The real issue here is the 3500 job applications to 50 phone interviews process.

Have you ever been passed for a job at the resume level that you were well qualified for?

Comments (86)

Jul 11, 2019

I was going to say 8 to 3 is not bad but the process of over 3000 to 50 is where theres a huge gap. Most likely they just run resumes through a machine and scan the wording to see who is the best fit. That's not a very new practice either it's been happening for a while.

Jul 11, 2019

Machine or not that's a lot of resumes to just scrap based on scanned and specific wording. If that's the case than I think it is definitely broken...

    • 1
Jul 11, 2019

I agree somewhere in the middle.... @SNBOCBurry is right about it not being new but at the same time that doesn't make it a great practice. I also get that with big companies and a huge pool of applicants it is not possible to read every single one.

Plus we are also assuming they immediately tossed 3450 and did 50 interviews. They could have narrowed it down to 1000 and read those by hand, then chose the 50. I mean they technically can't just create more roles to fulfill the amount of applicants they get

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

    • 1
Jul 11, 2019

Comparing Amazon to other companies is a huge disparity though. In finance though for big banks, or any big company really, there's going to be a lot of competition. If you are working for a world class company with benefits and exposure lots of Ivy League's and pros will be fighting you to the top. Understandably

Jul 11, 2019

What do you think the chances are that those 8 people that received on sights knew someone at Amazon?

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jul 11, 2019

Honestly cannot answer that but a friend of mine works for a tech giant (think apple, google, microsoft) and received offers from all of them without an ivy league undergrad or a CS degree. She got it by grinding and having a very intricate and specific resume for each company. She ended up only getting one legit offer but they all complimented her resume. I think people don't try enough on them and expect to get all the way through

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

    • 1
Jul 13, 2019

High. I think that's what missing here - it's not actually 3,500 applications. It's maybe 20 applications.....from people who know someone in the group that's hiring (or an adjacent group). Number goes up if a headhunter is involved

Jul 11, 2019

I think the process is, in general, broken. Forgetting the sheer amount of competition, but it's the hoops you need to jump through to even get a conversation with someone that makes it broken. I think the shift to ATS Screening online, the games that recruiters play, etc. makes it much harder for qualified candidates to apply in general. And even if you have the right pull, getting flagged requires the strings to be pulled too. I think that there needs to be a way to seriously change the hiring process and improve the entire system. Whoever figures out how to improve the system will be a billionaire.

Jul 11, 2019

Not to mention flying out to a company if you are employed but looking elsewhere and needing days off. Then having multiple companies expecting you to do this but not getting an offer. It can be so so stressful. A lot of large companies take forever to get back to you too

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

    • 1
Jul 12, 2019

If they even get back to you at all.

    • 1
Jul 12, 2019

A lot of companies are moving to video interviews for this reason

Most Helpful
Jul 11, 2019

you make a mistake in your initial presumption by starting at the wrong end.

There were only 3 positions available. The number of resumes they received is irrelevant...could have been 500, 5,000 or 50,000. For 3 jobs, they did initial interviews of 50 people, and then cut down from there...which seems totally reasonable.

The problem is that 3000 people thought they were good candidates...when in reality, most of them probably were not.

just google it...you're welcome

    • 10
    • 1
Jul 11, 2019

Right. I mentioned that in my other comment above, that ppl cannot expect them to make jobs just bc a bunch of ppl applied

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

    • 2
Jul 12, 2019

I agree with this 100% .. but would offer another follow-on point regarding whether or not there is a "brokenness" to the hiring system.

If 3,000 people applied, and maybe 100 were strong candidates .. the problem here is that you likely have a number of people who are really good candidates as well, but might not have the exact credentials and get weeded out by the machine. To ironman32's point - there is an overemphasis on exact skills and pedigree, when really attitude makes the real difference. If you've got a basic level of intelligence, I can teach you anything. Who wants to learn?

In my own real world example, I once hired a guy who had long-tenured direct experience for the role (trading assistant). It was a disaster... he was a terrible fit for our team, and was becoming a liability. We ended up having to let him go .. fast forward a few months later, and I ended up hiring one of firm's developers to fill the role. . This guy was constantly coming by me - asking about the business, clients, systems, trading, products .. etc .. He wanted it, he was hungry. It was a low risk flyer I took on him since he already worked for the firm.. but it worked out, and now he's one of our senior guys. This guy would have never made it past an initial HR screen for the role.

