The Purse Seine Method

You know, I read a lot of posts, and give my opinion (whether unsuspecting strangers like it or not) on LinkedIn. I love LinkedIn, from military placement advocates, to marketing advice, you name it, there is a bevy of free information on that platform. And it rocks. 

One ongoing argument that came to my attention was how many interviews is ideal. And my brain went on a ride. 

My first instinct is to point to the data that supports a three to five interview process, based on the strategic level of the position for which you are hiring. 

But as I thought about it, the real thing hit me. Why aren’t companies simply telling candidates what to expect?

You can go to any website, and there is a ton of space capital spent on talking to customers and telling them what to expect. But the people who take care of your customers? Why do you shroud the interview process in mystery? To the people interviewing, why don’t you just tell the candidate up front what to expect? You can even do it in the employment ad, it really is that simple. 

I went to one website recently and looked at their employment page. It had “Join the Best Team in Portland” and a video with quick flashes of who knows what, and rock and roll music. Under that was a list of open positions pushed through the API of their Applicant Tracking System. Pretty anemic if you ask me. 

Which leads to my next thought, if you want people to customize their resume, give them a reason to customize their resume. Start by customizing the job ad. Then go to your website and give information on each department, real information, like how do the people get their job done, how do they talk to each other, how is communication handled (phone, email, chat), what backgrounds are successful. You get the picture. Paint your values beyond words, give the reader a glimpse into your daily life. Let them say “Wow! I want to be a part of that!” or “Nice, but not for me.”

Most recruiting utilizes a Purse Seine Net process. A Purse Seine Net is no good, you may be fishing for Tuna, but you get everything within that net, dolphins and other fish you don’t need. That decreases productivity to deal with the aftermath of getting more than you bargained for. And that is why recruiting is so dreaded, there is a high burnout, and engaging with third party firms is so expensive. I could go on about the metaphors of Purse Seine and recruiting and cutting nets. But I’ll spare you, for now.

Line caught tuna, while it takes more time up front, you know that what you have on the end of your line is most likely a TUNA. And you can expedite the dispatch, because well, you targeted what you wanted. 

So, put your marketing team to work. Invest in a couple more pages on your website. Customize the job ad to target the right person. Explain on the website what to expect, explain on the ad what to expect, and explain in the first phone call what to expect. Then it doesn’t matter if you have twelve interviews, the person on the other end, won’t be surprised. 

Simple, right? And yet, so few companies do it.

The Purse Seine Net method sucks. So, I am challenging you to set yourself apart, and be an industry leader. Set expectations early and often.

PS: If you want to know more about Purse Seine Net fishing - head on over to Wikipedia at