Ed Hunter: Assessment Day

Hello. It’s me again, Ed Hunter. Recruiter Extraordinaire. Or so I thought.

It seems the time I spend in my current company is sometimes better spent not doing my job (recruiting). I absolutely love doing any meaningless task that senior Management throw my way. So imagine my unbridled passion when word came through that as the Ops Director was ill, it fell onto my large capable paws to take our Graduate Assessment day.

“Don’t worry about it” implored my Manager, you’ll probably find a few gems and we can get them back for interview. “The rest may not be up to scratch” he warned “so just don’t spend too long in there.”

“Should make a decent article” I thought to myself. And how right I was… 

The morning starts with me greeting all of the Grads in our reception before leading them into the boardroom. Three of them make sure not to make eye contact by staring at the ground so I try to break the ice by telling them the ‘interrogation room’ is just through the door. I’m not sure anyone hears this apart from one of them who looks genuinely close to tears.

I then wince to myself knowing I’ve turned into the very person I would have hated with a passion. 

The next thing for me to do is apologise that I don’t normally do these and ask for a little patience. I’ve downloaded a basic format from Google which reads:

  1. Print off name badges
  2. Ask for personal introduction from them all and an interesting fact
  3. Complete task. Like answering what makes a good Consultant
  4. Pair off and sell each other as a candidate
  5. Finish on something called ‘the Hot Air Balloon task’

Each of the ‘newbs’ in this assessment is incredibly different and because I’m a bloody showman and run things off the cuff, I ask them to include what they order in the pub. After all, they want to be a Recruiter and “a tap water” just won’t cut the mustard.

The first to introduce himself is Tom.

Tom is what I may have called at Uni a “rugger bugger.” Asking him to stand up was apparently the equivalent to personally insulting him. And when he did so, it looked like a cross between a line out and a police lineup. Positives: Tom’s incredibly competitive and tells me so. His interesting fact is that he once drank a goldfish (knew it), and his drink of choice is a ‘dirty pint’.

I obviously laugh at this, but then realise he’s serious. This guy WANTS this job!

Jamal’s next. This guy seems calm, collected and looks at me and everyone else in the eye upon speaking. I already know this guy’s top biller quality. Jamal’s interesting fact makes me question what I’ve been doing in my life.

“Yeah so at school I set up my own business employing year 8’s to wash the cars of the teaching staff. After a while I realised there was limited business so I employed the year 7’s once a week to throw mud at the cars on their way in.”

I think Jamal knows I’m impressed by the grin on my face. I write down one note on my pad: “EMPLOY”   

Next up, Jack. Jack is a ‘lad‘… and I’m surprised he hasn’t called himself that on introduction. Jack’s interesting fact is that he’s “been intimate with over 63 women”. My first thought is “you mean 64 then you idiot?” but this ‘fact’ is only meant for one person and it’s not me.

Jack looks in the direction of Nina and asks whether it’s “illegal or just frowned upon” to sleep with colleagues. While I’m left questioning why he thinks that would be illegal I say it’s obviously frowned upon, at least in a full boardroom. He replies “well, let’s turn that frown upside down.”

Jack’s not here for the job. Luckily, as he won’t get it. Though I do think about a referral fee from the agency my mate works at. He’d be top biller I expect.

Next up is Nina. Nina in the nicest possibly way is clearly dead behind the eyes. If one of my Directors interviews her she’ll know that quickly. If the other one does she’ll get the job but only cause he’ll call her ‘arm candy for client meetings’. You probably think I’m being mean by calling Nina dead behind the eyes but let me explain.

Her interesting fact is “giraffes are the only animal born with horns.”

Nice fact I think but explain “No, sorry Nina, I meant an interesting fact about you really, it’s an ice breaker.”

“OMG” she spells audibly fluttering at Jack… “OK I love Giraffes.”

I think about making a joke about not sticking my neck out on her behalf but decided better of it.

Steve’s up next. It’s clear early on that this guy is incredibly intelligent, but has the people skills of a cucumber. Steve’s worked out the call to interview ratio at our company versus a rival off the back of two work samples he’s done and tells me in his most monotone voice, the deficit as his interesting fact.

“Interesting” I reply nodding, while scribbling down the word “Nope!”

Next is Steph who looks older than the rest. When Steph stands up she explains that after working in a bank she went travelling and is now incredibly financially motivated. Her interesting fact is that she fell in love in Japan and learnt a bit of Japanese.

I joke that if she can learn Japanese she might understand our CRM. Steph smiles and is clearly the only one who knows what a CRM is. *Know your audience Ed*. 

Anyway, Steph’s definitely getting a call back. She seems sharp and wants to succeed. “Interview” I write down.

Which brings us to our last lamb to the slaughter, I mean applicant… Charmaine.

Charmaine comes across as a bull in a china shop, and is here to WIN. She qualifies that while she’s never fallen in love in Japan (slight dig) she did make her old Lecturer cry once. I think Charmaine’s been overly prepped by the grad agency and thinks making someone cry will impress me.

I write down “might make me cry” on my pad and move things on to the next exercise: “What makes a good Recruitment Consultant” – should have googled it.

Tune in next week for the second part of the Assessment Day. If you can’t wait that long, here are some other classics.


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