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Should Your Company Pay Candidates for Mock Work During the Hiring Process?

by PRC Agency PR
Should Your Company Pay Candidates for Mock Work During the Hiring Process?

It’s common practice these days for employers to include a trial project as part of the hiring process. Less common, though, is for organizations to pay candidates for the time they spend completing those projects.

At Datapeople, we pay candidates for the small projects we ask of them as part of the hiring process. It’s something we do out of respect because we recognize that their time is valuable. It’s something we do to create a more equitable hiring process.

Why you should ask candidates to do projects

It’s no secret that the classic recruiting process has some wrinkles to iron out. Basically, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Interview teams aren’t necessarily well prepared to assess talent. They may write job posts quickly, use generic scorecards, and receive little to no interview guidance from the hiring manager. Interviewers may repeat the same questions about the candidate’s work history and never paint a clear picture of the role for the candidate. The team may end up learning no more than what’s already on their resume. Or, worse, they may formulate judgments based on biased and superficial interpretations. And even the best teams struggle with doing it well at scale.

"Because the cost of making a bad hire can be high, many businesses are gravitating to data-driven measures instead of relying solely on traditional approaches of assessing applicants such as conducting one-on-one interviews, checking references and considering college pedigrees. The reasons tryouts are gaining favor include the following: Interviews can be misleading. Many people can make a good impression for a short period…Past experience doesn’t accurately predict future performance…Trial periods add a layer of transparency to the hiring process—for both sides."

- Society for Human Resource Management

A trial project is an opportunity for us to see a candidate’s work product. Not just past work, which may lack relevance to what we do, but current work based on exactly what we do. (Our products are fairly nuanced, so we often choose projects related to our work.)

Projects also give us a chance to learn how a candidate thinks and approaches problems. We can see how they like to work so we can judge whether they’re a good fit for our team.

But projects also give candidates a chance to assess us as a team and a company in return. They can see up-close the kind of work we do and how we work to gauge whether they want to join us.

Plus, not everyone is great at putting together a sparkling resume or knocking people’s socks off during an interview. Even if you’re normally a great interviewee, it’s still possible to have a bad interview.

Questions you should consider

There are lots of ways to structure trial projects and many ways to pay candidates. Trial projects can be as small as a two-hour project or as big as a trial week or temp-to-hire arrangement.

How long should an interview project take?

Is the project something a candidate can do on the side while still working at a full-time job? We try to keep our projects to something candidates can get done on a weekend afternoon.

When should you ask?

Most hiring teams will naturally wait until later in the hiring process to ask for such a commitment. By the time we ask a candidate to do a project, we may already want to work with them. This is the final step before we make an offer, and the candidate is either the only candidate left or in a group of two or three at the most.

What type of work?

Assigning projects unrelated to your actual industry is one way to assure candidates that the company isn’t trying to get free or low-cost contract work. These tasks also tend to be immediately accessible to candidates.

Assigning related projects, on the other hand, can show you how well a candidate grasps your work and can give the candidate a clear view of that work. This is particularly important if the work your company does is full of nuance and subtlety. If you choose an already-completed, real-world project, you can compare the candidate’s solution to your existing one. We choose projects related to our work, although not already-completed ones. And the projects are purely for assessment purposes.

How much should you pay candidates?

The amount you pay candidates depends on many variables, from duratio


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Created on Jun 17th 2022 14:48. Viewed 70 times.

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