Hiring is a process that creates too much risk. It needs a bold makeover. As practiced by most companies, hiring is illogical. We are encouraged to evaluate a candidate’s fitness for duty with no real data. Why is it considered normal to make a hasty decision about a long-term commitment? That’s not merely illogical, it’s stupid. It is easy to hire someone and radically difficult to fire someone. Nonetheless, we hire as if we’re afraid to truly know and test the person.
For the large, financially healthy, and smart companies (that’s a small group) there are answers to this conundrum. They use longer interviewing processes, extensive testing, and finely tuned assessment centers combined with real applied work to evaluate potential new hires. This substantially increases the odds they will find good talent that will mesh with the organization’s culture. Very cool – and ridiculously expensive.
So what’s the answer for the rest of us? Consider these five bold ideas that decrease the risk of hiring by increasing the odds that the person will make a lasting contribution to the organization.
First, stop pushing out a bunch of bull and start using realistic job previews. Think brutal honestly. You want people to begin with their eyes wide open. My favorite example was from an internship I found as an MBA student. I was interviewing with the president of a small software firm. He was refreshingly blunt about life at the firm. He ended the meeting with a tour, and started with the bathroom. I was nervous as I followed him through the door of the men’s room. He turned to me and said, “Son, look around. The floors are dirty and the urinals stink. Are you sure you want to work here?” His description was accurate, and it was an awesome place to work. Learn the remaining switchandshift.com tips.