Hiring with a free toy inside

Hi.

Years ago I realized the whole hiring thing is funky.  (and not in a deep bass brass monkey sort of way.)

So I created all these weird ways to lighten the whole process up and help people be more real.  If we can all be more real in the business dating phase… we can end up making it past the uncomfortable ‘don’t talk too much about yourself’ first drink.

So.. over the next decade or so I thought I’d sprinkle these in.  The weird ideas that have leaked out of my brain into the marketplace.  Some work really well and some, when used for manipulation or in the hands of a “playah” fail beautifully.

We interview weird.  I won’t go into our whole process here.- I am on vacation and it is long.

A quick one that  works tremendously- quick and easy.

During the interview process.. randomly.. ask the person what their favorite breakfast cereal was as a kid.   STOP TALKING.  Let them feel something.  It is awesome what happens.  Make sure YOU tell them yours.  Talk about it.  If they say “Captain Crunch” bond with them on the whole “why does it tear up the roof of your mouth” thing.    You will notice people lighten up after that question.  It is nice.   We use it a lot in other ways.  it is better than alcohol.

Then.  Do your whole hiring process.  I hope you have one that figures out a way to make people real.

Then.  On their first day… assemble your entire team around a table and serve the newbie (have enough for your team) the breakfast cereal they mentioned.  Everyone eats it.   For the first 1/2 hour they interact with people.  No paperwork.  No weirdness.  Just let them know they matter.  That first day, make it count.  When they go home and they get the question “how was your first day,”  they will have something to say.  A little uptick to the feel good body chemicals.  (If your work environment really sucks, you likely do not want to do this.  It will set mismatched  expectations.)

Reducing anonymity is the key of the first day.  The cereal will make you fat (usually) and it will create a connection.

We once had a guy in our interview process tell us he ate fish and rice for breakfast.  He was raised in the Philippines.  This was pre-internet google.  We researched all of our friends from the Philippines and we got the recipe.  On his first day, in a crock pot… “voila.”

He still talks about it today.  His mom did end up sending us the right recipe.. it seems we didnt’ get it right.  Wink.

What you do on a person’s first day matters.  Their first day is not when they are hired – it is in those few seconds when they walk past the potted plant no one has noticed in years and says hello.

Make it count.  Count Chocula if you didn’t have hippie parents.

More later.

3 Replies to “Hiring with a free toy inside”

  1. Hated breakfast as a kid. My mom could find nothing I would like to eat for breakfast. Didn’t help that there was a rule about cereal: Sugar couldn’t be the first ingredient. Sunday pancakes however, were good. Lots of syrup, butter _and_ it meant the church part of the day was already over! (We went to the early service.)

    And just because I can’t help myself. Typo:

    “don’t talk to much about yourself” ==> “don’t talk too much about yourself”

    *hugs*
    AC

  2. Favorite breakfast cereal: Lucky Charms

    Most commonly eaten breakfast cereal: Rice Chex with literally a 1/3 cup sugar spooned on to try to sweeten it but ending up with sugar sludge in the bottom of the bowl instead.

    Ah, the things kids will do when left somewhat to their own devices.

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