How many times has someone said to you some variation of, “The definitely of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?” If it wasn’t enough times for you to google the quote to see if Einstein really said it, I’ll save you the trouble. He didn’t. Regardless, there is something to be said for the logic behind the quote and the reality is, it is true.
For us at Wonolo, the most glaring example of how businesses don’t follow Einstein’s fake advice is this:
If you’ve ever hired anyone before, you’ve probably seen this. It is the admin panel of Craigslist’s postings site. And the magical little hyperlink, “renew” is the embodiment of insanity. Let’s break it down.
You have a position or 4 to fill. Perhaps you are an ecommerce company and looking to fill open positions in your fulfillment center. You post a job listing on Craigslist and then the resumes start piling it. Doesn’t matter if you asked candidates to click a link and sign up or give you a call – you’ll still get the resumes. Let’s say your job was attractive and you got 50 resumes from that posting. And lets say you are an amazingly fast reader and can go through all those resumes in an hour. After sorting the potentials from the rest, you are able to pull 10 to the next stage – the interview.
Now you do a quick 10 minute screening call. All in all, takes 2 hours and you find 4 people you like and want to bring in for an interview. You are the sole interviewer and decision maker, you spend 30 minutes with each candidate and some time prepping beforehand and reviewing afterwards for a total of 4 more hours. Finally, you make an offer to two of them. Then one fails the background check.
All in, you found 1 person to fill the 4 open positions and, if we are optimistic, you are down $100 and a full day’s worth of your time. But because there are still 3 positions open, you open up Craigslist and push that “renew” button. And somewhere, Einstein laughs.
We think it is about time someone fixes this problem. Not only is it an amazingly inefficient use of your time and money, we didn’t even get into whether that 1 person who took the job is going to be a strong performer on the job. Or if they even like the job at all and quit within a week. So many challenges to recruiting… And while it is so easy to click that “renew” link, do you understand that this one click will cost you another full day’s worth of work and hundreds of dollars?
Here at Wonolo, we love stealing with pride and something that we do for our own hires and many of our customers do as well, is an idea we stole from the car industry. And Costco. And every As Seen On TV product ever. You know it. It’s “try-before-you-buy.” Test drives here, free meatball samples there, 30-day money back guarantee on TV. It works for all these categories but why not use it for hiring? Filling a job is an investment in a person which is significantly more valuable than a meatball or even a car. So why do we leave it to chance?
By using a try-before-we-buy approach to filling jobs, we’ve been able to find people immediately and then make a highly educated decision on hiring that person based on performance, attitude, cultural fit, etc – all things we wouldn’t have known from the Craigslist / Resume / Interview process. And we recommend this approach to anyone with a large front line workforce – the ecommerce companies, retailers, food and hospitality, event staffers, call centers, etc.
So next time you see that “renew” button on Craigslist, resist the temptation. Don’t click! Because clicking “renew” is the definition of insanity. Figure out how you can make try-before-you-buy that standard way of recruiting in your company.