Attracting Top Talent Using Experiential Recruiting
Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Larry Ellison are just a few titans of industry who have left college early to start businesses. According to Musk, while graduating from a top university may suggest a student has what it takes to do great things, it is not necessarily so.
Instead of accepting a college degree as an indication of a student's potential, Musk looks at a student's track record of exceptional achievement and their ability to solve problems in the real world. In interviews, instead of discussing concepts and ideas, Musk asks candidates to talk about problems they've solved and how they went about it.
In the video below, Musk explains that college or high school degrees are not necessarily a requirement to work at Tesla or SpaceX.
With the world becoming more technocentric each day, companies need "renaissance people," that is, those who have many talents and relevant experience.
What is Experiential Recruiting?
The term experiential recruiting involves interactions between college candidates and company hiring managers and recruiters. The concept is similar to "experiential marketing", a new trend in which the emphasis in having consumers experience a brand.
In experiential recruiting, job candidates are invited to participate in a "working interview" so companies can assess how students work on tough problems in real time. The best example of this type of event is the "Hackathon" which many top companies including Facebook, Google, Bloomberg, MongoDB and Webflow and many others use to identify talent.
Assessing Hard & Soft Skills
At experiential recruiting events like hackthons, employers assess both hard and soft skills and try to get a sense of a candidate's character and values in a short amount of time. "Experiential Design" (XD) refers to the structuring experiential recruiting events to make them as effective as possible in testing for personal characteristics skills desired
The Four Stages of Experiential Interviews
According to ERE, there are four stages of an experiential interview:
- Stage 1: Assessing a candidates written application and materials to see if the candidate meets the company's hiring profile.
- Stage 2: Conducting a 20 minute interview to gain a sense of a candidates personality, behaviors and values.
- Stage 3: Conduct a face-to-face experiential interview in which the student does sample work in front of a company representative.
- Step 4: Conduct reference and background checks.