Karen Moran
September 17, 2021
Reading time: 8 minutes
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Whilst traditional interviews are still the most common approach in selection, we all have questioned whether they tell us enough about whether someone can actually do the job and that worry that we might be missing out on candidates who are not great at interviews but would be perfect for the job.

We’re seeing a growing trend of job auditions.  As you would expect, job auditions are an opportunity to see candidates perform on the job tasks.  Depending on the role, it could be a technical test, role-play scenarios or exercises that mimic what they would  be required to do on the job.  

Here are some examples we love: 

  • Citadel use Talent Auditions to find their future data scientists. The virtual ‘Datathon’ is a competition with cash prizes designed around teams of prospective candidates solving real data challenges 
  • Automatic have what they call ‘tryouts’ where candidates are paid to do real work projects that can last between 3 to 8 weeks 
  • McKinsey give their candidates real client scenarios they’d be faced with in the job 
  • Mogul ask candidates to spend a trial day working rather than a final interview

When you’re designing your audition assignment, aim to make it an accurate representation of the type of work your new hire will be doing on a regular basis.

Here are a few examples of auditions you could use when interviewing for HR roles:

HR Business Partner 

The business area you will be working with has just had their latest pulse survey results and it has flagged that career development is a problem. Give us a few ideas about how you might tackle it? 

What you’re looking for?

You’re looking for how they would look for deeper insight into what people want from career development, coach leaders to have career conversations, ideas about how they might ditch internal processes to encourage more movement, introduce new light touch products e.g. Talent Discussions (not the 9 box grid),  informal mentoring (not a policy), job shadowing etc.

Talent/L&D Consultant  

We want to get rid of our traditional annual appraisal so one of your outcomes for this role will be “To design with the HR team/business a fresh approach to traditional appraisals.”  Prepare a short presentation (2 or 3 slides max) to share a few ideas with us about what a new approach might look like, how we might develop leaders, and how you would move it forward”.

What you’re looking for?

That they are on top of the latest trends in PM i.e. employee-owned, team performance, light touch, coaching not assessment, innovative ways to help leaders do it better, and how they would co-design the product with HR/stakeholders.

Data & Insights Manager 

Here is the data from a recent pulse survey we ran about hybrid working.  Can you turn it into a one-page slide that would be shared with our senior leadership team on what the data is telling us?  

What you’re looking for?

Data analytic skills but also able to break data down to show insights so that people understand and have an emotional connection with the story the data is telling.

Recruitment consultant 

One of our priorities is to work on our candidate experience. Take a look at our careers website and the experience you have had as an applicant and give us some feedback on what action we should take.

What you’re looking for 

That they understand the importance of candidate experience, employment brand and they have plenty of fresh thinking ideas about what you could do differently – simplifying process, language, etc. 

HR Advisor

We need to influence a change in behaviour of leaders who are overly reliant on HR or a policy to provide the answers and instead we want to encourage them to use their own judgement. How might you tackle this?

What you’re looking for?

You’re looking for someone who is comfortable/excited by this idea and how they might tackle it e.g. for example moving to principles not policy, wider HR involvement, coaching leaders, learning sessions/clinics etc.

For more resources like this check out the Disruptive HR Club – the online network for HR who want to change outdated practices for good.

Get even more Disruptive HR content and join our Club – the go-to place for people who want to change HR!

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