The 3 Minute Hire

Let’s look at how 95% of people are hired. Besides a little variability, almost every person, at some point in their career, has been hired in this manner.  Interview someone for an hour. If you like them, you make them an offer.  Sound about right?  Sure you might actually add some other steps, like phone screening first, a second one hour interview with someone else, but your reality is, it’s an hour interview, and the decision is made!

We’ve taken the one hour interview and expanded it with science.  We add pre-employment screens, cognitive testing, background screens, personality profiles, etc.  But, we still go back to the one hour interview.  “Well, Tim tested off the charts, all the data says, he will be a rock star, but I didn’t connect with him in the one hour interview.  I don’t want to hire him.”  We allow our hiring managers to do this, often.

A much better way to hire would be to have the actual candidate work with you for like four to six weeks, before you actually hire them.  An extended job tryout.  Pay them to come interview with you for 4 weeks.  That would actually be a better way.  It would probably limit your options for candidates.  It would leave you with people who are unemployed, the under-employed, those working consultant or temporary type of jobs, or those people who love your brand so much they would be willing to risk it all to prove to you, that they are the one you really want.

Or, you can continue on the one hour interview platform.  But take away all the other stuff.  In fact, take away the one hour, and just do an initial impression interview.  It might take about 3 minutes.  “Initially I really liked Tim!  Let’s do this.”  You would virtually get the same exact candidate as you do with your one hour process.  But you would save so much time, effort and resources.  Your hiring quality and retention would almost remain unchanged.  That would be the second way.

1. Extended Job Tryout Hire

2. 3 Minute First Impression Hire

Reality is, most would be more willing to do the 3 minute First Impression hires than the Extended Job Tryout hires, even though one leads to actual better hires, and the other does exactly what you have now.    We fear that changing to something we view as ‘radical’ will be worse than what we have.  Even though, we know it won’t.  So, we keep doing what we do.  Scheduling one hour interviews and hiring those people who we ‘felt’ the best connection with.

If I was you, I’d go with the 3 minute interview.  It’s simple.  It’s the same. Your hiring managers will actually like the new process.


5 thoughts on “The 3 Minute Hire

  1. I do not agree with this as its not practical and the concept has nothing to do with “HR killing innovation”. Here in NZ, Employment Relations laws wouldn’t allow it due to the implied relationship between the employer and the candidate from an ‘extended work tryout’. Also, how would you justify the case where a candidtate has to leave his original job for four weeks with no certainty of employment.. Not fair. Hiring aside, the importance of HR being innovative all through the employee lifecycle is critical. A lot can be done to bring the best out of an average hire even. Also, I reckon innovation depends on how you choose to think about something and not just the process that’s in place.

    • Abhi,

      I’m not saying it’s realistic. It’s more of a knock on the one hour interview process most use now, which is primarily ‘do I like you or not in this small sample’. If that is the case, why even interview and waste the hour, just pull a ‘qualified’ resume out of the stack and make an offer. I do think companies way under utilize job tryouts for any length of time.

      Thanks for the comments,

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