Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rigorous assessment pays off

It's great when the mainstream press gets assessment right. It doesn't happen a lot, so I want to make sure to point out a good example.

Ellen Simon (AP) devoted a recent article to employers that, even in a tight labor market, put job applicants through the paces.

Some of my favorite bits from the article:

- Employers that recognize their employees are an integral part of their brand. If your employees are unhappy, not trained, or otherwise a bad fit, customers (and potential applicants) notice.

- This quote from Rackspace Managed Hosting CEO Lanham Napier: "We'd rather miss a good one than hire a bad one." Without getting into Type I versus Type II errors, let me just say that Mr. Napier demonstrates the wisdom of someone who's seen what a bad hire can (or can't) do. (Check out their refreshingly simple career portal)

- The fact that Rackspace interviews last ALL DAY. Yep, all day. In this age of "I only have 30 minutes for the interview", that's darn refreshing.

- The wonderful use of realistic job preview videos by Lindblad Expeditions that show employees cleaning toilets and washing dishes. Says Kris Thompson, VP of HR, "If they get on board and say, 'This is not what I expected,' then shame on us." Check out how their online preview video combines push with pull.

I don't agree with everything in the article--I'm not a big fan of the idea of secretly judging people on their waiting room behavior--but all in all some great examples here to recognize.

(by the way, the HBR article Simon cites, called "Fool vs. Jerk: Whom Would you Hire?" is here.

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