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Are online surveys and memory games replacing the resume?

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New advents in big data collection have created some interesting and innovative solutions that work off of information that really matters. It could have a big impact on how companies screen job applications.

Resumes and Qualifications

When it comes to flipping through résumés, HR managers are faced with tons of emails containing padded qualifications, lists of personal interests and employment histories that date back to the Stone Age.

What if we could put a candidate who looks promising through an alternative hiring process—a way that would reveal how they tackle problems, how they work under stress, and how they behave when making an important business decision?

It's now possible with big data, software and online tools.

Rather than bringing a job candidate in for a face-to-face interview, the first round of the hiring process can take place on the web. Internet filters can weed out job candidates who may seem like a perfect fit on paper, but who may react in counter-productive ways at the office.

Online Quizzes as a Corporate Filter

The approach screens potential hires by using online quizzes or games that test everything from their memory to their real knowledge of industry-specific topics, and what kinds of behavioral traits they reveal in how they answer questions about how they might deal with a client or how they would handle a subordinate they have become close to personally.

Banks and financial institutions, for instance, have strict internal controls and hiring protocols to ensure that risky candidates (i.e., individuals facing financial hardships or have bad credit) are filtered away from an institution tasked with protecting its financial assets.

With online quizzes and games, part of the big data collected could convey how long a job candidate takes to answer certain questions. For example, if it takes them less than a second or two to click yes or no on a question, you can pretty much bet that’s a truthful response.

Whereas if it takes a candidate several seconds or more to answer a question like, “Would you be willing and able to fire an employee with whom you have become close to outside of work?” the takeaway is that the answer isn’t an accurate representation of how they really feel, or how they would really act in such a position.

Candidate Assessment

Once many candidates have taken the same online test, quiz, or questionnaire, the data collected can be organized in such a way that employers can visually see via charts or graphs which candidates are the most truthful with responses. So if honesty is a big priority for your business, picking the most honest candidate is probably the best choice.

But of course, there has to be more to it than that. It’s not so much that such quizzes would be the ultimate defining factor, but by adding on other types of tests that reveal memory or real experience or knowledge, candidates can’t fake their way through a timed test.

Skills Verification

For example, let’s say the job candidate states on his resume that he is an SEO whiz up to date with all the latest factors that affect the science of SEO. When asked on a timed test something like, “What is the name of Google’s latest algorithm change?” if it takes more than two seconds to answer, the bullet point on that resume is likely not true.

While online tests and questionnaires for hiring are still very much in their beta phase, there’s no doubt that the collection of big data based on their responses will not only help companies decide who to hire, but it will also help them chart the difference between how hired employees behave and whether or not it’s in alignment with their survey responses.

In addition, by hanging on to big data collected from such quizzes over time, companies will likely be able to hire the best person for the job based on recognized trends in overall answering and how the reality panned out once candidates were hired.



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