For the past four decades, Greyston Bakery has implemented a policy called “open hiring,” which simply requires applicants to want to work — no other questions asked.
“All they have to do is put their name on a list, and when the next job becomes available, no questions asked,” Joe Kenner, president of Greyston, said. “No background checks. No interviews. Your first day of orientation is actually your first day on the job.”
Troy Winfray is a new hire. He said the company’s trust drives his ambition.
“It actually feels pretty good. It gives me a feeling of hope, you know, and it feeds my ambition to want to do the right thing and do good,” Winfray said.
Maria Gomez has been working at Greyston Bakery for three years. She said she is grateful for her work at the bakery.
“I appreciate that a lot … the opportunities that they gave me,” Gomez said.
Newly promoted Abigail Amegbedzi has been working at the company for a year. She said the company is helping her grow.
“I’ve made a step, so I’m looking forward to the next year, the next two years and more years to come,” Amegbedzi said. “I will still be moving forward.”
Quentin Frederick is an example of growth within Greyston Bakery. He’s worked for the company for seven years and said it’s built him up.
“It meant a lot. Because at the time, I was down on my luck. I had no job. And … it meant everything, and it gave me a chance to build up my self-esteem,” Frederick said. “Make money, and when you work, you just feel good about yourself.”
Other companies are taking notice of Greyston Bakery’s “open hire” policy.
Kenner said it’s about giving people a chance.
“A lot of folks have never gotten the first chance, so this is really an opportunity, not a promise, to bring people into the organization, and we’ve been doing this for 40 years,” Kenner said.
James Croft, who is newly hired, said he was given that chance at Greyston Bakery.
“Some opportunities you just won’t have because of your past,” Croft said. “[But] some opportunities will be there. I guess it just depends on the person and your drive. You just have to keep going. Opportunities will come, like this one with Greyston.”