We read a lot about employee recruiting practices and advice. Some is worthwhile, some isn’t, but recently we were really caught by a firsthand account of hiring. Fortune.com featured a great piece about Google’s approach to hiring new programmers. If you’re in the habit of googling obscure coding terms (see: “python lambda function list comprehension”), then you may see a note from Google pop up in the results, saying “You’re speaking our language. Up for a challenge?”
From there, you can choose to “play,” which will take you through a series of coding challenges. This happened to Max Rosett, who wrote about his experience on The Hustle.
Even as you read this, you might be curious to know more about these quizzes that Google subjects applicants to. Could you answer those questions? Could you find the solution to those puzzles? People, as a general rule, love games and challenges. This is the true genius of Google’s approach. Not only does the company weed out those unable to perform the necessary tasks, and learn more about the prospective employees, they also engage people who might not have otherwise applied.
If you are hiring for an open position, you may not care at all about whether or not the person knows a programming language, and you may not have the ability to see what others are searching like Google does, but you can certainly employ similar tactics. Don’t shy away from challenging potential employees. Will they be nervous? Of course. They would be nervous even if it was a standard interview. However, the best candidates will also be intrigued and eager to show off their skills.
Today, it is possible to do much of this via the web. It is possible to provide applicants with login information, so they can access the employment quiz via the internet. Set a time limit, offer up the challenge and see what they come up with. You may be surprised with how inspired and innovative written responses can be.