It’s a humbling thought, but all the productivity-boosting tools Sprinklr offers to be Social@Scale are totally useless if your employees don’t want to be there.
As John Moore, founding marketingologist at Brand Autopsy, convincingly argues in our July “Social@Scale Thinking Series” webinar, talent and experience often aren’t good enough to compensate for a lack of passion. So much so that one successful company actually pays wishy-washy job trainees to quit after one week if they know they won’t be in it for the long term.
In our webinar, Moore shares the unorthodox screening approaches of four highly regarded brands who hire for passion.
Championed by the Harvard Business Review, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh believes in testing employee loyalty early with the ultimate temptation, which he calls “The Offer.” After experiencing one week of an intense four-week (paid) training period, candidates are offered $2,000 to leave — no questions asked. Moore says less than 10 percent of the applicant pool go for the deal and suggests it is money well invested. Better to find out now that an employee’s heart is not where it should be than to find out after investing countless thousands more.
Or as HBR’s Bill Taylor puts it:
“It’s a small practice with big implications: Companies don’t engage emotionally with their customers–people do. If you want to create a memorable company, you have to fill your company with memorable people. How are you making sure that you’re filling your organization with the right people? And how much are you willing to pay to find out?”
Zappos also has a whimsical but deceptive job application question: How lucky do you consider yourself to be on a scale of 1:10? Anyone who rates themselves below a 7 is deemed a pessimist and not a good fit.
Moore, who has enjoyed an insider’s view of both the Starbucks and Whole Foods marketing departments, appreciates the approach of The Container Store, the Holy Grail of home organization. During regular shopping hours, the hiring manager invites 10-12 candidates at a time to sit down on a Container Store chair in the middle of the sales floor with their favorite Container Store item pulled from the shelves.
Then, it’s Show & Tell time, but with higher stakes than the kindergarten version. It quickly becomes obvious which prospective employees will love talking about bags and bins with customers and who’d be faking it.
Moore’s Starbucks story is a brilliant example of how a simple disarming question can sometimes make the most important Human Resources decisions for you. When evaluating possible future baristas, the Starbucks manager casually asks if candidates would like a cup of coffee as they discuss the application.
Turning down coffee at Starbucks is (almost) the Kiss of Death.
The hiring manager will immediately write the number “110″ on the applications of anyone who refuses the coffee. Then, if the candidate fails to be especially gregarious and enthusiastic about coffee — perhaps offering an explanation that he or she just had two cups earlier — the manager draws a diagonal line connecting the top of the first ”1″ with the bottom of the second “1.” The verdict is now spelled out:
The last thing Starbucks wants behind the counter is a barista who doesn’t drink the stuff — it would be like hiring a Community Manager who hates the Internet.
John Moore also exclusively spoke with Sprinklr cameras in June about the challenge of spreading “deviant” ideas in a corporate culture more likely to squash them. It’s worth exploring why he says that “Deviance is the difference.”