Some of the other correspondents on this site have complained about small business hiring processes that seem overly elaborate and don’t work. But small businesses are not alone.
I read a item the other day that to get a job at Apple, one had to face a total of 13 interviews. Nosing around further, I read a post by a guy who wanted to get a job in a local Apple store. He had four interviews, and didn’t get the job. But at least they did have the courtesy to tell him when he was no longer in the running.
And that was for a job working retail: I can readily imagine that a management gig could require thirteen interviews.
I can imagine small business owners reading about best practices from firms like Apple and setting up similar processes. But for a small business, if you’re spending time and money on such efforts, you’re not spending it on actually producing anything.
- Fear of lawsuits: one of the quickest ways to go out of business is a lawsuit from an unhappy ex-employee. So perhaps companies try to do more rigorous screening to avoid hiring someone who might later turn to litigation.
- Specific company priorities: part of Apple’s success turns on developing new products and releasing them to the public on its terms, rather than when the juicy details leak out. So a company like Apple wants to make sure that its employees know to keep mum. (But that doesn’t apply to most small businesses.)
- The sense that individuals cannot be held responsible for hiring decisions and that it should be a group decision. I went to an event years ago that demonstrated the concept: an event was staged for the participants, and then we were asked to answer questions about it. After we did that, we were asked to meet in small groups and discuss our answers. The intent was to show that the collective answer was more accurate than the individual answer. But beyond that, education for the last 50 years has been aimed at teaching the young not to trust the judgement of their own minds.
If a large company like Apple has an overly elaborate hiring process, it’s entirely their privilege: they have a right to protect their interests, and they’re paying the costs. But a small business generally doesn’t have the same concerns. Are they afraid of being sued? Are they afraid of making a decision?
Damned if I know….