Why use a task to test your job applicants

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5 Reasons why you should use a task to test your job applicants

There are so many reasons why you should be using a task to test your job applicants, we’re shocked that you’re not doing it already!

A job good application task can backup all of your hiring decisions, underpin your interview process and drive the perfect candidates to your inbox. But a bad application task can be a time-waster for you and your candidates, so it’s important to know just how powerful they can be before you make your own.

What is a job application task?

A job application task is a small project that you give to applicants after they’ve passed your initial screening but before the first interview.

An application task will be:

  • Short
  • Simple
  • Guided
  • Timed
  • Relevant

If you need any help creating a great application task that tests your candidates and shows you their skills, we can help with that.

Why should you use a task to test your job applicants?

1 – They separate the wheat from the chaff

For some of your candidates, convincing you of their passion and skills will be easy in an interview. But when it comes to a task, they’ll crumble.

A good job application task is a quick way to rid yourself of the sweet talkers and the candidates who apply to every single job they see.

You want the best of the best. You don’t want to put the success of your business in the hands of someone who didn’t even care to read the job description before applying.

Those people will usually be turned off by a task. Tasks require time and dedication to complete, so the people that complete yours will be the most passionate and proactive of the bunch.

But a task doesn’t only show you those soft skills. Your best candidates will be those that prove they can work to your deadlines, ask for guidance when they need it, understand your company and the role they’ve applied for.

why use a task to test job applicants

2 – They give you ammo

It can be really hard to compare hundreds of CVs. They all look slightly different, explain things in different ways and don’t tend to show you evidence of any skills that you’re looking for.

But application tasks can be controlled. If you ask for one page of a Word document, that’s what you should get.

And when the format is controlled, comparing becomes a lot easier.

Being able to compare your top applicant’s work is an invaluable tool for your hiring decisions. Your front-runner will be easier to find as all of the other tasks will pale in comparison.

3 – They give you extra information

Coming back to those pesky CVs again, they really don’t show you much at all. A great CV will – at most – show you who has great spelling, grammar and friends who work in recruitment.

That’s why we recommend sending your job application task to as many of your candidates as you can. It can be tempting to only send it to your top 5, but when you send it to the top 25 you’ll really see the substance over style.

We’ve also found that the strongest tasks come from those we don’t expect. So give as many people a chance as you can! You never know who will come out on top.

4 – They give you more time

Now I know you want to hire someone straight away, but the time it takes to send out tasks, have them sent back and reviewed is valuable.

It gives you some breathing room while you create a strong shortlist. So you’ll be held back from making any quick decisions that leave you with regret in a few month’s time.

5 – It’s good for them, too

A great, relevant application task will be great practice for any junior. It not only gives them a chance to prove themselves to you but to future employers too.

This is because a great application task can be added to their portfolio and used as evidence of their skills for years to come.

I hope that this article has inspired you to use a task to test your job applicants. If you’d like more guidance, download our free task guidelines here.

If you need any help finding great candidates to send your task to, sign up to our hiring platform for expert help sourcing talent.

About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
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