What Are Some Unique Candidate Assessment Methods that Provide Surprising Insights?

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    CHRO Daily

    What Are Some Unique Candidate Assessment Methods that Provide Surprising Insights?

    In the quest to uncover the most telling attributes of potential hires, we've gathered six innovative assessment methods from industry leaders, including CEOs and Directors. From using social media as a character gauge to testing industry skills with real-world scenarios, these unique techniques offer surprising insights into candidates during the hiring process.

    • Social Media as a Character Gauge
    • Escape Room Reveals Team Dynamics
    • Community Service Unveils Authentic Traits
    • Multi-Level Interviews Assess Culture Fit
    • Hair Story Exercise Tests Empathy
    • Real-World Scenario Tests Industry Skills

    Social Media as a Character Gauge

    Social listening is key to assessing a strong candidate in this modern age. The last thing I want as a recruiter is to hand over a problematic worker.

    And yet, checking out social media profiles is still a bit of a taboo in the industry. Everyone does it, but not everyone admits to it.

    But the resulting insights are breaking down the status quo. Far too many candidates are still maintaining questionable accounts that won't fly for today's socially conscious companies, and as they are turned down systematically, word spreads: It's no longer enough to keep your work and personal life separate. You must project an image that reflects well on the company always.

    And if you can't or don't want to? Well, good luck to you.

    Travis Hann
    Travis HannPartner, Pender & Howe

    Escape Room Reveals Team Dynamics

    Incorporating escape rooms into our assessment process was a unique twist that offered us unexpected insights into our candidates. It was like watching them in their element, solving puzzles and making decisions on the fly. This setup revealed not just their problem-solving skills but also how they communicated under pressure and collaborated with others.

    It was an eye-opener, helping us see beyond the resume to the person's real-world abilities and how they'd fit into our team dynamic. This method became a key part of our hiring strategy, allowing us to identify candidates who were not only skilled but also great team players.

    Ana Alipat
    Ana AlipatRecruitment Team Lead, Dayjob Recruitment

    Community Service Unveils Authentic Traits

    One insightful candidate-assessment method we've experimented with involves conducting part of the interview in a non-traditional setting, such as a group community service project. This approach goes beyond the confines of a conference room or the predictability of a video call, placing candidates in a real-world scenario that requires teamwork, communication, and adaptability.

    The rationale behind this method is twofold. First, it allows us to observe candidates in an environment where their authentic selves are more likely to shine through. When engaged in a task that benefits the community or requires hands-on problem-solving, candidates often let down their guard, revealing invaluable insights into their character, leadership qualities, and ability to collaborate effectively. Secondly, it demonstrates the organization's commitment to social responsibility, aligning the recruitment process with our core values and observing how candidates resonate with these ideals.

    This provided surprising insights, particularly in uncovering hidden talents, leadership potential, and the genuine interpersonal skills of candidates. It also fosters a sense of camaraderie among interviewees and offers a glimpse into how they might integrate into the company culture. While unconventional, this method has proven to be a powerful tool in assessing fit beyond the resume, highlighting individuals who not only have the skills for the job but also embody the values and spirit of the organization.

    Laurie Hyllberg
    Laurie HyllbergVice President, Kinsa Group

    Multi-Level Interviews Assess Culture Fit

    As the CEO, I actively participate in our company's recruitment process. Handling numerous unique talents poses a challenge, but our successful hiring strategy involves a multi-level approach. It's not restricted to HR or myself; we engage various team members in candidate interviews to assess their compatibility with the company culture and potential colleagues.

    Jamie Frew
    Jamie FrewCEO, Carepatron

    Hair Story Exercise Tests Empathy

    Our 'Hair Story' exercise is one of the unique candidate assessment methods we use at Perfect Locks, and it's one of the things that has always surprised us the most during the hiring process. Our business isn't about selling hair extensions; it's about understanding people's deep personal and emotional connection to their hair. When we interview candidates, we ask them to tell us their hair stories. It's a great way to measure a candidate's empathy, creativity, and ability to relate to our customers on a personal level. We've been surprised at how much of a personality trait this exercise reveals and how well a candidate fits into our culture. One of our most moving stories was from one of our candidates. After years of feeling self-conscious about her natural curls, she embraced them. The authenticity and vulnerability she brought to the table during the exercise demonstrated that she empathized with our clients' stories and was willing to listen and help in the best way possible. This one-of-a-kind approach to candidate screening makes it easier for us to find candidates who match our brand values and creates a more empathetic and inclusive workplace culture. Understanding and appreciating each other's hair stories creates a stronger connection between our team members and our clients.

    Priyanka Swamy
    Priyanka SwamyCEO, Perfect Locks

    Real-World Scenario Tests Industry Skills

    A unique assessment method we've employed at JetLevel Aviation involves incorporating a real-world problem-solving exercise specific to the private jet charter industry. Candidates are given a scenario where they must coordinate a last-minute charter flight, considering factors like client preferences, budget constraints, and logistical challenges. This exercise not only reveals the candidate's critical thinking and problem-solving skills but also their ability to handle stress and communicate effectively under pressure. The insights gained from this approach have been invaluable in identifying individuals who not only have the necessary skills but also embody the adaptability and client-focused mindset crucial for success in our industry.

    Fahd Khan
    Fahd KhanDirector of Marketing & Technology, JetLevel Aviation