The 21st Century Job Interview

The Future is Now clock

Source: axismediasolutions.com

A few months back, I blogged about entrepreneurship and its value in a society with more distaste of corporate power and cradle-to-grave employment. Read it here. In a separate post, I argued that the Millennial generation is struggling with 20th century constructs of leadership and are fighting for a more meaningful career where they can be empowered, have mentors, manage their own brand, be trusted, and take on challenging assignments.

Because of these shifts, I believe the 21st century job interview will involve fewer resumes, cover letters, behavioral-based interviews, follow-up phone calls…all of the things I have written passionately about in the recent past. The interview will be reconstructed around action-based projects and having the applicant complete them on the organization’s dime.

Why?

Because the 20th century interview process is costly and still does not lead to a hire that is greatly productive within the first month or two. The organization still needs to see physical action, on behalf of the person hired, to learn how the she will work with others, her leadership capacity, emotional competence, etc. With the cost of losing and replacing an employee exceeding 150% of her salary, organizations have no choice but to construct realistic job previews to hire full-time employees right the first time.

The most successful companies already understand that elite talent will only be had by engaging and interesting projects where individuals will have a chance to impact meaningful change. If the organization cannot offer that, it will not be considered as a great place to work and grow one’s career. For select organizations, project work and hiring is now a part of the branding and on-boarding process.

If you are in career transition, or considering transition, there are a few avenues for you to explore to test drive an organization and allow it to see how you can make it money, save it money and mitigate its risks.

1. Volunteer – read my blog about this here.

2. Staffing Agencies – Savvy organizations are “trying before buying”. They hire temp labor and put them through a 90-day trial period. If the hire adds value, she can be brought into the organization full-time. If not, she is sent back to the staffing agency.

3. Outsourcing – I know numerous entrepreneurs who have provided services to larger organizations only to be offered lucrative careers inside the organization. Starting your own LLC can coast as little as $50; don’t be afraid to consider this route an effective one.

If your organization isn’t using one of the above to hire right the first time, consider one or all as ways to save money and speed up the recruitment process. If you are looking for a new full-time employer, consider dipping your toes in each of the above buckets to land with your next employer.

The knowledge economy requires innovative approaches to landing the career of your dreams.

Stare mediocrity in the face and dare to be unique and indispensable.