It may seem bizarre - but it’s actually a lesson in creative thinking
Recruitment is a lot like dating. Sitting awkwardly across a table, sweaty palms, nervous laughter and – of course – weirdly intrusive lines of questioning.
Thirty-three percent of bosses know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they’re going to hire someone. But if you’re still on the fence about a candidate, you could always try throwing them a curve-ball.
Julie Hubert, CEO at Workland and speaker at HR Tech Summit Toronto, revealed the strangest – yet most innovative – interview question she poses to candidates.
“Years ago, when I was interviewing for a role, I remember being asked a very weird question. A company I was talking to asked me: ‘If you were a kitchen utensil, what would you be and why?’
“I said I’d be a spoon – because I like to rally people together and pick up all issue in one big swoop.”
It may sound bizarre, but Julie insists that this question allows candidates to give really insightful and creative answers. And she still uses it on potential new hires to this day.
“It is hilarious when I get to read what candidates wrote down. We’ve had people day knives – because they know how to make the important decisions and make harsh cuts. My favourite answer was a wine cork-screw – because you don’t necessarily need them a lot, but when you do you really need them.”
Adding a bit of flavour to an interview goes a long way in securing talent buy-in. But as automation and AI slowly takes over the hiring process, how can HR keep the human touch in recruitment?
“Considering that we’ve now entered a candidate-driven market, coupled with a war for talent, companies simply won’t have a choice but to keep the human touch,” explained Julie.
“However, that’s not to say that HR shouldn’t be automating certain portions of the equation! Candidates want to be respected throughout the recruitment process. As such, the entire method needs to have a human-feel to it – whether it’s a person responding to the candidate or a chat bot.
“Ultimately, there’s a large portion of the work which can be automated, from pre-screening to organizational introductions. However, when it comes to assessing the human elements at play – such as culture fit and identifying talent – that needs to be done by HR.”