Have You Ever Used This Quick But Risky Recruiting Trend?

Sight unseen hiring is the latest recruiting trend geared toward snagging talent quickly.
By: | November 28, 2018 • 2 min read

Would you be willing to hire someone sight unseen? According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, some employers are doing just that.

The Journal initially highlighted a few retail companies such as Macy’s and Bath & Body Works where applicants were hired immediately following a phone interview, which is slightly surprising considering the customer-facing role of these types of retail jobs. But the trend isn’t unique to retail workers.

A major driver behind the uptick in rapid hire is the low unemployment rate, which remains at 3.7 percent. Employers in certain industries, including retail, IT and education, are desperate to fill positions, so a speedy offer is appealing. And, in this competitive job climate, the old adage has never been more true: if you snooze, you lose.


According to the Journal, former recruiters from The Boeing Co. said they often hired qualified candidates following phone interviews for tough-to-fill positions in technology and engineering. A spokeswoman for Boeing told the Journal that the company seeks to hire a diverse workforce by creating “a contemporary candidate experience that uses the most current practices in candidate assessment.”

In Oklahoma, the public schools are dealing with major teacher shortages, which prompted the Tulsa Public School District to find creative solutions for hiring more teachers. One option is conditional job offers after successful phone interviews. One new hire, Jodi Dean, who occasionally worked as a substitute teacher, told the Journal that she received a conditional job offer days after a phone interview and was given emergency state approval to teach in the district. She plans to complete her teacher certification by May.

Other sight unseen hiring is happening at select CVS distribution centers, wherein new hires don’t meet with a human until their first day on the job. The pilot program is designed to snag talent immediately because, according to Jeffrey Lackey, vice president of talent acquisition at CVS Health, “any recruiter worth their salt knows that time kills all deals.”