Here is a riddle from a professional recruiter I know. Today, the most in-demand profession is that of a social media specialist. That’s a person who blogs, tweets, Facebooks, etc. and can use their knowledge of social media to promote the company that hires them.
How does a recruiter know, however, if they are interviewing a real media fanatic or somebody who simply wants to ride the wave of this profession’s popularity to get a well-paying position?
The very first selection mechanism is the following: the recruiter asks the candidate to fill out some paperwork and leaves the room. After the recruiter comes back, she knows immediately if her candidate is the real deal without asking them a single question.
Question: how does the recruiter determine if the candidate is a true social media enthusiast before even talking to them?
Supplementary question: is this the coolest job in the world, or what?
My sister, known on this blog as “The Sister”, owns a job recruitment agency in Montreal. She tells me that there has appeared a new and very disturbing trend in the job recruitment process. On several occasions, she found a candidate who was a perfect fit for the job and who was really liked by the prospective employers. However, the employers added a new step to the job interview process: a personality test.
These personality tests consist of prefabricated sets of multiple-choice or yes or no questions that are extremely silly and pointless. Let me share a couple of examples with you.
“Do you agree with the statement ‘It’s a jungle out there, and everybody is out for themselves’?”
What is this, people? Who asks this idiotic kind of question of professional adults? What is the “right answer” supposed to be?
The following question was part of the “personality test” administered to a person applying for a managing position:
How would you describe your leadership style?
- Leading by example
- Leading by authority
Any leader worth his or her salt would be hard pressed to answer this question. Good leadership means you know how to adapt to a variety of situations instead of choosing one vaguely defined method and imposing it on every situation.
I have no idea why employers don’t trust their instincts as to whom to hire or don’t rely on the advice of professional recruiters. Instead, they rely on these meaningless questionnaires that, of course, will weed out all the good, self-respecting candidates with an ounce of independence and original thinking.