So I can't say what the solution is, as it is nearly impossble to tell from any part of the hiring process what someone's inner drive looks like. But I would agree that the ease of online applications creates a flood for HR and that many good candidates, including those from non-traditional backgrounds, will fall by the wayside.

    • 2
Jul 12, 2019

So, Its almost like someone who is directed in the correct direction (Networking) can make it farther, than the average joe. I get there are people who suck with high pedigrees, and people that are rock stars with nothing, but I think the key factor is what the focus on.

Jul 12, 2019

I work in VC and I am in recruitment for my firm and I always want to atleast hop on a call if the candidate took the time to send a long personalized CV and resume. The most I received is 100 not 3500 though. I know that personality matters tho 100% so I really let that dictate my choice

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 17, 2019

You're right that attitude, willingness to learn are important. Kudos to you for reaching him. The guy Robles nowadays is that no hiring manager is willing to teach. They all want someone with the exact experience to hit the ground running in day one. What you end up with is a game of musical chairs. If the guy is willing to switch from company A to coming B, doing the same thing for a few extra thousand dollars, what will stop him from doing that again 12-18 months down the road

Jul 17, 2019

Tbh, many of those 3000 are probably good candidates. Let's say that 1% of those 3000 are stellar candidates - that's 30 candidates. Still ten times more candidates than needed. At one point, regular metrics cease to be predictive, as all the candidates are pretty much indistinguishable, so you need to start look at other things.

Hell, sometimes it just boils down to dumb luck for some candidates. If you have tens to hundreds of candidates that are pretty much identical, but very few spots, someone's gonna get dinged on things they can't control.

Jul 11, 2019

50 phone interviews seem like a lot. The only way a company can get from >1000 to 8 is to play probabilities. Therefore, anyone not from a program or company that's proven to produce successful candidates or internally referenced should get sorted out on pure probabilities. That can often leave you with still too many candidates.

Jul 11, 2019

They have such high competition that for certain companies it is honestly a catch 22 for everyone

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 11, 2019

I think it's broken, mainly from the application process becoming so streamlined. You can now apply by sending in a resume and answering a few questions online, that spurs 1,000s of people applying for jobs for which they fit very little of the job description.

Also, a chicken or the egg problem exists, its extremely difficult to fire someone, and can take years as HR has to cross Ts and dot Is to avoid legal ramifications. This relates to taking more time to hire, as companies need to be sure they are hiring the "correct" person.

At the end of the day, companies (and the people who work/hire there) tend to over emphasis both their skills at identifying candidates and also the candidates ability to do the job. Most jobs now someone starting has to learn away, so its more about hiring a person with a good attitude. I don't think companies understand this point though.

    • 4
Jul 12, 2019

Is firing someone really this hard in the U.S.? I thought that most employers have at-will employment agreements at least for entry-level positions.

Jul 12, 2019

Firing can be because chances are if they hire someone new and they have a high turnover in that position it gets veryyyyy expensive. My last company I worked with an actual pathological liar/bum but they would not fire her bc they were afraid of the hire turnover. Eventually she quit and screwed them over with no notice (she left as classy as she came in). Then they had to get someone else and it ended up working for the best but I have seen other departments like a revolving door of new ppl in and out

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 11, 2019

I'm not sure those numbers make a strong argument for or against the hiring process, but what I do know....

If HireVue actually uses AI to score a candidate based on their mouth/eye/whatever else movements, that's mind blowing. There has to be some necessary evil when screening the amount of candidates large corporations need to, but I'm not sure that's it.

I think I remember seeing a BI article or maybe WSJ where this guy 'beat' the hirevue by just making sounds or something. By beat I mean his video was presented to a hiring manager rather than discarded by HireVues algo.

Jul 12, 2019

Well I respect that opinion!! That's why I am generally asking all for feedback. More are leaning towards the side that says it's broken though. It's definitely not perfect but it's tricky to know what exactly will make a great difference

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 12, 2019

I lean on the 'broken' side, I'm just not sure what the answer is given the amount of applicants to these companies

    • 1
Jul 12, 2019

So, Networking got you farther than just blindly applying to massive organizations.

Jul 12, 2019

Not networking, but MD's interviewing candidates HR chose and not being able to find suitable experience then finding me when they review those resumes HR for whatever reason set aside...

I got my current position through a senior 3rd party recruiter. He screened me then I had one face to face with the managing principal of the fund, who couldn't give a fuck about diversity or academic pedigree but needed a day 1 proven commodity.

