Recommended ReadsDecember 10th, 2019

Open Hiring: What if you hired the first person who walked through the door, no questions asked?

McKinley Valentine
McKinley Valentine, Senior Content Strategist

Greyston Bakery in New York pioneered the practice of open hiring: “When we have a job available, we take the next person off the list and give them a chance to work – no questions asked, no background check, no reference check, no interviews,” CEO Mike Brady said.

As a result, they hire a lot of people who struggle to find work elsewhere: people who have experienced incarceration, addiction, or homelessness, people with gaps in their employment history. Exactly the people traditional employers are often fearful of taking on.

So does the ‘risk’ pay off? In spades. “While the annual employee turnover rate in similar manufacturing and production industries hovers between 30% and 70%, at the Greyston bakery, it’s just around 12%.”

This shouldn’t be surprising. It’s human nature to respond to trust with loyalty – and to respond to suspicion with resentment. And Greyston trusts that someone given a job will do that job, and their skills will improve with time.

According to Glassdoor, the average company in the United States spends about $4,000 to hire a new employee, taking up to 52 days to fill a position.” Greyston doesn’t have these costs.

It also returns a lot of dignity to the process of applying for an entry-level job – no one should have to compete with 40 other people for who can pretend to have the deepest passion for correctly stocked shelves. Give someone a job, and most people will try to do it well. It doesn't necessarily have to be more complicated than that.

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