The Job Hunt – Part 2/3

Check out my previous post for the part 1 of this series.

For many job openings, getting the foot into the door – getting recruited – tends to be the most tricky part. Obviously different companies have different ways of going about this. 3 latest trends that I see playing out in the job hunt marketplace:

  • Recruitment by Resonance.
  • Recruitment by Challenge.
  • Recruitment by Algorithm.

This post shall be on the second trend.

Recruitment By Challenge

The Internet has gifted a phenomenal reach for every organization around the world irrespective of its its actual physical presence. Expanded Reach –  not just in terms of the channels for selling their wares but also in terms of an Expanded Access to a massive global talent pool. Obviously this means that organizations can cast their nets wide and far while recruiting for potential hires.

For them, a  Potential Fit is defined as a person who is ‘man’ enough to meet a ‘challenge’ and thereby stand apart from the other bunch of applicants.This is what I call as ‘Recruitment by Challenge’ – throw a challenge at them, and pick the one who addresses it the best. While the trend per se is not particularly a new one, it has now started to garner a mainstream acceptance as a viable recruitment tool for organizations across sectors and borders.

Yes –  challenge driven recruitment practices have been very common with software companies for getting coders of real mettle. But these days even international Intelligence agencies have jumped onto the bandwagon.

For example, the British Intelligence Agency GCHQ, which works in partnership with MI5 and MI6 have recruited for potential ‘spies’ by throwing an open challenge and inviting aspirants to crack a code in 2011. The initiative was called as ‘Behind The Code’ and has generated a global interest.

When Wieden + Kennedy needs a Social Strategist to work on Old Spice, what do they do? They throw 10 challenges and ask applicants to revert within 5 days. Read about all the 10 challenges here.

As L Bhat (a renowned blogger) points out in his blogpost:

The actual job description is not very different from a ‘regular‘ Social Strategist. But the sheer novelty of this approach sends in a lot of messages: (a) it is a high profile job since the expectations will be very high for Old Spice and W+K given the track record; hence anything ‘regular’ will not suffice (b) blogs and media across the world are writing about this novel approach; that’s how buzz is created (c) it gives a cool image to the agency as a place to work.

In fact even for their planning placements that they had opened in Oct 2012, W+K have thrown a gauntlet at the applicants by way of a set of 4 questions that need to be answered within a month – by Nov 25th 2012.

And thus starts a long list of organizations that have begun downplaying resumes and references in favor of puzzles and challenges that have proved the ability to attract brilliant people.

Did you come across any such challenging/interesting recruitment drives of late?

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