A recent Quartz article suggests that skills are more important than charisma when it comes to hiring in the tech sector, but we at LaunchPad feel that’s not quite the case.
The Problem Isn’t the People, but the MethodIt’s a widely-accepted fact that traditional interviews simply do not work in some sectors. The author of the Quartz article, Thomas H. Ptacek, gives the example of a cellist being interviewed through a “personality test and a quiz about music theory rather than a blind audition.”
Ptacek is illustrating that traditional interviewing doesn’t work if you’re recruiting for an orchestra because technical skill is the be-all and end-all of a cellist’s worth as a musician — the point being that the hiring process for coders is equally unfair. His remedies for this problem, however, appear rather inflexible, emotionless, and unyielding.
Ptacek seems to think that, in order to recruit the best candidates, tech employers should be hiring based on arbitrary skills and expertise alone. But this method both further distances the employer from the applicant and marginalises candidates based on the assumption that their job roles will require little or no charisma. This cliché about coders and tech workers might make for a fun joke, but actually enforcing it is seriously harmful, and perpetuating that stereotype will only help to construct the foundations of an unhappy workplace.
Ptacek even discourages interviewers from asking creative or improvised questions, ensuring that your hiring team will “get over it” when asked to give up one of their few means of guiding the company’s future. Unfortunately for Mr. Ptacek, coders do indeed have personalities, as do interviewers. The problem at hand is not the people involved, but the methods being implemented.
The Best of Both Worlds
It’s true that traditional interviews are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, as technology advances and new methods are generated. In particular, LaunchPad Recruits offers a video interviewing and candidate screening platform to help make the recruitment process more accessible, user-friendly, and most importantly, efficient and effective.
That said, LaunchPad believes that personality matters. Video interviews are far more effectual than traditional interviewing, as the stages of your recruitment process can be streamlined to obtain higher quality information about prospective candidates. The best of both worlds lies in gathering information about an applicant’s skill set while getting a far more vivid sense of your applicant’s personality — and that’s exactly what you get with LaunchPad.
Moreover, applicants using our platform can complete their interview from the comfort of their homes and receive better, quicker feedback, as interviewers have far more time to consider and develop their assessment of each candidate. More comfortable interviewees give more accurate portrayals of themselves, as they’re working with a “home field advantage” that allows them to truly perform for interviewers.
We outline how our system works with three easy steps: set the questions, set the challenge, and collect the data. Using this process, the interviewer can ensure that every candidate has a similar interview experience, thereby collating valid information that’s easily comparable.
Furthermore, using the same process, candidates can rehearse and redo their responses so that their skills and personality really shine through, rather than forcing them to limp through a nervous and poorly-communicated showing in a traditional interview.
Ptacek rigidly outlines questions that an employer should ask itself about their hiring process. These questions are important to ask, yet his solutions aren’t wholly useful and often border on the onerous. Thankfully, Launchpad Recruits offers straightforward answers to each inquiry and, most impressively, offers them in a simple, user-friendly, and personable way. All are key to matching the right applicants with the right employers, because you hire people, not paper.
(Main image credit: Jeffrey Zeldman/flickr)