Should you use recruitment tasks in your hiring process?

08 May 2024 Sharyn Waterworth

Should you use recruitment tasks in your hiring process?

Hiring the right people can be a big challenge. As a hiring manager, it’s one of the most crucial decisions to your team’s success.

To create a cohesive, high-performing team, you need to be able to assess candidates not only by more than just their resume and a first impression… which is exactly where recruitment tasks should come into your hiring process.

Why you should use recruitment tasks in your hiring process

You might be surprised to hear it’s actually quite common practice for hiring managers to require candidates to complete a task before making any final hiring decisions.

Recruitment tasks - also known as candidate assignments - are an effective and affordable way to check a candidate’s ability to complete the tasks required in the position they’re applying for.

This is the first and most obvious advantage of using recruitment tasks in your hiring process – it will allow you to gauge the level of skills and competency that candidates can bring into the role available.

But these aren’t the only benefits. Setting recruitment tasks can also:

  • Give you an insight into how each candidate works and what their thought processes are;

  • Gives the candidate a window into your business, helping them to better understand how things work, what drives the team, and what challenges you may be up against;

  • Only committed candidates will complete an assignment - saving you time and energy in the long run;

  • If multiple decision-makers are involved in the hiring decision, it will make it easier for the group to evaluate each candidate.

How to create a good recruitment task
  1. Make it relevant
    Remember, interviews work both ways. While they give the hiring manager an insight into the candidates, they also give candidates an insight into the business.

    Make the task relevant to the role and the business to give candidates a snapshot of what their day-to-day life could look like. This is a great way to sell the business to your candidates.

  2. Remember tasks are for screening skills, not knowledge
    Recruitment tasks should be less about theoretical knowledge and more about practical skills and abilities. This advice goes hand-in-hand with the point above, but preparing a task which contains everyday problems that employees in your company deal with (or could deal with) is the easiest way to achieve this.

  3. Explain why
    Explain to your candidates why you’re asking them to complete the task. Be specific about telling them what you’re looking to see, as this will allow them to put their best foot forward.

    Previous bad experiences may have left some candidates feeling that companies only ask candidates to complete tasks to steal ideas or receive free labour. An explanation will help to relieve any anxieties that your candidates may have around this issue.

  4. Interview first
    We wouldn’t recommend starting your recruitment process with a task. Instead, get to know your candidates first via an interview. As we’ve talked about before, while skills are important they are only one factor of many to consider in your hiring decisions.

Interested in more recruitment insights? Click here to keep reading.