Take a Professional for a Test Drive

by Marcianne Kuethen
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Several years ago, I was in the market for a new SUV. While I had a general list of qualifications for my new car, there was one particular model whose body style I really liked. Since we were taking a road trip and it was available at the car rental place, we decided to try it out. What a great decision that was. Within an hour, I could tell it was not the car for me. Although we were stuck with that vehicle for the weekend, at least we hadn’t made a long-term commitment by purchasing the wrong car.

Employers, do you ever wish you could take a professional for a test drive before you make the hire? Sometimes it’s difficult to determine from a couple of interviews whether someone is actually both qualified and a good fit for your organization. At Amtec, we understand your dilemma, which is why we’ve offered the options of working interviews and temp-to-permanent hires with our candidates for many years.

What exactly is a working interview? It’s simply an opportunity for the prospective employee to come work for you as part of the interview process. “The working interview is an extension of the traditional verbal interview and allows the applicant to perform work he or she would be doing as a regular employee,” says EskridgeLaw.net.  “This gives the employer an opportunity to observe the applicant’s skills, as well as to determine if the applicant is a good fit for the company.  The working interview is an opportunity for the applicant to assess whether he or she is a good fit for the company as well.” Basically, you take a professional for a test drive in your open position and pay him or her for their time as you would a regular employee.  (For legal information on hiring someone for a working interview, click here.)

For example, an executive recently approached us for help in hiring a key person for his organization. Our recruiter searched for and found several great candidates, and the busy CEO had his team interview them. One candidate emerged as a stellar performer, but the CEO just wasn’t sure he was ready to commit to such a big decision.

At our recruiter’s suggestion that a working interview might help, the candidate agreed to come to work for a day to try the position on for size. She soon quickly proved that she was, indeed, the right person for this complex role, and the CEO was then able to make the hire with confidence.

We could also share examples of the opposite occurrence. Sometimes, the working interview has turned out just like my own SUV test drive–it proved that the candidate was not a good fit for the organization or did not possess the qualifications to adequately perform the job. Either way, the working interview revealed what it was intended to do.

If making a hire causes you to worry that you might choose a dud, you’re not alone! While behavioral interviewing is an effective method, making a choice based on a couple of brief interviews can feel like you’re trying to see through a dirty windshield. Perhaps it’s time for you to take a professional for a test drive in your working environment. It may help you see your next employee a lot more clearly.

Do you need help acquiring top professionals? Let Amtec find you the best candidates, set you up to successfully interview them, and assist with offer negotiations, reference checks, and background checks. Click here or call (714) 993-1900 to start your search.

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