What if you just hired without interviewing?

I have this idea floating around in my head that there is this line. The line is where information about a candidate begins to make us less efficient in hiring. Could be too much information or too little information. That’s really the entire crux of our hiring process.

At which point does the amount of information we have on a candidate make us inefficient in hiring?

Seth Godin has a concept call he calls “A/J testing“, instead of what most of us use in business as A/B testing. In A/B testing we test two possible outcomes that we believe to be fairly similar to see which one works best. In Seth’s A/J testing you test two possible outcomes that you believe are very different.

This got me thinking about what if we just didn’t interview. We posted, we sourced, we did some screening, we might even do some assessments, but then we just make an offer and have them show up. That’s our “J test”. We hire ten candidates that way, all for the same job. Then we do our A test as our same old process for another ten candidates.

What do you think your outcomes would be?

Here’s what I think would happen:

A test = same results you have now.

J test = slightly worse results than what you have now, but with an extremely lower time to fill.

In high volume hourly, with moderate to high turnover, the J test, might then play itself out as a better overall result if you are getting people hired faster. If we are truly no better than a coin flip when it comes to interview selection, does the interview really matter, especially in high volume?

This is just one example of a possible J test in recruiting and HR, there could be endless tests. You could J test compensation models, team structures, flexible scheduling, etc.

The key is to every once in while test something that no one else is. That is attempting innovation. That is pushing boundaries.

5 thoughts on “What if you just hired without interviewing?

  1. If our success rate in hiring is just as good as a coin flip, doesn’t that tell us the our process needs to be improved. As long as we are still using outdated, “rock-age” recruiting processes like posting generic job descriptions, waiting for the candidates to find us, and yes, ineffective behavioral interviewing, we will always have poor results. Shouldn’t we identify the essential bottom-line deliverables for the positions, and then utilize performance-based practices in every phase of the talent process — recruiting, screening, interviewing, selection, on-boarding, development, performance management, goal alignment, and retention.

  2. Tim – I find your thought process fascinating. When I started recruiting about 23 years ago I was a manager for an upscale restaurant chain that was opening a new location. We interviewed non-stop for days on end in a trailer in the parking lot of the restaurant. We did a quick skills assessment with each candidate and a quick interview, before moving on to the next candidate. We needed 50 employees, so we hired almost 100. It was a mind blowing experience. The management team all agreed that we knew (or pretty much knew) who would be successful and stay on past the opening and who wouldn’t, after only spending about 20 minutes with each candidate. I am forever grateful for this experience.

  3. Anytime you have an unstructured interview process with people who haven’t learned how to evaluate candidates effectively, you’re basically hiring without interviewing anyway.

  4. No one else has had the opportunity to interview for a “marketing specialist” role with a “new energy provider” at an abandoned office park where there are two people – the receptionist/HR director and the interviewer – where the only thing you are told is to “bring a resume and dress professionally?” I guess I’m the only one gullible enough to fall for this humiliating cattle call – twice.
    I’d hope the onboarding process would fill in a lot of the blanks from the lack of an interview and that both candidate and hiring manager have reasonable expectations.

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