This process was new to us. For 40+ years most of our hires have been people walking in off the street looking for a job. Are you surprised by this? I hope so.
Over the last 10+ years we have hovered between 35 and 40 staff members. Those staff members wear a lot of hats and never have we created a new position like we did recently. Our staff has always transitioned into existing positions or sometimes a new title was created because we recognized that someone was wearing a hat that needed to be clarified as a true title, not just added responsibilities.
The new position is something that our company needs, a staff member to help facilitate our growth to the next level, someone to take the goals of our management team and make sure they are embraced and followed through on.
For too long we have rested on the way it has always been, and as our head honcho grows more inclined to step back from his role as the day-to-day decision maker, we have to be able to build a framework that allows our management to take the ball and run with it. Home Central has many policies and procedures that are based solely on the idea that we have always done it that way, not necessarily because it is right or well-planned.
So we decided to break from the mold and create a new position that would 1) free up some time for our managers to take on more management and 2) provide someone adept at planning and execution that could take a goal and monitor the progress made toward that goal.
To find what we thought was a uniquely qualified candidate, we canvassed the internet utilizing local universities, public job listings and even a costly online job recruitment posting, plus our own web presence.
To say we were dumbfounded by the response would be an understatement. Well over 120 resumes were sent to us, of which about 90% were local people and probably 75% had the minimum credentials required. We trimmed that number down to about a 1/3 of its original size and brought about 1/4 in for a first round of interviews. To maximize efficiency we scheduled groups of 3-6 candidates and interviewed them all at once in a group format.
Many of the non-selected candidates had glowing resumes, commendable credentials and talents that were hard to pass up, but by using a panel to review the resumes, we chose the ones that we could easily say were stand outs.
Our group interviews were apparently very nerve inducing to the interviewees, but most seemed to enjoy the process when all was said and done, plus we got a unique glimpse into their interpersonal skills and maybe better insight into their personalities. I would have been rendered speechless or at least unable to formulate coherent responses to questions in a setting such as this and thus I give each and every candidate a round of applause for handling the situation with dignity and grace.
I personally picked some standouts from the resumes whom I thought would be my top choices in the end, but the interview process was truly enlightening and made me appreciate the value of life experience over credentials, approachable personalities vs. driven “all work and no play” types and butt kissing vs. displays of their unique talent. Of course our interview panel had some disagreements over a few candidates, but it was extremely interesting for all four of us to solidly agree on a few ‘unlikely leaders’ from the pack.
As I write this we have not picked a final choice for the position, we have at least one more round of interviews to go, but the process has been enlightening and at times I have wanted a stiff drink.
Here are the things we (or I rather) have learned:
Thank you to everyone who applied and kudos to those who survived our first attempts at the group interview method! If you didn’t get a response to your resume or interview you can rest assured that it probably got returned to us in the mail as undeliverable or my cluttered desk ate it.
If you are interested in a position with Home Central check out our Employment Opportunities page on a regular basis and if you are an employer looking to hire do it now! There are so many people with great talent and I have a stack of gorgeous resumes to prove it. Plus those qualified candidates pushed so hard at our soft hearts that we are considering adding another position…