Are you brave enough to try this hiring experiment?
I felt compelled to write this post after learning about a client’s recent recruitment experiment. The results could redefine the way you hire as we enter the future of work. I would like to refer to this example as the future of hiring. Hiring based on potential rather than solely on past performance.
My client (I will call her Margaret) wrote a simple post on Linkedin. Margaret’s mandate is to transform the business into an enterprise of the future. Margaret decided against advertising the job. She wanted unique people. And her gut feel was that they would not apply to a traditional job advert.
So instead, Margaret posted an article. In it, she described the project and its importance to the business. Interested people were asked NOT to send a resume. Instead, just answer two questions;
How would you go about transforming a business that was reluctant to change but faced with extinction?
Why are you interested?
The results were fascinating.
Margaret received close to 400 hundred responses. She discounted 95% immediately. Most responders declined to follow the simple request and answer the two questions. They sent a copy of their resume or directed Margaret to view a Linkedin profile.
Interestingly, every person who sent a resume was from the same industry, in a similar function. Did they assume themselves to be a natural choice for selection? Perhaps some people thought it below them to answer the questions? Maybe others did not read the post correctly?
Margaret took a different view. Many people could demonstrate technical capability via their resume. Margaret’s key interest lay in peoples soft skills; she can teach people the technical stuff. Some of the questions Margaret asked herself when assessing each candidate were;
- How will hiring someone from a competitor, in a similar function bring about a different result?
- Is it smart to hire someone who can’t perform a simple task?
- Is this person demonstrating they are collaborative or do they have an ego problem?
- Is this person demonstrating attention to detail?
- Is this person able to communicate effectively?
Hiring for the future of work.
The most intriguing answers to the questions came from the people who did not have industry experience.
Margaret invited five candidates for an interview using this approach. What impressed her most with the five people was their aptitude, attitude and approach to problem-solving.
Two people were hired following this process. The only involvement by HR and recruitment during the whole recruitment programme? The coordination of interview times.
Could your recruitment practices be outdated?
Margaret asked me if I thought she had done the right thing by discounting the 95% of responders who sent their resume.
Do you think Margaret did the right thing?
I wish more businesses would show similar resolve when hiring. Resumes focus on the past and tend to promote our own bias on suitability. A resume may help assess technical competence. It will not help assess potential.
I personally think she did – and I wish more businesses would show similar resolve when hiring. Resumes focus on the past and tend to promote our own bias on suitability. A resume may help assess technical competence. It will not help assess potential.
HR within the business advocate the traditional hiring process. Advertise, assess CV’s, interview the shortlist and hire the best person. Margaret is convinced that had she followed HR’s advice; she would never have even met the two people she hired.
Is the tried and tested recruitment process of the last century the best method as we enter the future of work?
Has Margaret stumbled upon the future of hiring?
How much potential could your business be missing out on by following outdated hiring practices?