Why It's Time To Dump Your Old-School Hiring Practices - InformationWeek

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Why It's Time To Dump Your Old-School Hiring Practices
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jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2016 | 2:17:05 PM
Re: Adding to the problem
Not the same; the first is actual performance, the second is hypothetical.  I'm not saying that interviews are unimportant (quite the opposite), but that by themselves, they are insufficient to assess the level of actual proficiency.  And the only thing resumes are good for is screening; and most of the time, they're not even very good at that.

What does qualify as actual performance in a technical setting is an actual example of one's work.  For example, it has long been my employer's practice to assign an actual programming problem to applicants for programming positions.  An engineering candidate could similarly be given a design problem.  Nowadays, it would even be possible to ask a system administration candidate to submit a virtual machine configured in accordance with requirements given by the prospective employer.  I even once read a story in which the owner of a garage asked a prospective mechanic to diagnose a car right there on site (struck me as good practice).

No sane employer would ever hire a graphic artist or a photograper based solely on paper credentials and an interview (even multiple interviews).  I don't understand why anyone would hire a techie that way.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2016 | 12:24:27 PM
Re: Adding to the problem
@Joe - I think we have somewhat of a similar stance in that - I think resumes are a waste of time and don't yield much useful information about a candidate.  I'd like to see a shorter version of a resume implemented somehow where you list your job titles and skill set, not describe the general tasks you do every day.

But my "it's just the way it is" point is this: certain things aren't going to change anytime soon, so until they do, if you want to get ahead or your foot in the door for that matter, you need to play by the rules.

I work in the legal industry as well.  I like to workout before or during work hours.  Why can't I just come back in my yoga pants and finish my work?  Well because we have clients coming in and out and it wouldn't look good because we have a certain image to project.  But can't I do my job just as well in yoga pants?  Sure, but that's just the way it is.

It's the same reason you don't go to court in pajamas to argue a case - the judge would throw you out.  Why?  Can't you litigate regardless of what you are wearing?  Sure, but that's just the way it is.  Appearances matter, unfortunately and that's true of your resume as well.  It conveys information about you regardless of how smart or skilled you actually are.

I'd change the entire system if it were up to me.  I'd do away with computer screening of resumes entirely.  I'd have top candidates come in and actually work on some projects for a few days and see if they fit.  That's a true work sample.  But it is costly and most firms won't make that investment up front, they would rather pay for it later.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
7/25/2016 | 11:32:38 AM
Re: Adding to the problem
> you best put your best foot forward

You get no disagreement from me there.


>  It's just the way it is.

Competent and successful CEO I know just last week said "If I ever find myself saying, 'That's just the way things are done here,' it's time for me to retire."


> You have to play the game.

It's a losing game is my point -- for both sides.




 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
7/25/2016 | 11:27:46 AM
Re: Adding to the problem
It's virtually the same.

Director at audition: "Demonstrate to me how you perform this song/monologue/scene."

Interviewer at audition: "Demonstrate to me how you solve this problem."  (ESPECIALLY in the technical fields.)

Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
7/25/2016 | 11:25:17 AM
Re: Adding to the problem
Sure, they're not the same thing precisely, but speaking as someone who used to direct film and theatre both in school and for a living (before my legal career), I'd say it's more or less the same insofar as they involve performances.

And, having been on both sides of the table in both auditions and job interviews alike, I've observed that -- in general -- the performances in auditions tend to be the more genuine ones.  ;)
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2016 | 10:56:45 AM
Re: Adding to the problem
Not really.  In an interview, people talk about the job; in an audition, the applicant performs.  I don't pretend this is realistic in occupations, but I think it is in the technical ones.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2016 | 1:55:58 AM
Re: Adding to the problem
No - it's not actually.  An audition requires a performance - a interview is someone asking you some pre-selected questions. What an audition ultimately provides is a work sample, which - although it isn't frequently employed in most companies becuae it is time consuming and takes quite a bit of effort to implement - it is the one scientificantly proven means of predicting successful job placement/proformance.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2016 | 4:10:33 PM
Re: Adding to the problem
Well you are comparing apples to oranges. A 70 page brief versus one page. Im not promoting zero tolerance but again it's one page. HR doesn't know anything about you so if you want to get a look you best put your best foot forward. Even if it's not from a human. It's just the way it is. You have to play the game.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2016 | 12:25:23 PM
Re: Adding to the problem
@jries: Isn't that what an interview is?  ;)
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2016 | 11:20:18 AM
Re: Adding to the problem
> It's just sheer laziness to turn in a less than perfect one.

It's sheer laziness to turn in a resume riddled with substantial errors and formatting issues.  We agree on that.

A single typo or missing punctuation mark, however?  Not sure I'd go so far as laziness (at least, in all -- or even most -- cases).  I think we've all sent an email or memo or other document that had a regrettable typo.

(For my own part, I once turned in a 70-page brief to the Massachusetts Appeals Court that I spent consecutive sleepless weeks on, rereading and proofing the dang thing a zillion times as I tinkered with it.  Turns out I left a few typos.  NBD.  I still won the case, my career remains intact, and I'm sure the panel of appellate judges don't think I am a lazy or incompetent person.  Indeed, the opposing counsel on that case has since referred me clients.)

The "sheer laziness" philosophy sounds suspiciously like the old (and failed) consulting practice from the '90s of telling employees that if you can go a second without making a mistake, you can go a minute, you can go an hour, you can go a day, you can go the rest of your life.

I'm not saying, "hey, don't worry about typos."  You and I are totally agreed there.  I'm only saying that if you employ an entire department (or automated software system) to determine the best people to employ in your organization, and one of that department's primary and automatic exclusion policies is having zero tolerance for even the slightest typos no matter what, regardless of context or anything else the candidate may have to offer, you should fire that entire department and hire some human beings who know how to think.

HR people (esp. bad ones) concern themselves with typos.  Meanwhile, when CEOs and other top execs bring in people themselves without the help of a "professional" recruiter, they have more important things to worry about than, say, if the potential hire has a superfluous punctuation mark.
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