Don’t hire people the usual (and expensive) way – let them volunteer for the job instead. Implement a voluntary recruitment programme and give a lot of people the chance to make the most of themselves.
Ask yourself this question: What does it cost to hire a person?
According to D.T. Philips (“The price tag of Turnover”, Personnel Journal), the cost of hiring a person lies between 75 – 150 pct. of the annual salary. Other studies indicate that the cost may even amount to three times the annual salary of the person hired. Add to this the fact that as much as 50 pct. of new hires will have left the organization after only 18 months - adding to the need for hiring more people.
IQ-tests, resumes, personality tests, clever questions – even job interviews, can only tell you so much. They can be manipulated and does not guarantee, that the person eventually hired, really is the right person for the job or whether that person actually fits into the organization or actually performs as expected.
But what if people were to volunteer for a job instead? What if a company gave everyone (or at least a screened group of people) the chance to excel in the company and dismiss those, who do not live up to performance standards?
Instead of paying through the nose for a single hire, implement a volunteer recruitment programme that will make it possible for several people, in a limited period of time, to show what they can do for the company.
Try a lot of people and keep the best
Implementing the voluntary recruitment programme will allow managers to test potential employees in the real workplace environment and to see some real performance, rather than relying only on persuasive resumes and gifted self selling tactics.
Better social and cultural fit
Current employees can also have their say in determining who gets to stay and who gets dismissed. Something they rarely do in 20th century organizations. This way those who get to stay also reflect a tried and tested social and cultural fit with the organization.
Failure rate of hiring will decrease massively
Since the voluntary recruitment programme will allow managers to test and cherry pick future employees, the failure rate of hiring will decrease massively, because the new employees eventually chosen will have had the chance to try out the workplace and to show some real results.
In order to implement a voluntary recruitment programme that fits the company, it is necessary to consider the following:
How are we going to pay the volunteers?
It might not be possible (or fair) to have people working for you as real volunteers (without pay). Though it may be possible to implement some base pay during the trial period, before people get the pay to which the job entitles them.
Should we have some initial screening process and how should it work?
Big companies receive thousands of applications and wouldn’t be able to hire them all – even if they wanted to. Implementing a screening process would limit the group of people who will be invited to volunteer. It is important to consider the flexibility of the screening process. Maybe, the talent you really need is not the one who can pass a high-level logical test, but she who is creative enough to find radical solutions to big problems. Maybe, the screening process should be more like a television talent show, where a group of seasoned employees act as judges, making the initial go/no-go decision?
This hack was developed by Kasper Lindoe Pedersen after a couple of years wondering how to translate the passionate character of voluntary organizations to the corporate environment.