Is Traditional Job Interview Outdated and Obsolete?

As members of the millennial and Gen-Z generations join the workforce of today, the rejection of traditional job paths and processes rapidly grows. We live in an era of distrust — for government, for big corporations, for financial institutions, and for long held business practices. On the flip side, there is a growing distrust from employers’ perspective as well. With the ease that social media platforms give people to create digital footprints, the likelihood of profiles, resumes, and other online forms being manicured and manipulated increases. The “one click” environment we live in fosters such tactics, in addition to survival instincts amidst unemployment rates and hiring websites that have no way to verify multiple resumes submitted online. This cycle contributes to the growing pile of generic resumes left on the desks of recruiters when it comes time to hire new talent. With this job “mix match” is almost guaranteed. In this way employers’ biggest challenge becomes finding the right fit despite candidates being subjected to a traditional interview practice. So often these young workers are characterized as lacking commitment to their job titles in comparison older generations now rapidly retiring. This turn around can result in higher cost for replacing workers who lose interest in their contracts or more money shelled out to hire and onboard new employees. This vicious cycle results in low yield for both parties. However, with the majority of leadership positions in business now being handed over to Xgeners, practices are in need of a change from other ends of the spectrum.

Perhaps the solution has been with us all along!

The interview process is in need of an overhaul in order attract talents who have a widely different perspective on work life balance and job satisfaction. To a generation that seems to value authenticity in everything, selling oneself short in order to get hired does not sit well. Often the competency and motives of the hiring manager or interviewer sway selection in hiring, as opposed to the skills or potential compatibility possessed by the interviewee. In some cases, the one who gets the offer for the position is not necessarily the one who could best perform the job — think the person who performs well on test day versus someone who might have test taking anxiety. Those who have established themselves as good interviewers may lack the proper experience or skills for a role, but because they are able to “play the game better” and create that camaraderie with their interviewee they may be offered the position over someone would make a more genuine fit. In the end although these candidates might perform at the same level of productivity as their coworkers, they often lack a deeper compatibility to the company’s mission. This again ultimately results in financial losses for the business when they must replace workers who leave to pursue their true passions.

Companies and employers need a new solution to remedy this ongoing dilemma. Freelancing does just that. Freelancing practices give employers the perfect opportunity to assess candidates in a more realistic environment than the virtual reality of traditional interview processes. It also enables talents to demonstrate and reveal valuable layers to prospective employers that otherwise may remain hidden. A finite freelancing arrangement allows candidates seeking closer professional alignment the ability to demonstrate their attributes and potential to hiring managers rather than through obsolete resumes and an outdated interview process. Rather than move through a traditional “interview round” where little true depth may be reached in such a short time, talents are hired on a trial basis for short term positions. This system of trial pre-employment is a grand alternative for our traditional interview process that will enable employers the chance to vet better fitting people for positions. By taking the top candidates and hiring each to freelance onsite for a few days, they are able to engage in a spectrum of activities and personal interactions that determine true compatibility no limited scope interview alone can tap into. After analyzing the performance of candidates in the real environment that they are being considered for, final selection comes more efficiently and talent ends up fitting into the company’s culture in a much more authentic way. Hiring managers will now have the unique ability to match with potential employees who aren’t in it just to “game the system”, but perhaps to change it. It potentially minimizes the guess work of hiring for employers and recruiters who traditionally have made hiring decisions based on an hour or so interview.

This new take on the hiring process will undoubtedly take the process of finding work to new depths by redefining our careers and our ability to create business connections. The freelancing process is a clever approach to solve the common recruitment and professional relationship challenges we see nowadays and gives us a glimpse into the future of work.

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Siamak S. Z.

Siamak S. Z.

helping rewrite the way we think about work, innovation, and leadership through the biodesign-led model

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