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[b]I am trying out a process new to me for group interviews. I am in the Hospitality business.

the concept is based on seeing and hearing from as many candidates as possible in a very short period of time (some preparation and a two hours meeting)

I would like to lay out the process and get some feedback. see overview below:[/b]

pre-interview preparation:

-job is posted and all applicants (who are at all qualified) are invited to a group interview. (an admin handles this part, by contacting the candidates and inviting them to the group interview with a brief overview of the format) candidates are asked to report dressed for work and to bring references.

-the leader of the search prepares a comprehensive presentation about the job, the company, goals, expectations, culture, hiring process, history etc. to sell the job to the candidates. all information that relates to selecting the right candidate is shared.

-a list of four basic questions are prepared. for example why are you a good fit for this job. why did you apply for this jobs

During the interview:

-candidates are checked in and references are collected. they are welcomed and an overview of the process is shared.
1. Presentation about company and job (with Q& A) it is stressed that any time they feel that the job is not a good fit for them, they are welcome to leave. they should only stay for the second part if they are still very interested in the position.

2. a ten minute break

3. candidates who return are asked the 3-4 basic questions. the starting point for each is rotated around the room so different groups get to go first and last on different questions.

4. a disc profile is filled out by each of the candidates. (these will be "run" later in the event that the candidate makes it further in the process)

5. after the candidates have gone the group of interviewers has a wrap meeting to discuss the best candidates.

The goal of all this is to identify the top candidates (many will de-select them selfs) to bring into the more in depth interview process (one on one interviews with behavioral questions, reference checks, and a practical evaluation)

Thanks,

Craig Girolami
COO, The Park Club [url]www.parkclub.net[/url]

HMac's picture

Wow. I think you're getting efficiency at the cost of effectiveness. Some reactions:

If these are candidates for positions which will put them in one-to-one interactions with your customers (members), you're not assessing them in anything like that setting (you've set up a "cattle call" scenario, and you're signalling to candidates that they don't merit individual attention until they meet certain criteria...is that [u]really [/u]the signal you want to be giving? Is that how you expect them to interact with other employees, and with your customers?).

Seems to me that if these are customer-facing positions, the most important goal of the face-to-face interview is to assess their behavior with your fullest attention, looking and listening for the subtle clues and communications abilities that might tip you off that you have somebody your customers are going to like. But you're using a bit of a "speed dating" interviewing process - and I wonder if that's not going to work against you.

I think it's unethical to ask people to provide references until they are serious candidates. If I understand your outlined process, you take everyone's references BEFORE they even know enough to know if they're going to "still" be interested in applying. Frankly, this is pretty tacky.

The same observation applies to the DiSC. In my mind (and I know this is not a legally defensible comparison), this is like giving drug tests in the intitial screening: you're "taking" something from people (because you're administering an instrument that will give YOU insights about them), and you're giving them nothing in return.

This is a manipulative process, reminiscent of a hardsell operation selling timeshares.

Just my opinion. If you DO decide to run the process, then by all means track the results and compare it to your pre-existing batting average. It may feel bad to me - but it could produce dramatically better results.

-Hugh

craignkzoo's picture

I may have made it sound more cattle call-ish, with the basic explanation of the process.

I also want to stress that this is just step one, we will then do One on One interviews with them, and I really like your thoughts about saving the DISC and references for later on in the process.

Thank you!

hrjen's picture

Do I understand this correctly, you will have all the candidates and the interviewers in one room, but rotating around?

If so, my suggestion is to step back and figure out what kind of person you are looking for. All too often the structure of the interview allows for certain types of people to excel in the interview, even if they would not excel in the job. I tell my managers don't hire the best interviewer, hire the best qualified candidate.

A high noise, high intensity interview that is designed to get people to self select out could likely be the best way to indentify quick thinkers/talkers/extroverts, but that may not always be your best candidate. If you want quick thinkers/talkers/extroverts - you may be on to something.

Also, wrt DISC, I'd suggest that you never test for anything unless you know exactly how the results will impact their ability to do the job. What I couldn't tell was whether or not you had decided what to do with the results of the DISC once you had them. Are you looking for a specific profile, if so, how is that profile connected to success on the job? If you don't know that, you've wasted time that you could have spent getting to know the candidate better.

Jenny

craignkzoo's picture

No, this is not really a round robin. Most of the focus is on sharing information with the candidates. Then just a few basic questions to identify the best people. After the top candidates are identified then a traditional approach to interviewing one on one (MT-STYLE) is utilized.

This is not a fortune 500 situation were we have 10K to spend on a search.

It is a situation where being confident and comfortable under pressure while in front of people. It really is all about people, and for this reason i think it is important. Your point is well taken, and I don't think I would use this technique if i were looking for a computer programmer, or some other highly technical position where I would want a high "C".

The Disc comes in later in the process when we are trying to decide who is just giving "lip service" and who really has the traits we are looking for. It will also give us a clue as to how they might interact with the team.

Thank you for your thoughts, I really appreciate this. This process is new to me, but it is being used very successfully in Retail and Hospitality.

kklogic's picture

Craig,

I would argue that you don't need $10k to conduct a proper search. You need patience and a good process. You need a pipeline of talent at all times -- and you need 4-6 weeks to go through a good hiring procedure.

I highly disagree with what you have laid out here - for many reasons. I work with many different personality types (as they test out on DISC) and I can tell you that each and every one of them would have walked out of your scenario. You are sending a signal that you don't have time to treat them as individuals and never will. If you are looking for an employee that is proud to be a part of your organization and one who will want to remain there - you need to pave that path by setting a good example. I also disagree with using the DISC as a selection tool. Different people go about doing a good job in different ways. If you want to use a selection tool - I'd recommend using one designed as such -- that will give you insights on work habits, motivation, etc.

I wish you the best of luck in your search.