Monday, June 02, 2008

Innovative Interviewing

Heard two stories on unusual hiring techniques on NPR recently. One was about Zappos - they try to tempt new hires into quitting. The idea is to see if the employee is motivated by money or by work. While it is clever, I am not entirely sure if it can really weed out all the bad apples. The serial job-changer will not bite bait for $1000. They will likely hang around until they have learned enough to be able to update their resume and then scope the market for a bigger, better deal. A vast majority of people will want to stay employed in a down market. It would just not make sense for them to trade a regular income for $1000.

The other story was about a more promising technique. Instead reviewing piles of resumes to shortlist candidates and then going through a long drawn out interview process that yields iffy results at best, have candidates attend a random meeting that one or more of their prospective team members are in. Once they are done, ask them what they gathered from particapting and how they think they could contribute to the solving the problem at hand. This is something I can totally relate to. The ability to hit the ground running is specially critical for short term consulting engagements. You don't have the luxury of figuring the lay of the land out over a year or more.

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