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Passive Resistance

Robert Sapolsky reported in Sunday’s NYT on “The Brain Science of Conformity.” When a researcher planted a group of people who unanimously picked the most glaringly wrong answer to a simple question, such as which of the lines drawn on a paper is the longest, 3/4 of the time subjects would pick the same glaringly wrong answer. People want reassurance on their choices. So why do so many companies fail to inform job seekers in a few words what makes their company unique, stand out, stand for something. You don’t have to promise a Google environment. People choose extremely difficult work environments, if after a few years, they can write their ticket for having survived. But to attract those illusive passive candidates, which in this economy are a growing lot, putting in a compensation range and describing the company are the most effective ways to tempt a passive job seeker to think twice about your job description.

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