Why I don’t like pre-defined tests in the recruiting process

Looking for talents is different than looking for someone to do the job

Talent is a strange thing. You can teach people a lot of things, but without talent — without a little something, that is driving them from within — they will never live up to their full potential.

“I want to achive $things in my life” is all good, but when you have never started doing them, yet, chances are that you got no talent in doing so. I can’t teach you to become a software developer, when you never had written a single line of code. I can’t teach you to become a writer, when you have never tried to write something down. You get the idea.

I strongly believe, that everyone has got their specific talents. Sometimes these are hiding in things people do without even thinking about it. And sometimes talents are pretty obvious and people are aware of what they like and try to develop their required skills further.

But I want to write about the recruiting process. To hire someone is a delicate task sometimes. Start with questioning yourself: why do you want to hire someone?

Just for doing a predefined job? Without the need for change or improvement? Just go hire someone.

Your are looking for a person, that will be able to improve your processes? That will foster innovation and by doing so, discover new opportunities for your business? A person, that is able to do things differently than you have done them before?

Chances are high, that a single test to rule them all won’t fit them. A test to rule them all is a message to the applicant, that you don’t care for their talent, because you just want them to do a “job”.

I don’t want to limit a colleague to what I want him to do. I want them to push their limits in a way, that is unique to their style — something no one else can deliver. That’s why I’m looking for talents. And it’s my job to engineer the setting in a way, these talents can push us further and make us successful.

Talent is a USP and I can’t afford to iron out these skills just because I got no idea how to make the best out of it.


These notes are part of a little series, where I write down some ideas without much polishing. The writing’s rough and the storytelling may be broken, but we got something to talk about. Feel free to comment and to ask questions. For a handshake, visit my profile on LinkedIn or Xing.

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