There is a growing movement to change the way businesses recruit new team members, one that seems counter-intuitive but is freakishly effective. In short, place obstacles in front of those applying to work for your company in order to ensure you are bringing on people that are truly committed and possess the right attitude for your workplace.
Economist Steven D. Levitt and journalists Stephen J. Dubner, bestselling authors of Freakonomics (2005) and SuperFreakanomics (2009), have released a new book called Think Like A Freak (2014) that encourages readers to consider new ways of approaching common tasks in life and business.
One of the strategies Levitt & Dubner espouse is to "get your garden to weed itself" during the hiring process. Most traditional hiring processes rely on the use of resumes, testing and 1-on-1 interviews to select candidates, ideally from the largest possible applicant pool. Most hiring managers focus primarily what skills the candidate possesses and a disproportionately small amount of time looking at indicators of attitude. What if there were ways you could get the wrong candidates to de-select themselves for you?
The authors recommend adding additional steps to dissuade people who may not be truly serious from applying, rather than having simple clicking a button or send an email with their resume. Companies balk at this suggestion, fearing that it will limit the candidate pool. Doesn't a wider pool mean better candidates? Not necessarily. Imagine the benefit of "weeding out" those not truly committed: fewer resumes to read, fewer interviews to hold, lower chance of having a newly hired person quit after a short stay.
Levitt & Dubner also reference the policy of U.S. shoe company Zappos to offer new hires $2,000 to quit at the end of their training process. CEO Tony Hsieh says this helps them discover whether the employee "cares more about money or [if they] care more about this culture and the company” He reasons that any worker who opted for the cash wasn’t the right fit and would cost the company in the long run.
A Different Type of Hiring Process
The business coaches at ActionCoach, including our own coach Tony Roy, have been long-time advocates of a systemized approach to hiring that includes multiple opportunities for a candidate to de-select themselves.
Our company has used many of the recommendations of ActionCoach's Hiring Process. We have found that adding fairly benign obstacles during the application process, including requiring candidates to leave a voice message during specific hours answering three easy questions, helps us to:
Here is a summary of the ActionCoach Hiring Process:
Benefits of the de-selection process
The purpose of the process is to ensure that the candidates applying for the position:
For additional tips on reference checks and interview skills, check out our previous blogs:
Want to learn more?
Gain more insights at Clear Path's upcoming learning session, Hiring & Firing Effectively on September 25th. Click here to learn more and to register. You can also contact Anna Aceto-Guerin anytime to answer your HR questions at (519) 624-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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