The Gig economy is revolutionizing the employment arena and, as noted in our recent blog post, it shows no sign of slowing down or waiting for others to catch up. One change that is front and center is the evolution of traditional hiring methods. Many gig employers are transitioning away from the traditional paper applications and short in-person interviews where a candidate is asked standard questions such as “what do you bring to the table;“ or “where do you think you’ll be in five years;” or, my personal favorite, “what’s your biggest flaw?”
Instead, a growing number of companies (especially tech and gig businesses) are evolving their hiring practices to include video interviews, strange interview questions, and hypothetical situations that aim to determine how smart the candidate really is and how well they can think on their feet.
Google is one example of a tech company that has thrown out many of the traditional hiring procedures and instituted brainteaser-like questions to determine how an interviewee acts under pressure. Glassdoor has pulled back the curtain on some of the Google interview questions, as it allows interviewees to post comments regarding their interviews. A few of my favorite Google interview questions include:
- “How many ways can you think of to find a needle in a haystack?”
- “Estimate the number of tennis balls that can fit into a plane.”
- “Do you prefer earning or learning?”
While these interview questions are quirky and fun, the real question is: how can a company use nontraditional hiring methods to ensure they are hiring the best candidates? With the ever-evolving workforce comes the need for change. Gig employers are constantly searching for talented individuals that are more self-motivated and entrepreneurial than the typical candidate, and thus tailoring interview questions to determine a candidate’s self-motivation is imperative.
Companies can use tailored quirky questions or situational roleplay to determine the true entrepreneurial mindset of the candidate. Further, companies may utilize tools such as video interviews to request that an employee showcase their relevant skills. For example, a gig company that offers services including cleaning, maintenance, or handyman services, such as Managed by Q, may choose to utilize a video interview to determine the actual skills the candidate possesses. The company may request that the candidate use their tools during the video interview to demonstrate their actual handyman skills. These opportunities to “see the candidate in action,” may prove to be vital to finding the best candidate for many of these unique positions.
One thing is certain – as the pool of candidates looking for more flexible positions continues to grow, so does the pool of unmotivated and unqualified candidates. In order to remain at the forefront of this ever-evolving economy, companies must continue evolving their hiring methods to maintain a workforce that will help ensure success.