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Interviews don’t work. But don’t worry, I have the answer.

By MITCH SULLIVAN Published 7th Nov 2013
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The Washington Post recently published a blog that suggests there is no evidence that interviewing job applicants prompt better hiring decisions.

My own 143 years of experience in the recruitment industry (that's dog years by the way) has brought me to a place where I find myself agreeing with this premise.

I’ve seen too many candidates who have almost totally matched the brief I’ve been working to, not get the job.  Sometime I’ve even squirmed with embarrassment for the Line Manager when listening to their attempted rationale for hiring someone, when all they really wanted to say was “I've just got a hunch about this candidate".

So what do we do about recruitment selection to make it fairer for everybody concerned?

This is a tough one and I’m sure it’s a question that the Recruitment Futurologists (the planets true “failed recruiters”) will dissect to death over the coming months.

So, putting on my borrowed recruitment futurology hat, I pondered this same question for what felt like a lifetime, but was in fact only 7½ minutes.

You put all of the shortlisted candidate’s names into a hat (or a big drum if it's a big shortlist) and basically do a prize draw.  First name drawn gets the job, second name gets the job in case of a counter offer and the 3rd name gets an M&S voucher for 25 quid.

You could turn it into a bit of an event, get a few beers and nuts in and maybe Youtube it as the theme for a new employer branding video.

OK but seriously, what difference would it make to British industry if companies selected candidates this way?  Would work performance really suffer some seismic shift downwards?

Think of all the management time could be saved not having to interview people to fill jobs, not to mention the reduction in stress.

No doubt some Big Data nerd will come along soon and tell me that this is the future.  No wait, that’s what the Futurologists guys do, right?

Seriously, run with the Tombola idea for a while.


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253 weeks ago, by James
The real genius of this approach is that you'd end up only hiring lucky candidates. Imagine for a moment the potential benefits of an organisation which only comprised lucky employees. Okay, you'd lose your very best people to lottery wins on a regular basis but it still has a lot of merit.
253 weeks ago, by Steve
Haha - I so absolutely concur with the root sentiment of this post.

I like the idea though - This could be a TV Show - with you the host Mitch!!
Call it something like `Desk Factor` - and make it like a virtual race to the desk - with penalties for the use of generic phrases like `Team Player`, `Self-motivated` and `Good communication skills` on their CV.
253 weeks ago, by Martin
Mitch, Good start, but I think you've been allowed your thinking to be limited by your imagination. Steve's idea about taking this to reality TV has real scope:

You're Hired: Appointing by tombola (you get the credit for this one)

You're Fired: Watch organisations make random employees redundant because it's getting to the year end, sales have been rubbish, so the best thing to do is to take people out. We could have hidden camera's as they tell their families the news. There's a happy ending as the company re-employs them because it's the new trading year and everybody is feeling optimistic about the future again (Although they've done nothing to sort out their sales).

You're Promoted: We watch as the boss promotes somebody they like. Or because it's "their turn". Imagine the hilarity that would follow if the promotee isn't trained.

Sorry. I'm being silly. These sorts of things would never happen in real life....
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