Have you ever correlated hiring and dating? Sounds weird, isn’t it? If you just put your thoughts together; you ought to find a big fundamental similarity between the two.
In both cases, the two parties aim really high for demonstrating their best behaviors. Whatever the case may be, whether it’s a success or an unwanted failure, the stakes are quite high at both ends.
The result can be quite taxing if not handled well. Hence, the need to reduce the error in finding the right match with a good culture fit tops the priority chart of every employer. One such strategy used by some innovative organization is “Mass Audition”. Let’s understand what this means and what the process is all about.
How does the process look like?
In Mass Audition strategy, you invite applicants at your office or at a common area, which has some operation setting in place. You will need an open and big space for bringing in a setting that mimics the company’s operation. Give applicants a task which they have to work on in the same setting. On the other side, ask your existing employees or your hiring teams to observe and take notes on each candidate.
After the candidates complete the tasks, discuss with your team what they have actually observed. Discuss the day’s events; decide which candidates are the best fits for the company and then seal your shortlisted names. Have an open discussion on observable skills like collaboration, problem solving, confidence, and teamwork. Bring up the candidates one by one and keep the process of shortlisting on.
Which organizations are game for it?
A software firm Menlo Innovations holds mass auditions to help leaders find their best-fit candidates. They pair up candidates and ask them to complete a task, but they’re told that the goal is to make their partner look good enough to be invited back to the next step.
The evaluators look for specific evidence of authentic collaboration, confidence and humility. You get 3 thumbs up to move to the next stage and 3 thumbs down will get you a polite rejection.
In another case, this talent audition formula gave Citadel (one of the most respected and successful investment firms in the world) a front row seat on efficient tech hiring. Citadel became inspired by how elite institutions recruit talent and observed how NFL coaches don’t ask prospects to describe catching a football. Instead, they watch them actually catch a football. So they partnered with ‘Correlation One’ and designed a day-long job audition.
Around one hundred students competed for cash in this talent audition by solving real business problems with data. The hiring teams kept an eye on the candidates by using a standardized process. They were evaluated and assessed over mostly everything from how they code and think, to how they lead and collaborate. And since then this strategy has been used over 10,000 participants yielding a rich pipeline of talent and dozens of good hires.
What are the benefits of using such strategy?
Mass audition strategy has some quick benefits. The top five advantages you would get by using this strategy is:
1. It brings in a more objective evaluation with reduced biases where the pitfalls of interviews are taken care of. Observing candidates in high-pressure situations that mimic work-life equation, gives a more realistic preview of performance.
2. It brings in faster decision making as the team has high stakes in influencing the decision.
3. An interesting thing is that you can learn more about candidates in two hours than other companies learn over weeks of interviews.
4. A positive and better candidate experience is observed in such cases as audition experience mirrors the employee experience, helping candidates assess culture fit.
5. It is incredibly exciting, both for the candidates and for existing employees, as it always has some fun element interwoven in it to increase the engagement level.
This hiring strategy also has a direct effect on employer branding. Such unusual methods of hiring generate significant buzz for branding and is a great tool to engage key talent. In fact, such kind of hiring process also helps you to test the culture fit from an employer perspective and gives an applicant a realistic sense of whether they’ll be happy and effective working for you. So next time when you are asked about some new and unique strategy of finding talent, don’t forget to try out the formula of ‘mass auditioning’.