Have you ever heard of “10-minute interviews?” Not too long ago it was a hiring trend frequently used in some industries that began catching the attention of businesses in other sectors. The concept is simple: hold a mass hiring event where hiring managers and HR professionals conduct super fast interviews to get first impressions of job seekers.

The thinking behind this approach is that first impressions matter and companies need new hires fast. But hiring fast can lead to firing fast. This practice only works in particular circumstances, like entry-level positions, where expertise isn’t required.

But the real question is, are you still hearing about 10-minute interviews? Probably not. The concept died down about as quickly as it sprang up. We’ve noticed that several other hiring trends and unconventional methods have followed suit. Hiring the right person is difficult, and for many companies, it’s their number one challenge. Unfortunately, when it comes to hiring methods managers may have picked up a few bad habits over time. Whether it’s solely relying on resumes (which are important, but just a snapshot of someone’s career and accomplishments) or other mysterious “voodoo” hiring tactics, the final results are historically unsuccessful. With so much on the line to hire the right talent, it’s time organizations ignore the hype.

In this article, we’ll cover a variety of “voodoo” hiring trends that have come and gone (and come back again) over the years, as well as why they fail. Then learn how you could be recruiting, interviewing, and hiring better.

Voodoo hiring practices are tactics created with a simple goal in mind: to help organizations hire faster and with less effort. Unfortunately, most end up with results that are costly and ineffective. Often these tactics are not proven methods of success or useful indicators of anything. And that’s a problem.

People are a company’s most valuable asset — hiring the wrong people can negatively impact your business and the team you have. Bad hiring decisions can lead to reduced productivity and increased levels of absenteeism. Popular recruiting trends can make a hiring professional seem credible and innovative, but they are typically just baseless pseudo-science that can’t guarantee a better hire. Here are 7 hiring trends that have failed the test of time and results.

Going with Gut Feelings

Much like the 10-minute interview, hiring managers and HR professionals will sometimes make decisions based on their “gut feelings” about a candidate. A great first impression is important, but if you go with your gut feeling, it’s like that’s all you get. You’ll only just scratch the surface of that candidate’s personality. Without a more in-depth interview, you’ll only discover superficial aspects of them.

It’s also important to note that gut feelings can be wrong. Your hunch about a person could lead to implicit bias, inconsistencies between candidates, and a reduced ability to adequately compare candidates. It’s not wrong to consider gut feelings, but these feelings should never substitute for gathering evidence and information about a candidate or formerly evaluating their competencies.

Death by Interview

The recruitment and hiring process for many companies is already often long and complicated, and some HR professionals are using it against candidates. This hiring trend seems to be running its course in some areas of late. Death by interview requires candidates to endure several rounds of interviews, so many that candidates become discouraged. The thinking is that this process will “weed out” top talent who is persistent, but it does more harm than good. Excess interviews and drawn-out processes hurt the candidate experience and your company’s reputation. And you could end up pushing away the right hire.

Death by Personality Test

Personality tests are often used to gauge how well a candidate will fit within your company’s culture. These tests and assessments help HR professionals to screen out candidates whose personalities may or may not fit a specific job. These tests can sometimes filter out candidates for the wrong reasons — not all personality tests and assessments are created equal. And many times, tests are used in applications there weren’t designed for.

Myers-Briggs, for example, is a popular personality test but is considered flawed. It demands that all people fall into one of 16 predetermined types, which can be misleading for businesses. Human beings react differently to situations depending on the context. Someone who seems introverted in the workplace might exhibit the exact opposite traits when in a social situation with friends or family. The other challenge is that the Myers-Brigg test doesn’t measure culture fit or even potential work performance, but rather compatibility and the likelihood someone will enjoy a particular role or work environment.

The Prosecutor

This is another hiring trend that is often used as a way to “weed out” candidates and involves asking tricky questions. Hiring professionals might use complex or oddball questions and scenarios in an attempt to trip up candidates who they might think are embellishing their experiences or accomplishments. Companies that use this tactic may find highly knowledgeable candidates in their hiring pool, but knowledge and ability to do the job aren’t always the same thing.

