Sunday, November 25, 2007

I:CreativeRecruit - 1: Reflect Problems in the Field

A straightforward exercise to begin with:

You are down to three people for a job that largely involves them using a ride-on mower to maintain lawn areas around a large technology park.

You know that one of the primary annoyances in the job is the array of garbage that inevitably finds its way onto the lawns. Plastic and paper bags, bits of fruit and sandwich, drink and water bottles, juice cartons and so on.

You ensure a specific lawn area is lightly littered with a typical array and without saying anything about this you set each of the three short listed applicants to mow that area. You remain at distance and unseen but able to observe and take notes.

Applicant 1: They pick each and every item up before mowing. Some might have hopped onto the mower and tried to pick up as they go around (a potential OH&S issue) but this person picked them all up in one go, dropping them into one bin and then set about mowing. That job was done competently.

Applicant 2: They pick up all the plastic, glass and cartons, they throw the fruit and sandwich pieces into the back of the gardens and then they mow over the paper. There is a fine tan look to small sections of the lawn where this has been done. Competent at mowing.

Applicant 3: They see the garbage and come back and ask if you have recycling bins. They set about picking the items up. Sorting them appropriately and mowing. Competent at mowing.

So, all good at mowing, so on this element they are even. Now look at the 3 sets of behaviours. In this case Applicants 2 and 3 got through to the final round.

The point of this exercise, in part, is to illustrate that not all creative recruitment processes need be theatrical or circus like or full of bells and whistles. Sometimes those are appropriate but horses for courses. Also of course that including real job issues can creatively reveal various traits and commitments of your applicants.

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