Part 1 of this article is a recruitment case of Adam Grant, a professor of Management and Psychology _ The Wharton school, University of Pennsylvania. This story was shares on his LinkedIn in June, 2013.
Adam Grant was asked to hire a new salesperson. There was one applicant named Ari, whose major was math and hobby was building robots. Right after receiving this resume, Adam assumed that Ari could never be a salesperson that company was looking for because he didn’t have right skill set for sales. But Adam’s boss thought Ari looked interesting and asked Adam to offer Ari an interview. After the interview, Adam was confident in proving the boss that his very first thinking about Ari was correct. Adam reported back to his president that Ari was a nice guy but during the 45-minute interview, he didn’t make any eye contact. According to Adam’s mind set at that time, it was a necessary social skill of a salesperson. However, responding to the confidence of Adam was laughing of the president: “Who cares about eye contact? This is a phone sales job.”
Ari was then invited back for a second round. This time, instead of questioning Ari about knowledge or experiences…, Adam was recommended by his colleague Brad Olson a different approach: “Giving Ari a simulated sales task”. Brad’s advice was to ask Ari to sell Adam a rotten apple. “If Ari can sell a rotten apple, he can sell anything” Brad said. Finally, Adam was totally persuaded by ability to solve the task creatively of Ari:
Ari:“This may look like a rotten apple, but it’s actually an aged apple. You can use the seeds to plant a beautiful apple tree in your backyard and it is cheaper than the seeds normally are.” (Adam also shared: This is the second best apple pitch that he has ever seen, behind only the apple that sold on eBay for thousands of dollars based on a claim that it had Tiger Wood’s DNA)
By making Adam agree to buy the rotten apple, Ari demonstrated that he would be a star for this telesales position. Ari was hired and he ended up being the best salesperson.
Adam said after this hiring experience, he had a completely new way of evaluating talent, he tried to step out of the trail of recruitment and worked with organizations on rethinking their selection and hiring processes.
So, that is all about the case of Adam Grant with very common recruitment mistakes in, such as: the interviewers don’t really understand the job, the interviewers are effected by subjective judgment when evaluate candidates, companies are stuck in trail of old recruitment process…
If you and your company have any recruitment experiences just like the case of Adam, let share and discuss with us by leaving your comments below.