A story covered by Portland blog More Hockey Less War a month ago is now being covered by the New York Times: An Application for Baristas That’s More Than Milk and Beans.
North Portland’s Ladybug Organic Coffee Company (8438 N Lombard) asks prospective employees to fill out a (pdf) five page application form that includes such non-traditional questions as:
What is the most important thing that you have ever learned, and how has it changed your life?” one question reads. “What is something that you do on a regular basis to make the world a better place?” And, “What is one thing that you think would make Portland a better city?
The article’s gist is that Portland is obsessed with coffee, and in this difficult economy Ladybug Organic Coffee Company has a better chance of finding cheerful and competent employees using this unorthodox application process.
Personally, I think a large number of potentially fantastic employees won’t bother to waste their time on a 5 page application with essay questions. If I were looking for work such an application would be a red flag indicating a potentially obsessive, micro-managing boss.
Steve, at More Hockey Less War, sums up the reaction a lot of potential applicants might have:
What one thing makes you absolutely stand out above the rest? Why should we hire you over applicant X? (Because I wasted an hour of my life answering these ridiculous questions?)
Read the rest: So you want to be a barista.
Probably they just hire their friends and the application is a formality.