What Does Open Hiring Mean?
When asked what the term “Open Hiring” means, Abigail Saunders, Director of Human Resources for Greyston Bakery, does not hesitate. “A new opportunity,” she says, “it’s giving someone a second chance, a new opportunity to succeed.”
And Saunders knows this well. As the individual who oversees hiring and employee retention at Greyston Bakery, Saunders has years of experience working with new hires who faced difficult barriers to securing employment elsewhere. So what makes the Open Hiring hiring process unique? “No questions are asked of applicants,” Saunders says. “We don’t conduct background checks, we don’t ask to see resumes. The only prerequisites we ask about is if they can lift 50 pounds and can work either the morning or night shift. If they can, we put their name on our hiring list, and when an opening occurs, we call them to see if they’d still like to work for us. The day they come in is the first day they work.”
How Has Open Hiring Worked At Greyston Bakery?
And how have the Greyston Bakery employees who were hired through the Opening Hiring process ended up working out? “In the vast majority of cases, very nicely,” Saunders reports. “They start with the attitude that, ‘You’re the only one who believed in me.’ They look at my team like we’re their heroes. They come to us, in many cases, with a lot of insecurities. No family, no income, they might live in a shelter. We go the extra mile for them. Our view is that they will succeed if given the opportunity, and our job is to help them succeed.”
Why Open Hiring Hires Develop Trust
Even though many Greyston Bakery Open Hiring employees first appeared for work with a noted lack of work experience, and some had criminal histories, Saunders is convinced that there are few limitations these employees will encounter once they’re given the opportunity to show what they can do. “Because we’ve given them this opportunity,” she says, “our employees trust and respect us. There are no call-out issues. We focus on constant communication from our leadership team, and that communication goes both ways.
“This isn’t to say we don’t play a disciplinary role when necessary, because we do. We do not tolerate excessive absences from work, nor repeated tardiness. When these kind of issues arise, we talk them through it, and get them through it. They come to understand that a large part of their potential success rests with them, that at the end of the day it’s up to them.”