Speed date your candidates

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Tired of reading boring resumes and assessing personality tests? Maybe you should try the faster approach from tech companies like Quora and Pulse.

In a recent event 15 tech companies gathered with about 50 engineers – the companies paid for the privilege, it was free for the candidates – for what was essentially a speed dating event. The employer and candidate had five minutes to pepper each other with questions to decide whether they suited each other, in a professional sense.

Every five minutes the air horn sounded and the candidates changed tables.

Many of the companies got creative in what they asked. Touch-screen keyboard maker Syntellia COO Ioannis Verdelis showed engineers the product and asked them to explain the software, with those who answered well getting follow up calls.

Some might call the proceedings a mini career fair - were it not for the air horn that organizer Dom Patrick blared every five minutes - or maybe a networking event with all the fluff stripped away (except beer, of course).

"You have to think of more creative solutions for the process," Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, a cloud-based file-storage system, said. "It's not just about bringing people in for an interview anymore."

It’s easy to get stuck in the same loop of posting, culling resumes, interviewing and hiring. Is there a way to incorporate new ideas into your recruiting process?

  • M_Web on 2013-01-16 11:09:20 AM

    We did something like this when we were hiring to top up our casual support staff. We had 5-8 of the frequent supervisors spend approx 10 min. with candidates and asked them some pre-set questions. If we liked what we heard, then we moved them on to the skills assessment stage. We did this for about 6 hours over two days and probably saw 300 candidates each day. We were able to thin out the undesireables and get to good ones fast. Yes it took a lot of time up front, but we were able to cut down on resume screening and interviewing process. Because our business lives/dies on customer service, and because resumes are NEVER a good indicator of customer service skills, this system worked great. As a result, we have seen a 60% retension rate of casual support staff into regular positions.

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