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What do we owe the people we do not hire?

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What do we owe the people we do not hire? The question that changed my life. Brooke Allen Brooke@BrookeAllen.com


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On Sunday, January 18, 2004 I ran an ad in My life would never be the same.


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The next day I had 150 resumes. But I couldn’t tell who would be most trainable.


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I decided to give everyone a hard task. 1) I asked them all to download a 500 page computer manual. 2) And I gave them some puzzle questions to answer in a new computer language. That should get rid of all but a few.


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47 people answered my questions. It didn’t work.


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Then I invited everyone to visit our offices all at once. 38 people came to visit. I told everyone I had too many candidates. So I asked them to think of reasons to drop out.


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I asked everyone: “What do you want me to do?” Twenty-Seven people said: Train us first then decide who to hire. So I gave them two days of instruction and three weeks to solve some very hard problems.


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Thirteen students made it to the end. Some students left for jobs elsewhere. Some could not keep up or lost interest.


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I asked everyone: If you were me, who would you hire? They all said, “Orlando” so I hired Orlando.


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That left me with a problem: I felt like I owed something to everyone else. The people I did not hire gave me something very valuable. They gave me a choice.


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I invited everyone I knew to meet my candidates in New York. More than 50 people came from as far away as California and England. Three more got jobs using the language I taught them and more got jobs doing other things. (I did not keep track of everyone so I cannot tell you exactly how many. Sorry.)


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This is what I learned:


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Attitude and aptitude are more important than education and experience > Generosity and curiosity are more important than a desire to leave a job you don’t like to do the same work somewhere else.


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How do you test for aptitude? Teach something See who learns Teach something you want your employees to know that will benefit them even if you do not hire them.


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How do you test for attitude? Ask everyone to help each other See who does Ask them to do something that benefits them, not you. For example, you might ask them to help each other find work.


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The last thing you need an employee to be good at is getting a job. The best employees are good at doing a job but bad at getting one.


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For 10 years this became the only way I hired. Every time I would hire one person many people would get jobs. This has worked for me and everyone I’ve taught. It works for all types of jobs (not just ones that require technical training).


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This is a better way to hire. We owe it to the: Underemployed And employers owe it to themselves too. You get employees with better attitude and more aptitude. They are grateful and work longer, and they are better value for money. Unemployed Students Mid-Life Career Changers


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I have a new purpose. I want to help you hire better. For 30 years I was a professional stock trader. I did very well. Now I have retired and it is time to express my gratitude for all that I have received. I want to improve the most important market of them all: The market for human potential.


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If you are: A hiring manager, an HR professional, a business owner, or a recruiter then I would like to help you fill your next position. And I will not charge you for my help as long as you let me place the people you do not hire. You can find me at: BrookeAllen.com and you can write to me at: Brooke@BrookeAllen.com


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