To apply to become a baker at Greyston Bakery in New York, you have to put your name down on a piece of paper.
The bakery, which supplies the brownies for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, was founded by a Zen Buddhist and former aeronautical engineer Bernie Glassman in 1982. Since then, it’s been a pioneer of “open hiring”—a recruiting approach which does away with questions about an employee’s prior education, experience, or criminal records. “There’s no interview, no questions asked. We don’t do background checks, drug tests—you show up for your first day of orientation, that is your first day on the job,” says Joseph Kenner, the president and CEO of the Greyston Foundation. The nonprofit runs free workforce development and community wellness initiatives, and also guides prospective employers through what open hiring might look like for their business, including the training and support employers must provide for it to be successful.