A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a New Boston Post article by someone named Kyle Reyes – President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing – that explained his firm’s somewhat unorthodox hiring practices. You see, The Silent Partner Marketing is apparently a pretty cool place to work. They have a bar, they have a personal trainer, they allow dogs – YES DOGS!!!! – in the office, which should actually alleviate stress levels and increase productivity. (Yes, I speak from experience. We employed a wounded warrior at my old job, who had an adorable German Shepherd seeing eye pup, and who acted as our office therapy dog whenever he didn’t have his harness on.) So being a cool place to work, the company obviously gets a lot of interest from prospective employees, who find the benefits appealing.
So how does a company ensure they hire the best and brightest, whose personality fits the culture?
I know what it’s like to have to wade through hundreds of resumes. Whenever my office advertises a position, we drown in a swamp of resumes – some stellar, and others… well… they might as well be written in crayon. I know we’re a great place to work, but it seems these days applicants think we need to sell ourselves to them, because they’re so smart/experienced/fabulous. Sometimes it takes all my will power not to remind the applicant that with the pay and benefits we offer, as well as the fascinating work that actually makes a difference, they should be the ones selling themselves to us. More often than not, the attitude is, “show me how great you are, and that you deserve me!”
NEWSFLASH, SNOWFLAKE! We are not here to impress you. We pay good money for good skills. We hire quality people and reward them accordingly, and we screen heavily to ensure said quality. Don’t like it? Don’t apply! We are certainly not here to adjust to your whims.
Since I can’t very well inform prospective applicants that they won’t be issued safe spaces, pussy hats, safety pins, and free days off to focus on their political activism, I weed out potential snowflakes by informing them of the true benefits of working in my office.
You get to do a truly fascinating job that allows you to challenge your assumptions and stretch your mental muscles.
No, you don’t get a masseuse or your own office, but we do have a table filled with chocolate, cookies, and all sorts of treats people bring – especially when they go TDY to a faraway place! And we do get to travel! Places like Germany, Singapore, Britain, Luxembourg, and Romania are just some of the neat places we’ve been able to send our employees! And yes, you need to learn customs and courtesies. And no, you don’t get to indulge your “I only eat organically-grown, locally sourced produce that certifies it wasn’t mean to animals” predilections. You will be polite to your hosts, always be on time, always keep situational awareness, and act like a grownup, or you don’t get to go again. Believe me, I’ve done it.
You do get to interact with senior policy makers, and keep them informed about critical issues that impact this nation. No, you don’t get to choose what you brief or how you brief it. No, you don’t get to decline because you don’t like a particular policy maker. No, you don’t get to shove your own political views into your analysis. You will, however, become a subject matter expert on various issues that are vital to our foreign policy and national security, and you will develop your knowledge and expertise. I call that self-fulfillment. You like it? Come show me why I should hire you for this unique opportunity! I won’t coddle you, but I will teach you and guide you, and I will make you the best you can be at your job.
But back to Kyle Reyes.
When I read Reyes’ strategy for weeding out those who don’t quite fit the corporate culture at his company, I nearly squeaked with excitement! He calls it “The Snowflake Test.” Since he published an article about “The Snowflake Test,” it’s gone viral. I’ve seen him on the news, and he’s been on a ton of various radio programs!
I sent Reyes a note shortly after the first article was published with a short kudos for his work. He was kind enough to respond, and we had a brief conversation in which I conveyed to him how much I wished I could administer his “Snowflake Test” to those who apply for open positions with me!
Some of the questions are somewhat eclectic.
- When was the last time you cried and why? (At my son’s Army Basic Training graduation. Tears of joy)
- You arrive at an event for work and there’s a major celebrity you’ve always wanted to meet. What happens next? (I do my job. Duh.)
- What’s your favorite kind of adult beverage? (Bloody Mary)
Others are obviously designed to gauge your respect for the views and beliefs of others or your love of this country.
- How do you feel about guns? (I carry an M1911. My G23 is my other carry pistol.)
- What are your feelings about employees or clients carrying guns? (None of my business as long as they practice common sense safety.)
- What does America mean to you? (*Long discussion about the opportunities this nation provided me – ones I couldn’t get as a Jew in the former USSR*)
- How do you feel about police? (Much like I feel about others who stand up. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for your sacrifices. Your badge doesn’t come with a halo, however, so don’t abuse your authority.)
Still others take a peek at your personality and try to gauge how you would perform your duties in a marketing firm.
- What’s the best way to communicate with clients? (Politely, respectfully, but honestly and directly.)
- In a creative environment like The Silent Partner Marketing, what do you envision work attire looking like? (As long as you don’t come in with piercings all over your face, wearing leather chaps, no pants, and a tiara, I don’t care. Dress professionally. It doesn’t have to be a three-piece suit all the time, but if you come in wearing pajama bottoms and a torn t-shirt with fuzzy bunny slippers, I’ll personally escort you out.)
- Should “trigger warnings” be issued before we release content for clients or the company that might be considered “controversial”? (Nope. You hire us for our expertise and reputation. If you don’t trust us to release the very best content for your needs, maybe you should find someone else.)
Reyes apparently got a lot of flak from the very snowflakes he wants to avoid for weeding them out in such a rude and undignified fashion! After all, they shouldn’t be subjected to these intrusive questions or judged by their answers! They’re perfect candidates! They deserve an interview. They bring a lot to the table, and because they’re so special and perfect, the employer needs to sell the company to them. They’re special! They’re quality! How DARE he want to hire the best candidate possible for openings in his own company! Reyes’ attitude toward these entitled buffoons is the same as mine would be.
I was scolded by a woman on the phone yesterday who told me she wouldn’t take the test and “shame” on me for making people take a test to come work for us. She “demanded” I remove the test or risk losing out on “perfect employees” like herself.
Well, snowflake, it’s back to the heaping pile of applications for me.
I would probably send the woman a photo of her application in my circular file, because I’m not as nice as Kyle Reyes.