One of my summer holiday books was The Year Without Pants by @berkun which showcased Automattic's (the company behind @wordpressdotcom) working culture and it was both an insightful and fascinating read.
I am always seeking to hear and read about new approaches to recruitment and this one definately has some merit. No matter how rigorous your recruitment process, there is no substitute to seeing someone in action in your work environment and interacting with the successful team you have already built.
Although a good idea, I am not sure how many Senior Leaders or Board members would be willing to undertake a 3 to 8 week trial, and any process needs to include such robust assessment tools as @HoganAssessment in order to minimise risk and maximise performance. Data allows leaders to prepare for success.
I do like the idea of try before you buy though!
The Idea: In its early years, Automattic relied on traditional résumé screening and interviews to do its hiring. But over time Mullenweg came to focus on tryouts, in which final candidates are paid to spend several weeks working on a project. Automattic employs 230 people. We’re located in 170 cities all over the world. Although we maintain an office in San Francisco that functions like a coworking space, most of our employees work somewhere other than our home base. Some are even nomads, traveling from place to place and couch to couch. This might seem like a recipe for disaster—low productivity, poor management, and abuse. But Automattic is profitable and fast-growing. With an applicant-screening process that gives candidates genuine job responsibilities and relationships, we can hire smarter, retain strong employees longer, and reduce terminations and turnover. The key? Tryouts.