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5 Tests to Help You Hire The Right Candidates 


Nearly every Singaporean leader in a survey said that they had hired the wrong person which affects the entire organisation. According to the research, it took them two weeks to realise that they have chosen the person for the job position. As the consequences of hiring mistakes, the company needs to face a great deal of increased workload and stress. Leaders also claimed that there have been decreased productivity and higher recruitment costs.

No leaders want such hiring nightmare to occur to their organisation. The case is, finding the right candidates for available roles could be tricky, especially if you have a limited time to conduct the recruitment process. Within a tight deadline, one might choose those who look great on paper - only to find that they don’t fit the role and then fire these talents three months later. 

See also: How to Improve Internal Recruitment Process

To avoid this hiring nightmare, Alex Paley, co-founder at Halo Kitchens, suggested these tests to examine how pertinent your candidate is for the position.

Email test

Purpose: To assess a potential hire’s commitment to the company. It can also help you find out how communicative and organised their thoughts are.

This test will require you to send an email to potential hires. The content of the email can be anything that requests a response, logic explanation, or action from them. If the candidates reply fast with a satisfying answer, they could be a reliable and invaluable employee in the future. Otherwise, if prospective talents choose not to respond to the “crucial email” for several days (ignoring your email), they are likely not the type of person you can rely on during tough times.

Process vs. product test

Purpose: To know how creative and how far a candidate can go with their creativity.

Creativity is important in business, thus, hiring creative candidates can bring in new ideas and perspective that helps a company advance. But more than creativity, Paley argued, consistency and dependability are also important.

For example, if the potential hire can give a “novel” idea but don’t know how to execute them, the idea becomes useless. On the other hand, a great and right hire should be able to voice their creativity with proven ability to execute them.

Proactivity test

Purpose: To assess an individual’s readiness when the situation gets tough.

Oftentimes, employers have no time to micromanage or mentor so new hires would need to rely on their own, said Paley. Therefore, examining a candidate’s behaviour during an interview session regarding whether they ask a follow-up question or give logical conclusions and assumptions can give you insight on whether they can carry their own weight or not.

Negative feedback test

Purpose: To know whether candidates can grow from negative feedback or not.

The goal of any business is to keep growing. And this growth can be achieved only through constructive feedback, be it negative or positive. If your hires understand, accept, and can learn from criticism, you have found someone who you’ve been looking for.

Generally, this type of test will need a scenario. You can either conduct peer in-person interview. So, the two candidates can give critical comments to each other. Alternatively, you can provide and prioritise negative feedback scenario that comes from a peer. Let’s say, the candidates will work in a team without constant managerial oversight. Ask their opinion about it, or tell them that they might not get constant development as they will work in a fast-paced organisation that requires self-learning.

Free time test

Purpose: To find out candidate’s activities during their free time.

You can question your candidate what they are doing during their spare time. If they answer some activities that are aligned with what they are applying for, the more likely they possess an intrinsic passion about the work which means you can rely on them anytime you need them.

However, if the candidates’ response does not align with what they are applying, it is either they choose the wrong position or they are desperate enough to get a job. You can either offer them another available position or let them go.  

Next read: Recruitment Tips: Hiring and Managing Non-Traditional Talents

Next read: When to Turn Down a Counter Offer? (A Few Things to Consider)