Tech Planet, of Menlo Park, CA, uses weekly lunches and "wacky follow-up sessions" as substitutes for first-round job interviews. During the informal meals, potential employees are expected to mingle, and they are then reviewed by the Tech Planet employees they meet at the luncheons. One Tech Planet employee asks candidates to ride a unicycle in her office to see if "they'll bond with the corporate culture or not." Toward the end of the screening process, the surviving group of interviewees has to solve brainteasers, and then openly evaluate their fellow candidates' strengths and weaknesses.
The group should arrive at answers regarding the following set of questions:
What issues with screening might this form of interviewing elicit?
Is this form of candidate selection likely to increase or decrease diversity at Tech Planet?
Does this methodology raise concerns about reliability and validity? If so,how?
What do you think would be a better methodology at Tech Planet and why?
My first issue with screening would be that the company is screening them on the wrong criteria. For example, the question says that they are made to ride unicycles. If this was a job interview for a circus, I could understand, but to have it as a rating criteria for a Tech plant is unacceptable. What if the person is a wonderful skilled worker, but is scared of heights, or has horrible balance, or has weak knees... is that a reason for them to be disqualified from the position?
I do however, have no issues at all with the part where they are observed to see if they are mingling with other employees. This is a brilliant strategy, especially if ...
This posting will look at the validity of using alternative methods of corporate recruiting, such as brain teasers, observations, meet-and-great sessions..