I read an article in Fast Company the other day called, “What if We Killed the Job Interview?” On first reading, it ripped the common sense out of my skull, stomped it to a gelatinous dollop, and left it writhing and sparking in a series of random, errant synapse firings. The article said this, in part:
What would happen if we all agreed to scrap job interviews tomorrow, and focused instead on other indicators of career potential? … there are at least three important data points that suggest replacing interviews with other, more predictive measures is the way to go.
Here are the data points, importance TBD:
- “Job interviews have limited value for predicting performance … the typical job interview provides very little valuable information over and above psychometric tests.”
- “Job interviews introduce toxic data … [like] gender, age, race, appearance, or social class … AI-based tools … ignore candidates’ ethnicity or gender.”
- “Interview performance and job performance are two very different things … [because interviews are] exercises in ‘impression management’ … a desirable behavioral repertoire … [is] just not a terribly relevant skill set.”
But as I re-read it, bearing in mind my own experiences, I began to surmise the article’s brilliance.
Walmart Comes to HR
The genius of Walmart is that it eliminated the relevance of brand to retail (and quality, but that’s a topic for another post). Psychometric tests; AI; scannable, templatized, homogenized resumés that contain preconceived performance predictors and ostensibly relevant skill sets — and that obliterate reality and anyone’s distaste at having to perceive or experience it — do the same thing for HR: They remove all distinguishable evidence of identity (except for name), personality, demeanor, temperament, interests, aptitudes, and imagination.
Then I realized the pain I might have avoided from my own interviewing history. Taking the article’s data points in order:
- I’d never have been hired as a surgeon, sparing me the pain of removing a dude’s prefrontal cortex when he’d been admitted for the excision of a genital wart.
- I’d have escaped the harsh reality that I’m a white, middle-aged, middle-class man instead of a social construct or a semi-fictional persona.
- My cover never would have been blown when I showed an interviewer my double-jointed thumbs and got hired for a gig as a contortionist.
In response to that agony and to the needlessness of my having endured it, I invented a science: Humanetrics.
No Muss, No Fuss
Here’s how Humanetrics works: Bots, programmed by AI, create semi-fictional resumés for personae fabricated from generalized, computer-generated profiles of hiring companies. Other bots, also programmed by AI, which are employed by HR departments, scan those semi-fictional resumés for key buzzwords, industry-specific jargon, and non-toxic social constructs. Still another set of bots, also programmed by AI and employed by HR departments, calculates salary ranges and auto-generates employment-offer emails.
Still another set of bots, also programmed by AI and employed by HR departments, receives responses from the fabricated personae and officially hires those fabricated personae. No human intervention, interaction, or participation is ever required. And if the generalized, computer-generated-profiled companies are large and bureaucratic enough, no one will ever realize no human beings actually work in them. The digits and electrons will just continue to hum.
With universal adoption of Humanetrics (aka, The Linus Approach), none of us will ever have to contend with people. Aside from being a boon to HR departments, the members of which will never have to waste a second of their precious time misjudging or being misled by or exposed to toxic data, all of us will be able to live in blissful harmony with ourselves, never having to be acknowledged, contacted, engaged, curious, intrigued, inspired, challenged, admired, recognized, appreciated, rewarded, or respected by a single, solitary soul, ever again.
Image by Comfreak, courtesy of pixabay.com.