An article on BusinessInsider.com argues that the interviewing process most commonly used by managers today may, in 50 years, be viewed as out of touch and antiquated. While author Ed Baldwin may be correct, his 50 year time line seems distant from the reality that hiring managers face today.
“So you hire a programmer without actually making them do any programming? Yep. You hire a sales person without actually seeing if they can sell? Yes, that’s right” proclaims Baldwin. It is indeed a reality of today’s business world that most positions are filled based on the perception that the candidate will succeed. The person you hire is perceived to have sufficient experience based on a resume. They are perceived to have a level of aptitude, based on a diploma. It is perceived that they will be an asset to your team based on the opinion of an individual who no longer employs them.
In today’s business climate, making the right hiring decision is tougher than ever. At our office, we recently advertised an administrative position that generated more than 700 resumes. In over a decade of management, I have never seen a single job posting gain such attention. These 700+ applicants were indicative of a job market where high school graduates, college graduates and seasoned professionals are all vying for the same jobs, even in cases where those jobs are significantly “less” than the skills or experience of the applicant.
The question remains, then, how do you truly find the best people for your open position? Baldwin answered the question through his quips about hiring programmers and sales people without making them demonstrate that they can program or sell. As a hiring manager, avail yourself of opportunities and processes that allow you to view the work of the person you plan to hire.
There is no better assessment of an applicant’s suitability for your position than to actually have them do the job you are hiring them to do. By having your candidate perform the job, you will clearly understand work ethic (do they spend more time on Facebook than they do working?), skill (are their computer skills as advanced as a Commodore 64?), knowledge (were they really a contributing member of that project team or were they that team member everyone wants kicked off the project?) and commitment (is your position a part of their career path or are they simply using you as filler until they can find that next step?). In the words of John Keats “Nothing ever becomes real ’til it is experienced.”
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