7 Responses to "Company and employee sampling – the way to tasty hires and careers"
  1. Shannon says:

    I love this idea and think that it makes a lot of sense – but hiring managers and recruiters would have to move away from their bias toward “job hoppers” if this practice was ever adopted. Most interviewers wouldn’t respond pragmatically when a candidate responds –

    yes, I’ve held 3 jobs in the last year and a half – but we were just trying each other out.


  2. Jason Warner says:

    Two comments: First, if you’ve ever visited our fine establishments (and I know that you have), sampling is a key way we encourage customers to experience a new product at Starbucks. Many customers are creatures of habit (and here is where I must express my concern over the draw that low-budget tacos seem to have on you two…’like moths to a flame’ imagery comes immediatelly to mind) so to break this habit we offer those tiny little sample cups so that your taste buds can experience the cornucopia of flavors that our newest beverages have to offer. See, we draw you into our web that way so that Pumpkin Spice becomes YOUR COFFEE.

    Secondly, we used to offer what we called an On The Job Experience (OTJ) for potential store manager hires. Before you accepted our offer of employment, we would let you experience life in the store by working a shift (and paying you), with the idea that a realistic job preview might drive engagement and diminish turnover. We dismantled the program due to high administration costs and increasingly complex labor law legislation. In the end, it didn’t seem to offer much ROI. We then attempted to recreate a realistic job preview via interactive media (cool A/V multimedia CD) but it never really worked, mostly due to the legal risks involved with disclosing too much (no comment lest a diatribe on the legal department ensue).

    All of this said, I think there’s future upside in driving this level of transparency.

    Can I interest you in a our new maple macchiato?

    see for grins:


  3. While I love the idea of sampling, I guarantee you the capitalistic revolt will be, well, revolting. See, while I agree that sampling works for products, and is an interesting idea for jobs, from a cost perspective, the 6-month contract is scary. There’s the hiring costs, the separation costs (if it doesn’t work out) and the cultural costs–there are studies on how long it takes new hires to become ingrained in the culture leading to effective teamwork. The capitalist in me (yes, B-School does that to you no matter how hard I try) also says that hiring managers will be fearful of the added costs even if you make a good case otherwise. I think that’s why so many companies are going the OTJ or RJP (realistic job preview) route so external candidates can sample without scaring the internal capitalists.

    PS: the career coach in me thinks that OTJ and and RJPs are the best methods of sampling to find your career sweet spot–as any job hopper will tell you, actual on the job sampling is mentally and physically exhausting, as well as a personal risk (contract ends and you don’t have something else…)

  4. jinfinite8 says:

    Hi Susan, great comments! I think that most ANY tool that provides a candidate with additional *real* information about a job or company would be helpful. So, your RJP is certainly interesting. How about the employer though? Do they get a video of the employee IM\’ing their buddies and reading their MySpace page in between meetings and e-mails on their current job? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You make good points about cost and I\’m still not convinced that job sampling would be more expensive than bad hires over the long run. From experienced in corporate America, managers and companies often ignore underperformers that are hurting their business for years before finally doing something about the person. I\’m talking about even basic management interventions like coaching – never mind the big kahuna, termination. How much does that cost? While I acknowledge that measuring ROI here would be difficult, I do think it could be done and I feel it would be less expensive in the long run. Your last point is where I get stuck with this concept though as well. Risk to the employes. The personal risk of being out on your ass in 6 months would deter all but the most self assured of individuals. In a job market like we have now I think you have a much better shot at it working since there\’s a really good chance of landing somewhere else. Thanks for writing in.

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