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Exclusive: Retailer blasted for ‘ridiculous’ hiring process

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
16 August 2017 2 minute readShare
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Luxury linen and homewares retailer Sheridan has been criticised for an “over the top” and “ridiculous” hiring process that is driving away talented job candidates.

Scott Dugan told My Business exclusively about his “unnecessary” experience of the recruitment process employed by retailer Sheridan, ironically for a recruiter position, which he described as a low-level retail recruiter role.

“I had to go for an interview initially with the recruiter, then I went for the first interview actually at Sheridan which was with the senior HR manager. Then I had to go for another interview after that with one of the regional managers for Sheridan, and then when I was talking to the recruiter for feedback after that one, they wanted me to do three hours of psychometric testing, which was an hour-and-a-half verbal and then an hour-and-a-half written, and then come in again the week after for a fourth interview,” he recalls.

“And they wanted me to take the three hours out of my weekend to do the psychometric testing.”

According to Scott, it was at this point he asked to have his application withdrawn.

“That seemed to me like a real indication of how it would be to work there, so I wasn’t ideally looking for a kind of rigid, uptight kind of a workplace environment to work in.

“Secondly, it was just... I wouldn’t say offensive, but it was unnecessary for that level of the role as well.”

Scott, who has previously held senior recruitment roles with News Corp Australia and other major companies, says recruitment colleagues and loved ones alike were aghast at “how ridiculous that recruitment process was”.

“Certainly when I was interviewing for much more senior positions at other companies, and lots of the recruiters that I was dealing with, when I would mention that as well – not necessarily mentioning who the company was, but just that particular instance – were also quite blown away,” says Scott.

“I was speaking to a very high-up recruiter the other day for a very well-known recruitment agency; when I told her about it, she just burst out laughing.”

My Business understands that Scott was told Sheridan had multiple vacancies which it was struggling to fill, which he suggests is a reflection of a hiring process that is turning off good people from applying, and instead pushing them to competitors.

“Employers like this need to know when they’re going over the top because they are going to be missing out on such great candidates,” he says.

David Cawley, regional director at recruitment firm Hays Retail, agreed that too many interviews can be counterproductive for employers.

Employers need to be careful to not drag the recruitment process out as candidates will become frustrated and may even secure work elsewhere in the meantime,” he told My Business.

“There isn’t an ideal number of interviews though; most of the time it’s dependent on the job market and the supply and demand of the particular skills in question.

“Generally, there is one job interview with the employer and quite often an assessment centre or psychometric testing.”

David adds that a one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment is unwise, given that different roles and levels of seniority require different assessments.

If an employer does not tailor their approach to suit the seniority of the position and the soft skills it requires, they’re unlikely to find the right person for the role.

Scott has since begun a new role with a different company. Sheridan was contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publishing.

Exclusive: Retailer blasted for ‘ridiculous’ hiring process
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the former editor of MyBusiness and a senior freelance media professional, specialising in the fields of business, personal finance and property. In 2020, he also embarked on his own business journey – inspired in part by the entrepreneurs and founders he had met through his journalistic work – with the launch of customised pet gifting and subscription service Paws N’ All.

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