How to Perfect Your Hiring Knockout Questions

How to Perfect Your Hiring Knockout Questions

How many of you have been inundated with applications to your hiring ad?

With the unemployment rate at 13% in June 2020, many business owners are having this problem (although, it’s a good problem to have!). Even still, it can get seriously depressing sifting through application after application of candidates. Most of them didn’t even follow the instructions and some may not even live in your area, am I right?

I’ve even heard of some pet sitting companies getting over 100+ applications on a single hiring ad. That’s a lot of responses to go through!! And out of those 100, usually, they will only hire 1-2 people.

Look, you’re a busy business owner and every minute is precious. So today, I’m going to give you some tools that you can use RIGHT NOW to smooth out your hiring process and free up your time by crafting the perfect knockout questions.

What are not knockout questions?

Knockout questions are meant to be qualifiers – not a substitute for your interviewing questions. They are an important first step, but they should not replace your phone interview, video conference, or in-person interview.

The goal is to determine if the candidate is even worth moving to the next step. You’re trying to identify if the candidate even has the potential to be a good fit, which requires them to meet your non-negotiables. As funny as it sounds, it’s a lot like dating!

Let’s go through an example.

Say I’m hiring for my pet sitting company that’s based in Phoenix. One of my knockout questions is “What city do you live in?” Now, a candidate has applied for the position and is based in Chandler (a neighboring city). Since the candidate does not meet the basic criteria for the position (i.e. being based in Phoenix), I won’t even see their response. Pretty neat, huh?

But how do you even go about setting something like this up? It sounds pretty technical, right? Well, that’s where JazzHR comes in. They are my recommended software for streamlining your hiring process, and setting up knockout questions couldn’t be easier.


What are some examples of good knockout questions?

Your knockout questions are your non-negotiables. They ensure that every candidate you look at has already jumped through those hoops, saving you from a negative emotional experience of weeding them out.

Let’s dive into some great examples that you can use right now in your business:

  • Are you willing to care for both big and small dogs?
  • Are you comfortable with both dogs and cats?
  • Are you able to lift up to 50 pounds?
  • What city or zip code do you live in?

…and more! Guess what – I’m about to simplify this for you even more. Did you know that JazzHR actually gives you a list of FREE knockout questions for pet sitters & dog walkers when you sign up? I told you they’re amazing.

Now, say you repost your hiring ad a few months ago now, and a candidate that has already been automatically rejected through your knockout questions applies again. JazzHR will catch that just by their phone number or email, so you don’t have to waste any precious time reviewing duplicate candidates.


So, how do I set up my knockout questions?

I don’t know about you, but I am a VISUAL learner. So instead of telling you how to set these up in Jazz, check out this video below, specifically at the 8:02 mark.

Jen, Customer Success Manager at JazzHR, will walk you through exactly how to:

  • Set up your knockout questions
  • Save your knockout questions
  • Show you how to create different knockout questions for different job postings



Let’s talk about rejection

Nobody likes rejection – but it’s a necessary evil in the world of hiring. Our resident HR expert, Niki Ramirez, encourages pet business owners to adopt a policy either to send rejection letters to disqualified candidates or not.

What you don’t want is the same candidates applying to your job over and over again because they think you just haven’t looked at their application. You guessed it – we have a solution for that, too!

JazzHR allows you to save customized email templates, so you can save preloaded rejection letters and all you do is have to hit “send.” Feel free to save different rejection letters for different reasons, if you’d like.

You might be thinking, “Yikes, it might not look so good if a candidate applies and immediately get a rejection letter afterward.” With the customized email templates, you can actually choose when you want the letter to be sent out to the candidate. So you never have to worry about the candidate learning they were instantly rejected!


The bottom line

One of the things in this world that we can never get back is time. It’s one of our most precious resources. I’m on a mission to get you more of it, and I guarantee you that using JazzHR is one of those ways to get you there.

So what are you waiting for?

Click here to learn more and receive 50% off ($100 savings!) off of JazzHR’s Plus Plan.

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