Last month, I saw Chorus Line on stage. It's music was memorable from 28 years back when I saw it on Broadway. But I found I had totally forgotten the storyline which is about an audition for a chorus line. Four women and four men are all that are needed, but more than that show up. The director must make hiring decisions. Sound familiar?
Organizations face similar situations everyday. Hundreds apply for a single position. Perhaps it is easy to whittle the applicants down to a qualified group. But does skill guarantee a happy marriage? How do we get to really know applicants in a short space of time?
Zach, the director in Chorus Line, offered a serious lack of structure during the audition. He asked each of the dancers to "talk." Without any framework, the conversations moved from surface stuff to inner feelings and how their lives were affected by key life experiences.
I walked away from the show thinking about how "canned" most interview are, often using a set of prescribed questions provided by some expert. And how is this working for most companies? Apparently not so well. According to DDI, more than 51% of all the employees hired in 2012 have buyers remorse. Of those disillusioned employees, 88% are planning their escape. A big complaint among these disillusioned employees is that organizations do not accurately describe the work.
Yes, we need to hire people who have talent. We need skills to do this effectively. But we also need to get to know each other. Applicants need to know the organizations to which offer their talents. They need the truth about the job. If organizations can be truthful about who they are and what they need, perhaps applicants will follow their lead and reveal more about who they are and what they can offer.