Trying Out a New Job Before Committing

Job interviews are terribly insufficient for both sides – a candidate only gets to experience their prospective employer through a few select individuals and the hiring manager would actually rather observe interactions in a real job setting as opposed to a series of 45 minute discussions. That’s why last summer I wrote about the increasing trend of “Try Before You Buy,” where both parties figure out a way to work on a project together before mutually committing.

Well, it seems like “ditching the interview” is growing in popularity. A startup named GroupTalent has formed to put some structure around these arrangements. They’re focused first on programmers who work on a multiweek project for the employer. The project can be done outside of normal business hours (so you don’t need to quit one job to try out for another) and the candidate actually receives compensation on the order of $1-3k a week. Sounds pretty interesting, especially if the engineer is programming not in a silo, but can have some interaction with future colleagues (even if virtual). Would love to see this expand beyond coding and into other disciplines.

Basically, if you’re an executive looking for talent these days you need to be creative and thoughtful in order to win the best candidates.