Friday, October 19, 2012

3 recruitment tests to know if a job candidate is right for your company

Individualized candidate testing is a crucial part of the interview process for any high-growth organization. We administer not one, not two, but three tests to candidates to find the people who can power the company forward.

But what truly makes our tests effective is how we customize them according to the position. Our tests are designed to validate the quality of a candidate. Consequently, our tests must measure the exact skillset we seek. This might sound obvious, but administering inappropriate tests is one of the biggest recruitment mistakes employers make.

Holding true to our testing process has led us to find employees that require minimal onboarding and training. These are the individuals who can generate new ideas, solve problems, and help drive our business with confidence and savvy. Here's a summary of Stroll's individualized candidate tests and why we administer them.

Skills assessment test. Our skills assessment test is the first test we give as part of Stroll's interview process, which we recently blogged about. Candidates for analytics positions within our company are given mathematical and analytical problem sets similar to the precise thinking they need to do while on the job. Likewise, for our marketing candidates, tests consist of questions that present marketing challenges and seek solutions. Finance candidates are rigorously tested on their ability to read an income statement and balance sheet, understand a cash flow report, and be able to build a detailed financial model based on characteristics of our business. From these tests, we definitively know whether candidates have the basic skills required for the job.

Written critical thinking test. The second test we give candidates is a written Q-and-A test. This Q-and-A test poses several hypothetical scenarios and asks candidates to write out how they would address the situation or solve the problem. Each question usually has multiple parts. For instance, a question on our marketing test might start off with: Take a look at our website. If we wanted to increase our conversions by 10 percent, what changes would you make? Part B of the question might ask: Describe which one of your suggestions would have the greatest impact and why. This written critical thinking test is designed to determine a candidate's ability to effectively communicate a solution in written form.

Personality profile. Finally, we end our testing process with a personality profile. Again, the personality profile is tailored to the position. So when interviewing sales candidates, our personality profile evaluates a candidate's confidence, assertiveness, and other key sales attributes. The personality profile allows us to determine if the candidate fits with the Stroll culture, and shows whether the applicant has the personality characteristics appropriate for the position. However, if the results aren't quite what we're looking for, they are not grounds for elimination. Rather, the results give us more information about candidates, validate what we've already seen, help us develop questions to ask during the final interview, and help us create candidates' onboarding plan.

After these three tests, candidates are subjected to a final interview with a hiring manager and other team members. These tests, and our commitment to personalize each of them according to the position, ensure our internal accuracy in picking the individuals who can thrive in a high-growth environment, provide the technical and analytical skills needed to advance our cause, and fit well within the culture and aspirations of our company.

I'll be back shortly with my third post on HR best practices. It'll focus on employee performance evaluations.

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