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Free Range Thinking: Our Journey to Disrupt the Job Interview 4.0

Tuesday night wrapped up our four part series of ‘Free Range Thinking’ events, hosted by Kristin Dudley of Technically Media and Roshan Jayawardena of Elliott Scott HR. The event series has focused on the topic of ‘disrupting the job interview’ and while this particularly series is complete, it certainly won’t be the last of our events of this kind as they’ve proven to be so successful. The Free Range Thinking events have given us a valuable space, as HR Professionals, to think outside the box and share ideas that we’ve been dreaming about!


The truth is that processes are deeply ingrained in many organizations, and it can be difficult to change things quickly – however, small changes are important steps when making larger institutional shifts.


One of the biggest takeaways from our Free Range Thinking series is that space for creativity really matters and while participants may not be able to put the ideas created into action straight away, they are able to take inspiration back to their organisations to initiate new conversations. 


It is both insightful and valuable to be moved by what others are doing in their HR departments and our events bring together a cross section of HR Professionals from a range of industries and levels; in our more recent event there were representatives from Financial Services, Hospitality, Retail, Tech, and Media.


What amazes me is that even after repeatedly discussing the same topic, “Ways to disrupt the job interview,” each group will come up with their own new ideas! You can find the ideas from our first, second and third sessions if you’re so curious. 


Below you’ll find the three ideas our most recent group voted on as favorites from their discussions – along with ways we can adapt these, sometimes radical ideas, in our own pragmatic way:


  1. Go bowling or simply take a walk with the candidate, allow them to get to know the hiring manager in a casual setting.
  2. Provide a menu of “ways to be interviewed” in order to allow the candidate to choose what best serves them to show up their best. (This actually was a repeated idea from session 3)
  3. Play voicemail tag. The candidate leaves a 60-second voicemail for the hiring manager that’s more personal and about them - less career. The hiring manager reciprocates. The conversation evolves in this way as an initial screening. 


A couple of our favorites that didn’t make the cut:


A Monopoly game – companies create a custom “Monopoly” that represents aspects of their business. Candidates play the game virtually with the hiring manager to get to know them and the business, whilst  and assessing their ability to think strategically in order to win the game.


Candidates can opt to be interviewed while in costume - hiring managers do the same - first, it’s fun. Second, it could help to let everyone’s guard down a bit.


Thank you to our innovators from this session for your input and ideas: Jami Biliboaca, Viktoria Slutskaya, Tara Caldwell, Gina Kim, Chris Gherardi, Ellen Malterre, Debbie Chueh, Gita Kaminer, Luisa Tancredi, Thomas Warren, Bob FoxeEdwina Ritchard, Roseanne Bowman and Rahul D'Silva.


While this particular series focused on disrupting the job interview has ended, we will continue to hold a variety of events for our HR community in New York and are seeking more disruptive topics to ideate on. Please reach out with your ideas and if you would like to be involved in future events.


So what’s next? What we learned after inviting over 40 people to our table in the last year and a half will be captured in a brief online screen share. Who knows what we’ll learn next.

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