This is how not to get the job
This is how not to get the job

A recent column of Nick’s about hiring the right person or the most skilled got me thinking about hiring. Finding the right people is tough. So is finding the most skilled people.
As part of my job at No Limit, I’m in charge of the recruiting efforts. Unlike the courtroom where people are innocent .....

A recent column of Nick’s about hiring the right person or the most skilled got me thinking about hiring. Finding the right people is tough. So is finding the most skilled people.


As part of my job at No Limit, I’m in charge of the recruiting efforts. Unlike the courtroom where people are innocent until proven guilty, my mentality for hiring is that you’re not qualified until proven qualified. Any candidate has their work cut out for them.

Whenever we post a job posting, we get hundreds of applications. This is a blessing and a curse. I’m thrilled that so many people want to work at No Limit, but LinkedIn allows the masses to lazily click the “Apply” button, without having to put in any effort beyond that to reach a hiring manager. Often, profiles are left blank or very thin, which immediately go into the trash.

In our job listings, we always request a cover letter and tell candidates to not even bother applying unless they include a cover letter that is more creative than “To whom It concerns, I’m the perfect candidate and here’s why.”

Once I finally weed out folks that haven’t included a cover letter or have a very thin or unqualified background, I then study each person’s resume. I love interviewing people with backgrounds that are not in public relations – so we still cast a pretty wide net. At this point, I usually still have at least 50 applications that look interesting to me, with more coming in every day.

Writing is such an important part of No Limit Agency so I always include a writing test as the next step in the vetting process. There’s no point in wasting anyone’s time (on our end or theirs) if they aren’t a fit for us in a writing capacity. If someone isn’t a good writer, they likely won’t thrive here or like the work.

I recently got a follow-up email follow up from a candidate who applied for a job – and during the craziness of the holidays, I didn’t have a chance to reply. She was someone whose writing test wasn’t really in line with what we were looking for and we had moved on to the next stage.

A few weeks later, I received another follow up email that said she hoped I wasn’t solely using the writing test as a qualifier – which seemed “obtuse” and “archaic.”

I would imagine that in most companies, particularly ones in as busy of an industry as ours, replies to applications are few and far between. I pride myself on replying to as many folks as possible but if I replied to all applicants or salespeople that emailed me in a given day, I would never get any work done.

Needless to say, although I had already decided she wasn’t a fit, this obviously sealed the deal.

I thought I had come up with a surefire way to vet out candidates that wouldn’t be happy here (or vice versa). I was shocked to receive a fairly scathing email, from a person claiming to be following up on the status of a position, criticizing our process.

What is the secret? Should I be talking to every single candidate that applies for every single job? Part of me thinks there has to be a good process in place; but my immediate next thought is that so much of hiring is based on gut instinct.

Would love any input! Just don’t call me “obtuse.”

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