Re-inventing the job interview

6 09 2006

I’ve been monitoring with great interest the idea and reactions to Seth Godin’s post The end of the job interview. He questions our current job interview process and proposes an interesting alternative.

Perhaps it’s time to take a hard look at our hiring and interview processes. Are they serving our needs and requirements or creating future problems?

Reinventing the job interview and hiring process makes perfect sense when we reflect that it was developed for a 20th century workforce that consisted primarily of manufacturing laborers.

The 21st century, brings an abundance of knowledge workers and forces us to ask what is the best method to determine if they are right for our organization. The interview and process required in order to understand the potential employees abilities are very different for knowledge workers.

The top leadership and management jobs in our companies have always been filled by candidates that have come with recommendations from other companies or executive networks. This provides a certain level of security that they had the skills in the old job, but no guarantee they will succeed in your organization and corporate culture in the future.

We are already seeing a shift in how we hire and select candidates. The use of networking and on-line social networks are allowing job seekers and employers access to individuals (at all levels of the company) who come with a certain degree of “recommendation”.

Dr. Ellen Weber has added her opinion to Seth’s ideas at Brain Based Business. Her piece Seth wants to bury job interviews for his own alternatives adds scientific and psychological perspectives as to why or why the concepts might just work.

David Maister lends his voice to the discussion with a resounding “I’m of the belief that the overwhelming majority of recruiting interviewing is a complete waste of time. In Screening for Character he argues that we should be hiring attitude and character, and our goal in the hiring process is to identify these traits. But there is a catch. We are not trained to do this. He suggests that candidate recommendations from others that we respect and trust are our current best method to assure “success” in the hiring process.

It’s a profound, extensive and obviously well known dilemma in our society and organizations. We know exactly what’s broke and not working well.

Now, who knows how to fix it?

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3 responses

10 09 2006
Reynold

Maybe Ricardo Semler of Semco does. In his book ‘The Seven Day Weekend’, he describes a recruiting process which is run by the colleagues and direct reports of the position being hired – in other words, the people who will work on a daily basis with the person being hired and will depend most on him or her.

Despite a seeming recipe for chaos, Semco’s revenues have grown from $35 million to $160 million in the last six years. It has virtually no staff turnover, and there are no signs that its growth will stop any time soon.

Semler also lets his employees set the terms of their employment: hours, wages, even their office technology.

Too bad there’s only one Semco and it’s in Brazil.

16 09 2008
Bob Parsons

great article about the job interview. Until it’s improved we just need to keep practicing!

http://www.mockquestions.com

14 08 2010
Jen

It is an interesting suggestion; his new interview method. I do not think, however, it is one that will sweep the nation. For some good old fashioned interview practice check out:
http://www.practiceinterviewquestions.org
interview preparation

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