The Salesman

The cleanly dressed, good-looking sales person entered Hume Resource?s office. ?Good morning, Mr. Resource. I?m Quicklan Fixe from the Jurassic Corporation. We had an appointment today.? Hume stood up to shake hands. ?Hello, Mr. Fixe. Please have a seat.? ?Call me ?Quick.? ?Sure, Quick. You can call me Hume. ?Hume, the purpose of my visit is to acquaint you with a new and easy to use technique for selecting new employees. It takes little practice and anyone can use it.? ?You don?t say ? Anyone? Even people who are untrained?? ?That?s right ? It is highly flexible and requires absolutely no training whatsoever.? ?Go on,? said Hume cautiously. ?I can tell you?re skeptical, Hume. Think of it this way. People are born talkers and they form opinions about other people all the time. We have just packaged what people do best — talk and form opinions. And we avoid a lot of time-consuming training and rigor.? ?That sounds good on the surface, Quick, but people also are well known for forming opinions that later turn out to be wrong.? ?Yes, that happens a lot, but all the same, we have prepared a list of questions for them to use. It gives them a false sense of confidence.? ?Hmmmm. How do you know if the applicant is smart enough to fake the right answer?? ?That?s the beauty of the system, Hume. If they are smart enough to fake the right answer, they are probably smart enough to do the job!? ?That?s silly.? ?Silly, maybe, but a lot of people think it?s true ? and who are we to go against public opinion? Right, Hume?? ?Ok, so you have your list of interview questions ? How do you know the answer is the right one for the job.? ?Easy. We just form an opinion based on how well the person responds ? You know, subjective impressions and all that. If the interviewer likes the answer, the candidate progresses. Do you see the beauty in the process?? ?I?m not sure I would call it ?beauty?? How do you get around individual subjectivity?? ?I?m glad you asked that, Hume. We use several interviewers, sometimes a panel, who each form subjective opinions. Them we all get together and discuss our findings. When we reach a consensus, we offer the candidate a job.? ?Let me get this straight. You have a bunch of people with highly subjective opinions and no objective data discussing an applicant?s qualifications? Then when all these people agree, you make a job offer?? ?Yep, cool process huh? We capitalize on the fact that people want fast, accurate results without putting in much effort. They feel good about their decision because they used prepared questions, liked the candidate and didn?t have to work real hard getting to a decision.? ?What about the accuracy of their decisions?? ?Our studies show that about 50% of the people selected using our process are above average producers!? ?That?s about the same as chance.? ?True, but at least the interviewers feel good about their decision. Besides, if their decision does not work out they can always blame the candidate.? ?They are going to blame the candidate for not having the right job skills when they never measured the candidate?s job skills using objective tools?? ?Yes, but they feel good about the process.? ?Quick, you just told me your system had a 50% chance of producing below average producers, it was highly subjective, provided a false sense of security, and diffused responsibility for the employment decision. Just exactly what are its benefits?? ?Great question, Hume. Not many people are sharp enough to ask that question. There are not really any benefits to the organization, just to the people doing the interviewers. They avoid learning anything new, don?t have to change anything, and don?t have to take responsibility for their decisions. It is a fail-proof installation process.? ?Sorry to cut this short, Quick. I just remembered I have another appointment. Leave some literature with my secretary and I?ll give your proposal the attention it deserves.? ?Thank you, Hume. When you need a better selection process, we?re at your disposal? ?Disposal. Yes. Good day, Quick. Oh. By the way, what do you call your system?? ?We wanted to keep it simple. Something people would remember. We call it the Jurassic Unstructured Nterview Kit ? or JUNK, for short ? Catchy, don?t you think??

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