No matter what role you serve in the business events industry, you share one commonality with all your peers: you need talented team members to support your organization. However, the interview process fails to recognize that the majority of those talented candidates will not be part of the organization for the rest of their lives. At the PCMA Education Conference, Ben Casnocha, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author, told the audience that they must reinvent the way they approach the interview process. “You have to relinquish the assumptions that have guided work for such a long time,” Casnocha said. “We need to use a relationship framework where both sides can make promises to each other that they can actually keep.”
The best place to lay that framework is when the candidate comes in for an interview. Rather than reviewing the experiences and qualifications that make them a good fit for the current job, Casnocha offered a surprising piece of advice: ask them what they want to do after they’ve succeeded in the position they’re aiming to fill. “Print out their LinkedIn profile, and ask them how it’s going to look different in two years,” Casnocha said.
MORE: How Do You Manage in the ‘Free Agent’ Era?
This may sound alarming to some hiring managers. If you’re trying to help them make their LinkedIn profiles look better, aren’t you running the risk of making them more appealing to your competitors? Perhaps. However, Casnocha’s model is built on the reality that employees no longer think about joining companies and climbing the ladder of success. Instead, a career path zigs, zags and constantly changes. It’s not a straight line that paves the way through a number of job titles and salary increases. “The definition of a successful career has changed,” Casnocha said.
He offered a refreshing perspective for the 21st century employer-employee relationship. “It’s time to stop treating employees like family members or free agents and instead treat them like allies on tours of duty,” Casnocha said.
At the end of each “tour”, both parties have opportunities to reexamine the alliance to determine if another tour will be beneficial for everyone involved. This culture of trust can create a more comfortable working environment where employees want to stick around, too. “By talking openly and honestly about the fact that someone may eventually leave your organization, you’ll increase your ability to retain them,” Casnocha said.
Interested in hearing all of Casnocha’s speech? Click here to sign up for the complimentary rebroadcast of the PCMA Education Conference on July 14.