Daily Nuggets: Blog
Funding ideas, motivational nuggets and stories from For Impact.

Projects Are the New Job Interviews [Talent]

Tom Suddes | May 14, 2012

Michael Schrage is the author of one of my favorite books, SERIOUS PLAY. Writing recently at HBR, he tackles a HUGE issue Hiring the Right Talent with a great and practical idea: Make PROJECTS the Best Way to Determine Someone’s a ‘Fit’!

“Resumes are dead. Interviews are largely ineffectual. LinkedIn is good and portfolios are useful.

But PROJECTS (my bold caps) are the real future of hiring.”

This fits into my own recommendations to almost anyone trying to find the right TALENT.

    1. Profile the Job/Role. “If the job could talk (as my good friend Bryan Driscoll says)… what would it say about the role and job?” This is particularly important when you’re moving to a new Model or Methodology, e.g. For Impact, Today | Tomorrow | Forever, Sales, etc.

    2. Hire for Attitude… Train for Skill. I’ve seen this rule violated so many times because the ‘candidate’ had all the right stuff/skills on the resume… but their Attitude was totally wrong.
    3. Try It – Test It. This is why I love this article. Bring somebody on as an Independent Contractor for 30 days, 60 days or 90 days… and give them a Project to actually see if they can make it work. This also is a great way to determine personality fit, attitude, etc.
    *Don’t just sell me on yourself… DESIGN something. PLAN something. WRITE something. SELL something. DELIVER on something.
    ***Weird. A few days ago, I had just responded to a senior development officer at a large university who asked about a new Director of Development. Since this was an internal move, I suggested he give him the ‘Interim’ title for 60 or 90 days to just see if it works.

Final thought from the Old Guy. I have hired and helped hire hundreds (thousands?) of people. Clearly, it’s one of the most important things that we all do. It’s ridiculously easy to hire people; and sooooo hard to let them go.

Take the time to do it right.

***If you are a For Impact Organization and need help with this search/hire/train part… give us a call. We are getting pretty good at it.


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