Over the past few decades the way in which we recruit 'new blood' into our organisations has changed.
Gone are the days when your mum, dad, or friend got you a job.
To a certain extent it's also true that submitting your CV no longer enables you to get past the first round let alone get you an interview or the job.
If you're lucky enough to stand out from the crowd and get yourself an interview then you've usually got to compete with a mix of 'standard' questions as well as ones which are testing your competence (ironically in a job you've not been working in...).
But, my question to all you out there recruiting is - are you in fact missing a trick?
When recruiting I always asked the interviewee to provide a solution for a very real scenario.
I've even been cheeky and asked one round of interviewees to solve a problem I was having (although they believed it was a basic question).
I always assumed that everyone took advantage in this way.
Only to discover that nope, this was just me being my usual 'off the wall' self.
However, Harvard University has also decided that this one thing could really help weed out any candidates who are awesome at interviewing but rubbish in the real world.
Admit it, you've had your fair share of those too?
These guys & gals are such a waste of time, and money.
Not just to you, them being in your organisation wastes their time as well.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying completely throw out your standard questions because you still need them but instead of asking your interviewees to answer made up questions why not ask them things which are very real.
Even ask them to solve a problem your team is currently struggling with.
They may not get the answer.
In fact it's very unlikely they will on their own.
You don't really care about the answer at this moment in time what you need to see is how they're coming up with a solution.
What do they do when they're presented with something unknown?
Do they stare blankly at you?
Do they read the question a million times then start doodling?
Or do they start drawing on past knowledge, experience and similar scenarios?
Remember - organisation specific skills and information is really easy to teach. Lateral and strategic thinking on the other hand is a very rare skill indeed.
You may be thinking; 'I don't need a strategic thinker to stand on a processing line' or 'They've only got to do some filing'
If you are - STOP.
Everyone you recruit should have the potential to run a team, department, office or the entire organisation.
You need to make sure you're thinking about the future of the organisation and not just in the here and now.
If you don't think the person you're recruiting is able to lead a team then don't hire them.
Think about the people you have working for you right now.
How many do you think could lead a team?
1, 2, or 3?
Now think about those who really couldn't.
10, 15, 20, 100...
Who takes up the most time?
Who drives you batty answering the same question day in, day out?
Who gets in to work, starts their day, stays productive finding things to do, and still has time to help others?
Do you get it now?
Why recruit people who are going to drain your time when you could recruit those who are not only going to enable you to have the time you need to do your job, but also increase productivity and profitability.
So, go for broke in the interview process and you never know you may find the answer to the problem which has been lingering in your organisation for months!
Happy recruiting & I'll catch you soon - Katie
P.S. there's loads of other neat little psychological tips, tricks and hacks you can use in your organisation to not only get the best people but also keep the best. Check out the online eCourse which walks you through the steps you need to ramp up employee engagement:
Katie Woodland - A developmental, and holistic psychologist who specialises in educating and empowering individuals, business leaders & school teachers to remove mental health as a barrier to success.