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Submitted by ccollis on


I'm wondering if others have experienced this.... I employ professionals that may come from anywhere on the continent as long as they are eligible for licencing in our jurisdiction - so to get applications of interest in response to an ad from far away places is not unusual. 

We're located in a holiday destination city that is very popular with both Canadians and Americans.  Tourism is a very significant part of our local economy.  I think I've just been through my second "Holiday" Interview where by the distantly located applicant initiates correspondence in response to an advertisment for an associate position and we arrange an interview and while here, they visit family, take their vacation and then return home.  Upon post interview correspondence, they've decided to "keep their current position". 

It's my thought that they never had any intention on taking the job to begin with, they were just looking to make their vacation tax deductible.  I'm looking to see if others who live in holiday destination locations experience the same and if you've found any methods that can sort out those who really have no intentions of taking the job.  I realize there is no sincerity meter but perhaps others have found hints or tips that may weed out holiday makers from genuine applicants.   

Looking forward to your words of wisdom!



mrreliable's picture

From your description it seems there is a very close connection between the application/interview phase and the job offer/turn down offer phase. Usually there are a lot more steps between application and a job offer.  Are you saying you want qualified applicants to be predisposed to accept your job offer? I think you might be unnecessarily limiting your talent pool.

If the position you're offering is a cherry among the professional group, and they're lining up and clamoring to get in the door, you can (must) be very selective in screening the applicants and going through the evaluation process.

In most cases when rounding up applicants for a position, in order to land the best employees you need to sell your company to them as much as vice versa. If folks are walking in your door because you are located in a destirable destination, that's no different from a retail store that does something to draw attention to create foot traffic. A successful promotion gets bodies in the door. It doesn't matter how they got there, and even if some don't buy anything, the increase in traffic will result in an increase in sales.

Again, unless the position is a cherry and the applicants are already sold on it, I would suggest it's up to you to identify your top prospects and sell them on the position regardless of why they walked in the door. If it's someone who will benefit your company and you want them, who cares why they came to town in the first place? If you were bogged down with people waiting in the lobby all day long that would be a different story, but you said this may be your second holiday interview. I would suggest going after the best prospects you can find and don't worry about all the nuances of why they walked into your office.






mattpalmer's picture

It sounds like you're conducting in-person interviews pretty much straight away after the resume filter.  I think this is an ineffective process for any position, but for your situation, I'd increase the rigour of the phone screens even more, to filter out anyone but your true top candidates before you take the time and expense of arranging in-person interviews.  You still run the risk of a holiday maker, but you reduce it by reducing the number of people you interview in person.

Also, take Mr Reliable's advice to heart and sell the bejesus out of your organization to your applicants.  That way, if you do happen to get a top shelf holiday maker through to the in-person stage, there's a decent chance you might be able to turn them around and have them decide to join you after all.  Turn a potential negative into a positive!

timrutter's picture

I agree with Matt, start making the phone screen/interview a tougher hurdle.

I work in the Fly In Fly Out construction industry in Australia, so we rely heavily on phone interviews to get down to a list of viable candidates due to distance and remoteness of work site locations. It's an efficient, cost effective use of your time.

A good, probing 30-45 minute phone interview really weeds out the sort of applicants you are talking about. 


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