Finding the cream of the crop

The recruitment and selection process can be a challenge on both sides of the interview room.   Psychometric testing, presentations and textbook questions to test the candidate’s abilities in line with the skills required for the role profile.  But do they really tell you what you want or need to know for the business and for your team?

When I worked in the corporate world, the strangest question I faced during an interview was about which people, preferably famous, I would invite to a dinner party.  Certainly not a question I’d prepared for.

So what is the best way to find out about candidates’ skills?   Assessment centres are often used in recruitment as a way of seeing how people approach a task, communicate and behave under pressure.  I would say taking this a step further and introducing a task that is removed from what they would do at work – such as cooking a set number of dishes within a specified time frame.

Now you are thinking how would you apply this to recruitment?  It is an excellent way of putting everyone on a level playing field.  Whether they are external or internal candidates as they are all in a strange environment and faced with the same non-work related task.   For recruiting manager and HR, the non-work environment and task means they can be more objective when observing the candidates’ interaction and behaviour.

What you see in a cooking event is a very good idea of how candidates approach a task, how they behave, work in a team (or not) and what skills they display to achieve the task including strategy development, planning, time management, leadership, presentation skills.   Click here to find out more.

They can also have some fun, so you will see the candidates more relaxed than in a formal assessment centre.    For those candidates who are not successful in getting the role, they will have learnt new skills and had a more enjoyable time than being grilled across a table.   It will probably enhance your company brand value.  Most people want to work for an innovative business that is fun and quirky.  Breaking out of the norm and demonstrating your bold approach to finding the hidden gems will certainly make you stand out of the crowd.

And who did I invite to my dinner party?  Raymond Blanc of course!

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