Created By: Halcyon on August 3, 2012 Last Edited By: Halcyon on August 11, 2012

Unusual Hiring Practices

A company hires based on a set of skills or achievements outside the usual for a job.

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
When a company hires applicants based on how well they do performing skills outside those that would normally be associated with the job. Like an accounting firm requires you to be able to run a marathon, or a bakery that wants you to prove your skill as a mason first. After being hired however, the new employee finds themselves using the standard skill set for that job anyway. Can be a one time deal, or that might actually be how they test all the new applicants.

Would not count if it's a Secret Test of Character.

Most likely to be used in a comedic setting, though could happen in a more serious piece.

See also Heroism Equals Job Qualification.

Examples

[[folder:Film]]
  • Men in Black: Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) invites J (Will Smith) to the M.I.B.'s training facility, for a try out, after witnessing him track an alien on foot. J ends up competing with marksmen and top military officers in various tests of skill and mental acumen. During the written portion of the exam, the others tried using their chairs to write on, while J was the only one with sense enough to make use of the table. However, it was during the marksman exam, that J also demonstrated that he was not only keenly observant, but could think outside the box. The others simply fired at whatever looked like a monster, while sparing the civilian targets, as one would expect. J fires a single shot and kills "Little Tiffany". When Zedd asks why, J explains:
    J: "Well, first I was gonna shoot this guy on the lamp post, but then I noticed that he was just working out. I mean, how would I feel if I was at the gym, and a brother put a cap in my ass? Then I noticed this guy here had a tissue in his hand. So I was like, "he's not snarling, he's sneezing." That's when I noticed your girl over here. A twelve year old white girl, wandering around by herself, in the middle of the night, carrying books on quantum physics and quantum mechanics? Zedd, that is WAY too advanced for somebody her age. Shit was about to go down. Or do I owe her an apology?"
    • J got the job, the others had their memories wiped and were sent home.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • The Imperial Examination gets parodied in Interesting Times with the Examination for the Post of Assistant Night-Soil Operative, which tests the candidates on poetry, literary criticism and music.
    Rincewind turned the paper over a couple of times. There didn't seem to be any mention, anywhere, of words like "compost" or "bucket" or "wheelbarrow". But presumably all this produced a better class of person than the Ankh-Morpork system, which asked just one question: "Got your own shovel, have you?".
  • In The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the sorcerer hires the boy because he can't read.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
  • One Andy Capp strip has him go to an interview for a job he doesn't want:
    Interviewer: You afraid of hard work?
    Andy: Petrified.
    Interviewer: A clockwatcher?
    Andy: Can't keep me eyes off it.
    Interviewer: Come in, you're the first honest lad we've had all week.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things seems to hire people for, among other things, their pectoral girth. The only person who has avoided this so far is Jared, by virtue of the Commander's interest in his story and making Pokémon battles interesting to watch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
  • On King of the Hill, Hank hired workers based on their knowledge of football. This bit him in the ass when he hired a drug addict who was a Cowboys fan.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
  • The skills required for a Chinese Mandarin in the Imperial Examination leaned surprisingly toward the artistic.
  • Sports Clips, a chain of barber shops, only hires female barbers who know a lot about sports. The idea is to get your hair cut by a pretty woman who can discuss last night's game.
[[/folder]]

Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • August 4, 2012
    polarbear2217
    In The Sorcerers Apprentice", the sorcerer hires the boy because he can't read.
  • August 4, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    I know I've seen this before, but more with an individual hiring someone for unexpected reasons. Perhaps I'll read The Eyre Affair again, since it just popped into my head for some reason.
  • August 4, 2012
    Kellor
    On King Of The Hill, Hank hired workers based on their knowledge of football. This bit him in the ass when he hired a drug addict who was a Cowboys fan.
  • August 4, 2012
    randomsurfer
  • August 4, 2012
    jatay3
    The skills required for a Chinese Mandarin in the Imperial Examination leaned surprisingly toward the artistic.
  • August 5, 2012
    MrRuano
    Manly Guys Doing Manly Things seems to hire people for, among other things, their pectoral girth. The only person who has avoided this so far is Jared, by virtue of the Commander's interest in his story and making Pokemon battles interesting to watch.
  • August 6, 2012
    Halcyon
    Which Sorcerer's Apprentice is that? I'm trying to figure out which Media Type it would go under.
  • August 7, 2012
    DaibhidC
    • One Andy Capp strip has him go to an interview for a job he doesn't want:
      Interviewer: You afraid of hard work?
      Andy: Petrified.
      Interviewer: A clockwatcher?
      Andy: Can't keep me eyes off it.
      Interviewer: Come in, you're the first honest lad we've had all week.

    • The Imperial Examination gets parodied in Interesting Times with the Examination for the Post of Assistant Night-Soil Operative, which tests the candidates on poetry, literary criticism and music.
      Rincewind turned the paper over a couple of times. There didn't seem to be any mention, anywhere, of words like "compost" or "bucket" or "wheelbarrow". But presumably all this produced a better class of person than the Ankh-Morpork system, which asked just one question: "Got your own shovel, have you?"
  • August 7, 2012
    DracMonster
    Oddball Opportunity Employer? Or does that sound like hiring a Bunny Ears Lawyer?
  • August 7, 2012
    Halcyon
    It's supposed to be more from the employer's end. The applicant arrives expecting to be tested for the usual skills, only for the employer to base the hiring off something else entirely, and after being hired having the applicant use the expected skills anyway.
  • August 8, 2012
    JoeG
    • Real Life: Sports Clips, a chain of barber shops, only hires female barbers who know a lot about sports. The idea is to get your hair cut by a pretty woman who can discuss last night's game.
  • August 8, 2012
    MiinU

    Film

    • M.I.B.: Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) invites J (Will Smith) to the M.I.B.'s training facility, for a try out, after witnessing him track an alien on foot. J ends up competing with marksmen and top military officers in various tests of skill and mental acumen. During the written portion of the exam, the others tried using their chairs to write on, while J was the only one with sense enough to make use of the table. However, it was during the marksman exam, that J also demonstrated that he was not only keenly observant, but could think outside the box. The others simply fired at whatever looked like a monster, while sparing the civilian targets, as one would expect. J fires a single shot and kills "Little Tiffany". When Zedd asks why, J explains:
      J: "Well, first I was gonna shoot this guy on the lamp post, but then I noticed that he was just working out. I mean, how would I feel if I was at the gym, and a brother put a cap in my ass? Then I noticed this guy here had a tissue in his hand. So I was like, "he's not snarling, he's sneezing." That's when I noticed your girl over here. A twelve year old white girl, wandering around by herself, in the middle of the night, carrying books on quantum physics and quantum mechanics? Zedd, that is WAY too advanced for somebody her age. Shit was about to go down. Or do I owe her an apology?"
      • J got the job, the others had their memories wiped and were sent home.
  • August 9, 2012
    MiinU
    bump.
  • August 9, 2012
    polarbear2217
    The original story "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ul76i4174ou53wz6t7oxxh7b