Lyell Clare, CEO of Clarke
“We use our business as a force for good, and all the decisions we make are not done at the expense of profit, rather they are done with profit equally in mind. Open Hiring is a profit model, not an add-on.” - Joseph Kenner, President and CEO, Greyston
Bernie Glassman, the Founder of Greyston, was an innovative entrepreneur who came up with the concept of Open Hiring nearly 40 years ago. He saw that when members of our society are not living up to their fullest potential; we all lose. So, he set out to solve the problems that make employment a challenge using business as a problem-solving vehicle.
In the beginning, he would actually pull people off the streets, saying ‘Do you want to work? We can teach you some skills.’ And that’s how Open Hiring was born. Today, if you want to be a baker at Greyston Bakery, you go to the bakery and you put your name on a list. When the job becomes available, you get the call, and you get the job. There’s no questions asked, and no background checks. They don’t even do interviews.
The principle is simple: Everyone has a set of skills that can enhance a business and society.
In this sense, Open Hiring is a commercially viable, talent management option that can help companies tap into a broader talent pool to build stronger, more loyal teams and communities. Not to mention, it is equal to and - in many cases - more cost effective than recruiting talent by more traditional standards.
Open Hiring is not an external social responsibility program; it’s a business tool. Joseph Kenner, President and CEO at Greyston tells us, “We use our business as a force for good, and all the decisions we make are not done at the expense of profit, rather they are done with profit equally in mind. It’s a profit model, not an add-on.”
This is Conscious Capitalism. It’s about providing solutions while creating value and sustainability over the long-term, and the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the brownies.
When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, Greyston Bakery employees were designated essential workers. They worked throughout the pandemic and its myriad challenges and setbacks, and continued to produce brownies, making it possible for millions of people to stay safe at home and snack on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The bakery experienced record sales as well. All this with a team that was previously deemed “unemployable”.