Red Light, Lane Choice

There are creative hiring methods and then there are random and highly ineffective methods. “Red light, lane choice” is the latter. Hiring managers utilizing this voodoo hiring tactic will have candidates drive to lunch as part of the interview. If/when they got to a red light and the candidate did not intentionally move to the shortest lane, the hiring manager could see that the candidate doesn’t have a sense of urgency. This one-off test based on how someone drives is not a solid basis for measuring or evaluating their skills and abilities as a future employee. Steer clear of this!

The Chatterbox

Interviews and friendly conversations may seem similar on the surface, but they are very different ways of communicating. Turning interviews into friendly chats, which may be enjoyable at the moment, doesn’t help hire the right people. Friendly chats do nothing to help interviewers collect pertinent information about whether the candidate will be able to perform the job. Most interviews typically begin with a set of seemingly innocuous questions, but they follow a kind of structured formality that allows the interviewer to get the information they need and allow the interviewee to ask questions about the position and company.

The Unlicensed Psychologist

HR professionals that utilize this hiring tactic often rely on hypothetical or even “bubble-test” questions like “Would you rather be at a party or the library on a Friday night?” These kinds of questions can force candidates into cognitive traps. This hiring trend is one way of trying to determine whether candidates a good fit for a company’s culture, but they’re not predictive of success on the job. Especially since savvy candidates might be able to see what is happening and embellish answers, making it difficult to see people for who they are — especially when a candidate is trying to showcase the most professional version of themselves.

Recruit, Interview, and Hire Better Candidates

You don’t need magic to successfully recruit or hire candidates. Don’t resort to baseless techniques or voodoo trends when trying to hire the right person. Successfully hiring a perfect fit candidate starts with how they are recruited and then depends on your interview process and how you hire and onboard them.

Recruiting

Making a perfect fit hire starts with your recruitment process. How are you sourcing candidates and expanding your candidate pool? What do your job postings look like? Is your application process simple and efficient? A refined recruitment process can help you attract and engage high-quality candidates. The process should be quick, clear, and communicative to maximize efficiency so that your company makes the right first impression. When you understand what candidates expect from the recruitment process you can develop one that exceeds expectations instead of just following the latest recruiting trend.

Interviewing

The interview process can be a make-or-break situation, and many businesses believe that the interview process is an easy task. However, interviews are a crucial step in the hiring process that allow both HR professionals and candidates to learn more about each other. Hiring professionals must be skilled and prepared enough to establish structure and thoroughly evaluate candidates. Whether the interview is good or not falls on the interviewer’s shoulder, and a poor interview experience can reflect poorly on your company.

Hiring

Does your company have an official hiring and onboarding process? If you do, is it being followed? Hiring a perfect fit for your company doesn’t end after they’ve accepted the position. You need to move your new hire through a process that transitions them into their first day of employment effectively and efficiently for a better chance at long-term success. This means you need to create a defined and highly structured hiring process that keeps your goals in line, needless costs low, and the search process targeted to avoid errors or ultimately hiring the wrong person.

Some of these recruiting trends may seem like a fast and easy way to narrow down the search, but they do more harm than good. Voodoo tactics and other hiring trends rise in popularity and then fall to the wayside because they don’t deliver successful results. These unproven tactics may seem like they fast-track the process, but will likely leave you stuck with someone who isn’t a perfect fit for your company.

Successfully recruiting, interviewing, and hiring your perfect fit talent requires an intentional strategy with a defined process for each step. Trying to skip steps or use alternative methods may work once or twice, but in the end, the costs and time will be greater with bad hires, declining company culture, and even negative impacts on your brand image.

Ignore the hype of recruiting and hiring trends that seem too good to be true and promise results with minimal effort. See in detail all the pieces you need in place before launching your recruitment process with our helpful guide.

a guide to the recruitment process