From brainteasers to neuro technology. What’s happening in the world of recruitment?

Posted 5:57PM on 15 August 2013

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As we get more mature in life most people are likely to have had several interviews for jobs or been involved in the recruitment process. There’s no doubt it’s a tricky situation for both the person applying and the organisation doing the recruiting.

The cost of advertising to appoint is considerable, not to mention all the man hours in the process. With all the on costs it can easily spiral into 5 figure sums. So it goes without saying that when you make an appointment, you really do want, the best person for the job.

Before Google went down the path of behavioural targeting for appointing new staff it was  renowned for being one of the toughest places to interview for a job because it asked candidates difficult brainteasers. A practice that it has since denounced as being a load of baloney, Google's senior vice president of people operations, Lazlo Bock told the New York Times.

”They don’t predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart”. Bock  goes on to say about behavioural targeting, “The interesting thing about the behavioral interview is that when you ask somebody to speak to their own experience, and you drill into that, you get two kinds of information. One is you get to see how they actually interacted in a real-world situation, and the valuable meta information you get about the candidate is a sense of what they consider to be difficult.”

On another note, TBWA\Istanbul, an ad agency in Turkey tried a different way to recruit interns from 503 applicants. They turned to neuro-technology firm Minder to measure what they termed “Adlove”. They put headgear on to candidates that measured electrical impulses from the brain whilst they watched an advert and turned it into comparable data. Their objective was an effort to measure a person’s passion, love and excitement in a scientific way. You can view the short video below.

We think it is great that they have tried to approach recruitment objectively. How often have you been in the scenario of shortlisting people based on their qualifications and then hiring them on how well practiced they are at interviews or on a hunch. The validity of testing candidates like this however is questionable. There could presumably be a multitude of reasons for people having strong or weak responses to the advert they watched that could be completely unrelated to their passion or ability to do the role. Whatever conclusions you draw about this particular method of recruiting staff it has generated plenty of interest and been a great PR stunt. A cynic might wonder what an advertising agencies actual objectives were in doing this exercise.

The Self Awareness diagnostic is a behavioural targeting tool that provides a detailed analysis of personality types, attributes and learning styles and has been successful in a variety of applications. It is incredibly simple and quick to use and provides feedback - instantly. Having been tested and validated by the University of Cambridge you can be confident that you really are investing your money wisely. So why not employ the right people, in the right roles, to do the best job.

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