After joining my first big company, Monster.com, I was sent to my first big conference. As their social media ninja, they wanted me to know the most forward thinking social strategies at the time and sent me to learn from the big brands.
I geeked the hell out.
I read all of the overviews and had my agenda planned days in advance of getting there. Not only was this one of the first times I traveled alone for business, but my boss was spending big bucks to put me in the room with some of the best marketing brands in the world.
Sitting in those rooms and watching team leads speak from companies like Visa, Lowes, and Pepsi, I was in complete awe. Not just because of the brand names, though. They really were leading the way and using social media in ways most people weren’t even considering. They were talking about virtual reality to full stream automation when most people were just creating Twitter accounts.
I would have dropped anything to go work at those companies. I wanted to be writing the story instead of writing about them. I never got into this field to read and replicate case studies – I wanted to do something different. That’s what they were doing. That’s where I wanted to be.
But clearly they missed out on something. Something that just clicked for me during a panel I hosted a few weeks back about “Creating a Competitive Candidate Experience” with Codility.
Assessments For Attraction
Those speakers should have been trying to recruit me with something better than “come find me, I’m hiring.” I couldn’t find them, I tried. Instead they could have been using a quick 1-2-3 assessment.
OK, so I know you’re probably thinking, “yeah, right,” but give me a minute to explain.
Assessments can completely evolve your candidate experience. I mean, think about it. You’re sitting in a room of 100+ people you know are qualified and have parallel experience at big brands. Why the hell would I dump them on my careers home page just to get lost? I should give them something to do. Something to remember. Most importantly, something to make them apply while they’re all dreamy eyed about my company and my work, right?
This idea actually came from the CTO from Codility. Considering we were talking about tech candidate experience, it seemed pretty obvious we should have someone from tech instead of a bunch of recruiters. He uses assessment links at the end of his presentations to get resumes from coders who attended his talk.
But it’s not a traditional code test – it’s an abridged version. Maybe it’s a challenge. Maybe it’s a code test on the language you just taught because you’re recruiting someone for this work.
I love it because it contextualizes the work better than any job description, no matter how good the copywriting is. It also means your people have the chance to go out there and sell the job as themselves to people who are clearly interested in learning and want to work with the best. We’re checking a lot of boxes here.
Moving From Intent to Action
The other great thing here is that assessments provide candidates an opportunity to really shine before their face-to-face interviews. Before, we’re bringing home a business card and a glowing recommendation. Now, you’re showing them that this person is awesome in a tangible way and that helps hiring happen faster. It’s a whole new level of trust – and almost as good as a referral, even if you just met.
PS they already applied so, better.
The other bonus is that the recruiter or hiring manager has something to talk about on that first call other than, “tell me about your resume.” Instead they’re talking about how you think and showing enthusiasm for the parts of the work that matter. Brian Fink from RentPath, a recruiter and friend who was also on the panel, saw exactly that when his engineers started using Codility.
“It’s really exciting to kind of see these engineers gather around a computer and say, ‘Can you show me what you were thinking here?’ … It further validates who they are and the ability that they’ve got to be a mentor to others on the team.”
So what do you think? Could assessments be the answer to candidate attraction woes?
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.