CEO reveals 'Disney' question he expects all candidates to master

A CEO has come-up with a novel way of assessing whether or not a candidate is an ideal fit for their company.

Don Mal, Chief Executive of software firm Vena Solutions, recently revealed to the New York Times one bizarre question that he has jobseekers answer during the recruitment process.

"Would you be willing to leave your family at Disneyland to do something that was really important for the company?"

And, even stranger, he expects the candidates to say yes. He told the publication: "Some people have said no, and I haven't hired them.

"It's interesting because I did leave my wife and kids at Disneyland once. It was to close the biggest deal of our company's history. I left for two days. It wasn't like I was leaving them there for the whole vacation.

"To me, it's not so much a loyalty question. It's more of just trying to understand their work ethic."

When asked whether or not he thinks annual leave should be honoured, Mal noted his experience of leaving his family whilst on holiday.

“I felt it was important,” he said, “and I'll tell you why. It advanced my career. It helped the company, and my wife was actually okay with it because I got a pretty big check to pay for our entire vacation because we closed the deal.

“Whether you're a public or a private company, you've got to make your numbers. So, you do whatever it takes, without doing anything wrong or unethical."

Do you agree? Is sacrificing holiday and family time worth it for career advancement? Tell us in the comments…

Comments (5)
Mon, 7 Aug 2017 2:07pm BST
I believe Mr. CEO is yet to grasp what true diversity really stands for. If he has not hired all the 'NOs' without a follow up 'Why' question, then he has failed in applying the key principles of 'Equal & Diversity' which govern fair recruitment and selection processes. This should be the underpinning framework behind a company's success. Depending on what part of the world he lives in, he could be breaking the law if unable to justify objectively, the reasons for not hiring a potential candidate during an interview feedback. He has missed an opportunity to identify that there could be potentially qualified and brilliant applicants such as individuals who might be:
1. Enjoying their first family vacation in 10 years because they've never been able to afford one due to family size or circumstance.
2. An employee who couldn't leave their spouse because their support is required to manage a disabled child or more than one child on a family holiday.
3. An employee with mental illness who desperately needed that holiday to unwind before facing the next level of work challenge.
I could go on but I'll stop at the above three examples. An sensitive employer with a mindset for encouraging diversity needs to think outside the box. Organisational success is not about deals and money. Staff wellbeing should be the priority at all times. Unless Mr. CEO doesn't realise the impact of a lack of the latter on staff turn over and sickness absence. He does need buddies to do the work even after all the 'deals' as secured. I would gladly say a capital NO if faced with his million dollar question. Without looking back!
+
- Show less
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 2:55pm BST
James (UK)
This guy sounds like an idiot.

I'd happily be one of the 'no's if it meant working for someone more in touch with reality and with a better grasp of what a balanced work and home life should look like.
+
- Show less
Fri, 21 Jul 2017 5:32pm BST
Lets be real 'The biggest deal in the company's history' is not exactly what someone being interviewed is likely to be facing - as such the question is pointless and irrelevant - says it all about spoilt business leaders.
+
- Show less
Fri, 21 Jul 2017 3:24pm BST
I can understand where he is coming from with the question, but why should all no people not get hired???
It could be a very good reason they wouldn't be able to make it back, if they explained their reasons would he view the decision any diffrently and offer the position??
+
- Show less
Fri, 21 Jul 2017 1:45pm BST
What a terrible expectation to have of others... Whilst his decision to leave is family may be right for him - and them - it is not necessarily right for everyone. A severe lack of empathy seems evident.....
+
- Show less