Recruitment: Check whether they can do it, not whether they can talk about it

We are all used to recruitment based on checking CVs for experience and qualifications, and then asking questions about how they would do the job. At the end I often feel I have no idea whether they will do the job well, because we’ve only tested their ability to talk about doing it well. So we try to avoid that at Happy. I was delighted, in our latest recruitment, to be able to give a selection test – in advance of the interview – based on what the job actually needed.

We are currently recruiting for a (paid) online marketing internship (details here). The application form has only contact details, no questions on qualifications or experience. So far we have had 140 applications and they have all been sent the selection task. This asks them to create a mix in Learnfizz (our curation tool for online learning) and then market it online.

Testing What the Job Needs

This tests their ability to learn a new online tool, their writing and their judgement on online links and, most crucially, their ability to get people to come and visit what they have created. Using our own tool is a big help, as we can use Google Analytics to track exactly how many visitors each mix gets, and where they come from.

Only around 25% have actually created anything at all but that is fine. The task has selected who is keen and motivated to get the job and isn’t put off by a different approach. None of them have succeeded in making their mix go viral (yet) but several have got a fair number of visitors to their mix. The top 6 will be invited for interview.

I’d love to hear any ideas where you’ve done something similar. We’ve always done it for our content-writing jobs, getting people to complete a writing exercise before being invited to interview.

And if you know anybody who might want to apply, there are still a couple of days left: Click here.

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