A New York company is hiring anyone who applies on a first-come, first-served basis — and all applicants have to do is put their name on a list

Greyston Bakery/FacebookAbout 75% of Greyston Bakery employees are hired through ‘Open Hiring.’
  • A New York company is hiring anyone who applies on a first-come, first-served basis, no questions asked.
  • There’s no résumé, interview, or background check – applicants just put their name on a list and wait for a spot to open up.
  • Greyston Bakery in Yonkers trademarked this untraditional hiring process as “Open Hiring.”
  • CEO Mike Brady says it’s good for business and gives opportunities to those who otherwise might not be able to work, such as formerly incarcerated people.

No résumé. No interview. No background check.

Some companies are choosing to ditch traditional hiring methods and instead hire anyone who applies on a first-come, first-served basis – no questions asked.

Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, New York, has trademarked the practice, calling it “Open Hiring.” The bakery and the policy were created 36 years ago by Bernie Glassman, according to Fast Company.

Since taking over as president and CEO of Greyston in 2015, Mike Brady has been a vocal proponent of the policy, which aims to give opportunities to those who have traditionally been kept out of the workforce, including people of colour, formerly incarcerated people, immigrants, and people of all faiths and sexual orientations.

Greyston bakeryPhoto courtesy of Greyston BakeryProspective employees don’t have to submit a résumé or sit through an interview.

There’s no résumé, interview, or background check – applicants just give their name and contact information and get hired when a job opens up.

The process is simple,” Brady told New York Business Journal. “You walk through the bakery, you put your name on a list and give us your phone number and email, and when we have a job available we call you up and say we’re ready for you to work.”

This straightforward process is a far cry from the infamously rigorous hiring methods some companies use.

At Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, candidates go through two to four phone screenings to decide whether they qualify for an in-person interview. If they get past the phone calls, candidates come to the SpaceX campus for an entire day of interviewing, where they are “grilled” in seven to eight one-hour interview sessions, according to a former employee.

At Amazon, interviewers have been known to ask tricky questions including, “How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?” and “You are Amazon, and Samsung offers you 10,000 Samsung Galaxy S3s at a 34% discount. Is that a good deal?”

Greyston bakery open hiringPhoto courtesy of Greyston BakeryOpen Hiring can save businesses up to $US4,500 per hire, Greyston’s CEO says.

At Greyston, about 75% of employees are hired through the Open Hiring model, according to the bakery’s website.

Those given a job start as apprentices and complete a 10-month job training and life skills course, according to Fast Company. They are then assigned an entry-level job, such as operating mixing machines or supervising the slicing and packaging of brownies for distribution.

The policy is good for business, the CEO says.

“From a business standpoint, we’ve doubled revenues in the past four years and have been able to run a successful, world-class business for the last 30,” Brady told the Journal. “We do it by hiring some of the most difficult to employ people in our community and use that as a differentiator. In many ways, we think it’s one of the most disruptive business practices.”

By getting rid of costs associated with the standard hiring process, which can reach up to $US4,500 per hire including background checks and drug tests, Greyston can pay its employees more, according to Fast Company. Apprentices start earning minimum wage but can work up to a salary of about $US65,000 with full benefits, the magazine reported.

Open Hiring also brings social benefits.

Greyston Bakery helps employees remove any ‘obstacles to job success,’ whether that’s safe housing or access to quality child care.

“From a social aspect, it gives people an opportunity to change their lives that might otherwise not work – the opportunity to experience the dignity of work is really a benefit that many of us take for granted,” Brady told New York Business Journal. “Not everyone in our country is able to find work or contribute to the economy.”

Greyston bakery open hiringPhoto courtesy of Greyston Bakery‘The opportunity to experience the dignity of work is really a benefit that many of us take for granted.’

Only 12.5% of employers, for example, say they will accept an application from someone who has a criminal record, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics study.

Brady hopes Greyston’s success will encourage other business leaders to start using the Open Hiring model.

“There’s a lot of tailwind to businesses to be more progressive and participate in the inclusive economy, and we just want to be a part of that conversation and know that the doors are open to help people,” he told the Journal.

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