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Each summer, as our demand for seasonal help surges, we at Paddle North gear up for a hiring spree. 

This year, the response to our job postings was overwhelming. We were inundated with applications from qualified individuals eager to join our team. It was a stark contrast to the hiring challenges we'd faced in previous years. Reflecting on the whirlwind of interviews that ensued, I realized that I was ill-prepared to handle the influx of candidates. 

Without proper systems in place for note-taking and evaluation, I found myself struggling to keep up with the volume of applications. In hindsight, and with an eye toward improving our hiring process for the future, here are my field notes to myself to do better next year:

  1. Define needs more thoroughly: Before diving into the interview process, I should have had a more clearly defined need of what it is we are hiring for and what qualities we need on the team. This would have lessened the workload of interviewing so many people.
  2. Have an application method that is greater than managing emails in my inbox. I know tools exist, I just didn't know I needed them (until now).
  3. Screen Applicants: The screening process is essential when faced with a high volume of applicants. For us, this meant scheduling short phone calls with each candidate to assess initial fit and interest. Most candidates who passed this stage were then invited for formal interviews at our office.
  4. Take notes! There are entire books and blogs you can read on how to conduct interviews, but my process is simple: Have a conversation and see if there is a fit. In the past this has worked fine, but when conducting a higher volume of interviews with different candidates, they can all blend together quickly. Take detailed notes!

In the end, I was able to find some really excellent additions to the team. We have 4 new people joining Paddle North for the summer and I couldn’t be more stoked! Here’s to improving the interview process, next year, both for myself and for the candidates that spent their valuable time applying.



Follow Pete online at @peteyboardman



If you need help with talent acquisition or HR, I’m your girl! Let me know if I can help you seasonally or more!

Shanna Larson

As someone who has been applying for jobs in my own field, I appreciate your desire to be more thorough next time. It’s been so frustrating to apply for a job in January and hear back in March. Reading your thoughts on the process reminds me why I do business with thoughtful and intentional companies like Paddle North!

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