Experts warn that cross-cutting work assignments as part of the hiring process should be a flashing red flag

This is the weekly job posting.

Radhika Panjwani is a former Toronto journalist and blogger.

Companies that turn in absurdly illogical and exhaustive job assignments as part of the interview process are lighting up a red flag that should ring alarm bells for job seekers, cautious experts.

The reason for skills testing is that it can provide clues to a candidate’s approach to work, as well as provide insights into their understanding of technical knowledge. Except, in some cases, projects that are directly acquired from the home fall under the category of exploitation.

Examples of excessive requests include asking applicants to research, outline and present an in-depth social media strategy; Create a detailed business proposal with marketing methods, budget and other logistical details; Perform complex graphic design work or request free campaign ideas.

“Business assignments can help recruit the best talent if they are appropriately planned as a short training [of no more than two hours of work] “To help the candidate demonstrate his strengths and technical knowledge,” said Liliana Nakamura, HR consultant and career coach for the Greater Toronto Area. [assignments] It should be administered at the end of the hiring process, after verification by traditional interviews and not as an upfront filtering tool, or a way to get work done for free. If the skills can be assessed in a different way, for example by a workgroup, the task should be removed.”

Ms. Nakamura said one of the issues with free job assignments is that candidates feel manipulated because some assignments are so complex that a candidate has to put them through several hours of guesswork.

A reasonable request for an internal project might be drafting a press release, a few social media posts for a communications job or writing a piece of code for a technical job.

Free ideas and free work

A few months ago, A., who requested anonymity for privacy and was looking for a business strategist position with a regional agency in Ontario, was asked to develop and submit an in-depth business case to the interview panel. The assignment required the job seeker—without knowledge of the agency’s operations and priorities—to create a scheme of benefits, cost, and timeline for launching an income-generating initiative at the district level.

A said he spent more than 25 hours that week on the project in addition to his regular job. There were many red flags around the hiring process, including a lack of clarity on expectations and the matrix against which he would be evaluated.

“I didn’t think the process was fair or correct, because I had been submitting the application to the same people who had already interviewed me for an hour,” he said. “I also didn’t understand why you should focus on presentation in the first place. Sometimes people are excellent at presentations but bad when it comes to substance… and decision making.”

The man admitted he didn’t get the job but the whole experience left a sour taste.

say “no”

Madalina Cicarino, a job site expert in Indeed Canada, advises job seekers to speak up if they feel they are being unfairly tasked with tasks.

“You are looking for the next great employer and the hiring process is your first insight into what it would be like to work there,” said Ms. Secareanu. “If the assignment is too complex, applicants can also show a smaller or more reasonable version of the assignment and provide previous examples of similar work.”

Candidates can also request to be excluded from the interview process if they deem the assignment unreasonable or if the hiring manager is reluctant to give up an alternative assignment. And when the project requires the creation of original work such as campaign ideas, articles, or works on intellectual property, ideally, the company should not use the candidate’s work without compensating or hiring them, but when in doubt, consult an employment or intellectual property attorney for clarity, she says Mrs. Secareanu.

“When choosing to complete a task, it is important that candidates consider who will have the right to their work,” she notes. “Because the work is being completed outside of the contract, candidates must ensure that they retain the rights to the work being submitted in the interview process.”

Today the applicant, tomorrow the stakeholder

Ms. Nakamura said companies that create a less than excellent experience during the hiring process, whether by requiring candidates to fill out several valuable screens of information already on their resume, undertaking unreasonable work assignments or by masking them afterward, should take in Consider the consequences. .

“Always assume that your candidate buys your products and services and can switch to your competitor because you didn’t communicate well in the hiring process,” Ms. Nakamura said. “Today’s job candidate can also be tomorrow’s primary stakeholder.”

What I read on the web

  • Deb Liu, CEO of Consumer Genealogy Business Ancestry.com, is an introverted leader, while the workplace is built on extroverts. In this Article – CommodityShe talks about how she sets small goals for herself. Ms. Liu says she considers extraversion to be a practical skill rather than an unattainable personality trait.
  • this is a story He talks about how workplace monitoring technologies are becoming increasingly common in the workplace. There are four ways in which employees are monitored and includes tattoo tools, which include monitoring of keystrokes and mouse activity; Superior location monitoring where phones and work badges are equipped with Bluetooth technology that provides the manager with an accurate location of where the employee is located; And a few other monitoring techniques.
  • Michael Hyatt is the author and founder of the best-selling leadership development company. In this Mail On his blog, Full Focus, he discusses how leaders can align effectively with their team. For starters, they could hire an executive assistant, he writes.

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