    • 1
Jul 12, 2019

Even worse when they reply to you like 2 months later "you were in the top 3 choices but we already filled the role"....... like why would you tell me that if you did not interview me lol. People are weird.

Basically saying if you were the first interview you would have gotten it but we don't feel like looking anymore since someone else was good enough.

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 12, 2019

If they say that they are Lying and also Organizations change. A guy I know thought he has a job locked down his whole senior year of college and he set his start date for 2 weeks after graduation. Between Graduation and his start date they eliminated his position.

    • 1
Jul 12, 2019

there's really no need for drive by misogyny in the year of our lord 2019, bro

    • 2
Jul 12, 2019

I am noting a recurring pattern in my experience. Also, I legitimately believe women in the workplace is a net negative for men, child development, and society.

    • 2
    • 2
Jul 12, 2019
InVinoVeritas:

Yes, many times. This is usually because HR, particularly the women, are too ignorant to competently analyze resumes, instead looking for cheap buzzwords and university/company names they are aware of instead of reading and digesting the sum of relevant experience. Also, the diversity/inclusion mandates are completely out of control at certain firms.

I can't remember the number of times managing directors have reached out directly via email to me months after some idiot HR woman didn't give me the time of day on a screening call to ask me to meet with them 1 on 1 because they thought my experience was a great fit for the position.

You manage to bitch and moan about diversity and inclusion mandates, yet diversity and inclusion stats have looked the same since they first started collecting them. You're off base.

Everyone is going through the same shit. If you golf with people in the know you have a better chance. Why do you think you're having a difficult time and blurting nonsense out?

    • 5
    • 1
Jul 12, 2019

I'm not having a difficult time now, I got exactly what I want but it took tremendous grinding. Meanwhile, my buddy gets into a top 3 MBA program with a 3.5 undergrad GPA and basic audit experience because he is Hispanic (even though his father is a doctor and he grew up well off) then proceeds to get an internship at a top 5 development firm making near equal pay to what I make after 5 years of high-level experience.

Everyone is not going through the "same shit". Certain people are now protected classes while certain others aren't. You idiots are destroying meritocracy.

    • 4
Jul 12, 2019

.

Jul 12, 2019

It really is all about networking. Otherwise it's almost a lottery to get to a face to face. That sucks. However, in a way it's good. Networking is hard. It's a grind too. Lots of kids have to get way outside their comfort zone to achieve results. That shows how hungry they are and advances their soft skills dramatically.

Jul 12, 2019

If not broken, it is at the very least super flawed.
E.g. why keep IB internship applications open in November when it's common knowledge that, having opened them in mid-July/ August, all spots are taken?
It gives candidates so much false hope and is such a time waste..

Ofc one shouldn't apply if they're not qualified. And yeah if you're lucky you may be selected even in November. But in reality it's a black hole with no transparency

A Dutchman in London

Jul 12, 2019

Yeah it really is. I have had a lot of friends get super bummed over that

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 12, 2019

Looking from the outside in, it is as if investment banks go out of their way to make young people feel miserable without any apparent benefit to their organization...

    • 1
Jul 12, 2019

They just want to seem cool to get a bunch of starry eyes idealists tending hand and feet to the executives.... Half the jobs are given to senior-ed employees kids anyway tbh

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 22, 2019

Its even worse when all of the positions are filled before applications even open, yet they still open applications anyway for some reason.

Jul 12, 2019
isa2130953:

Have you ever been passed for a job at the resume level that you were well qualified for?

Deutsche Bank rejected me three times without giving me interviews. Im 4.0 gpa student with 1y relevant exp and professional exams. Good extracurriculars too (2 sports, president of society). In total, something like 100 apps & 2 phone interviews. idk whats going on man

/rantover

Jul 12, 2019

Maybe it's your resume? What's your relaxant experience?

Not saying this is your doing at all but their must be some reason to get you in if you're qualified

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Jul 12, 2019

Thanks for both of your concerns.

Of course I'm a non target.

Im not worried, I've accepted my odds. I just wanted to make someone smile/laugh and share my experience with online applications. Thanks for your comments once again.

    • 1
Jul 12, 2019

Are you at a target or semi target school? Also note that Deutsche Bank is in rough shape right now so it might not be you.

Jul 19, 2019

Your aren't a member of a Protected Class.

Jul 12, 2019
Comment
Jul 12, 2019
Comment