I wanted to write this article for several reasons – the first is that I learned about a number of recruitment methods yesterday – the second is that I was absolutely thrilled and excited – the third is that I realized that this opinion was not at all shared by the applicants.
So I wondered who was stupid – bad, in France we say: fascist – in the story. Naturally, I think that it is the others who are complete idiots.
But as I am not fundamentally dishonest, I think that the imbecile can be me – the problem, when you are an imbecile yourself, is that you don’t realize it at all.
So I leave it to you to judge.
So yesterday I watched a very, very specific documentary work on the methods of a recruitment firm for a sales executive job at a large insurance company.
All applicants were invited at the same time, for a period of two days. Facing them, a kind of jury of professionals.
There were candidates of all styles, some very young, some senior, some pinched, some laughing – a nice panel.
The head of recruitment then explained that they would all be participating in different workshops and that at the end of this, the firm would likely choose one of them for the job.
He began by telling them that no one on the jury had read their resumes – and that the company was selecting a person, not a resume.
So far, so good.
So he offered them the first practical workshop, since they all said they were competent in sales: they had to sell their neighbor’s application for the job.
That’s when I, the village girl, exclaimed: But that’s brilliant!
And that’s when I, the same girl from the same village, realized that I must be missing some human elements? the candidates, interviewed separately afterwards by the reporter, were absolutely scandalized.
The documentary then shows the work of the pairs, and in cutaway shots, the opinions of the participants – ? am I clear?
Several candidates were outraged because they had, they said, come to ‘sell’ themselves, and not at all their neighbors.
Some tried to tone it down and thought it was a good test.
The girl from the village thought that these people had already gained a big advantage over the others.
There were some quite amusing moments – “I’ve got shiny eyes? yes yes, say that,that I’ve got shiny eyes” – but on the whole, all the candidates asked their neighbor to tell them “what to say”.
And the first duet begins.
It’s obvious when you watch that it’s the performance of the one selling, the one speaking, that’s important.
But since they were probably afraid of being too good, they did everything to not “sell” their neighbor at all. So here they are, entangled in pathetic arguments: he has shining eyes, he wants it, he is old but he has experience, he is over 50 so he is available to work from 8 am to 10 pm etc…
Good thing I wasn’t on the jury – I would have ended up laughing.
– I’ve been on juries every year for over 20 years, I probably have to admit it now, maybe my understanding is skewed because of that? –
And when the one person who, I thought, understood the role-playing issue came by, I expected to be blown away.
She had started out by saying, in her interview, that she found the exercise easy.
The old jury member in me flinched – when you think it’s easy, that’s a bad sign. But hey, this lady seemed to have experience.
Here she was, selling her neighbor’s application.
Objectively, of all the candidates, she performed the best – she had organized her ideas, she had put them in the right direction: belonging to a large group.
Objectively, in itself, it was completely irrelevant, because she never asked her famous neighbor about his professional skills – she went for the human, the good guy who loves his kids? so what? what does ????
And then came the interventions of the members of the jury.
Then, a great moment.
One of the candidates, a senior, had come in a shirt, without a tie.
This launched the debate on what to look like when you want this kind of job.
And there, all the characters appear, in barely two seconds (or maybe it’s my skill: old, old teacher used to judge the troops in less than 4 minutes to be able to hold them? )
The little nervous one came out first – the guy had no nerves or self-control.
The armored one with certainty came out in multiples: the perfect guy to execute, definitely don’t ask him to step out of line.
The fearful one who doesn’t dare to take sides and goes along with the jury’s physiognomy. The nice guy – one copy – the one who explains that the others are idiots but you have to be nice to the idiots
None of them had the prudence to keep their mouths shut – none of them had the prudence to say measured things either.
They were all judgmental – during the little post-hire interviews, one candidate wondered if the man without the tie was just there to disrupt the group – it was almost obvious.
There were several phases, which made it possible to identify the reactions of each person to stressful situations, to disruptive situations, to aggressive situations – if I’m not mistaken, the sales professions require people who can master their reactions to these situations.
So, I found all these techniques quite brilliant, because they are absolutely effective and quite simple: let people talk, put them in a group and suddenly… the personalities appear.
What bothered me, but really, was not only the reactions of the candidates (this I know, these are professional situations for me for a long time, I know that the examiner is scary and mean and has terrible ideas) – but especially the huge stream of comments associated with this story – which is almost impossible to find on youtube because of being censored too many times.
To put it simply, the ultra-majority opinions on these recruitment techniques are: it’s inhumane, it’s humiliating, it’s making fun of the candidates, it’s ‘who do you think you are’, it’s ? how can I translate that ? Republican ??? – it’s proving that you lack the minimum of empathy that you should expect from an average human being.
Here I am in the demons’ camp – I don’t mind – but I don’t actually understand these reactions.
So – that’s when I say to myself that I must be missing something – and that I must have quite my share of stupidity too.
But frankly, I can’t see what the bad thing is?
I leave it to you to judge.
Featured Image : by Solène Debiès