If you need carrots for a recipe and put them on your shopping list, as long as you pay attention to your scribbles, you’ll come home with carrots. Simple.
If you’re recruiting for a new employee and you put on your shopping list (person specification), good time management, communication skills, good attention to detail, numerical skills, technical skills and learning agility, can you be sure you’ll get these?
As long as you have a structured process that includes probing questions and tests, you’re highly likely to recruit someone with these skills and attributes.
If a top priority is for them to have excellent written communication skills, to work effectively under pressure and use Excel software, then a written exercise is a no brainer.
Let them show you how they prioritise tasks, structure an email, format a spreadsheet and cope with completing everything within an hour.
Testing complex skills and attributes
But what if the job isn’t an easy ask?
What if it requires something more complex like high levels of resilience?
What if it involves regularly overcoming setbacks and disappointments, dealing with significant challenges and requires inner strength and confidence? How can you ensure you recruit individuals with this precious quality in their tool kit?
At interview, a candidate might tell you about the time they managed to climb Mt Kilimanjaro despite running out of water and with blistered feet. That’s a great response, but it’s anecdotal.
Highly challenging exercises for Prison Officer roles
Recently I was lucky enough to visit Unlocked Graduates and observe one of their assessment days.
They’re looking for individuals who have the courage and drive to thrive in the extremely demanding role of a Prison Officer.
These people work with prisoners who can be vulnerable, unpredictable and challenging.
Things can kick off at a moment’s notice and the officers managing them need to be able to think on their feet, show leadership, and overcome hurdles to achieve their goals.
Rather than just controlling prisoners, Unlocked Graduate Prison Officers focus on their rehabilitation, to reduce reoffending, which costs the taxpayer £18 billion every year. Their job is to build relationships with these individuals, find ways to help them on the path to freedom and become valuable members of society. It’s vital that the right people are chosen for this important role and Unlocked Graduates have an extremely thorough assessment process.
During the assessment day, candidates are put through one of the most challenging exercises I’ve seen. In a practice scenario, they experience what it’s like to deal with an angry, frustrated and scared prisoner.
There’s no place to hide. They either have the natural ability to manage their way through a confrontational, complex, and frightening situation or they don’t. Candidates who possess resilience, building relationships skills and sense of possibility easily differentiate themselves here.
At the end of the assessment day, they know exactly if they’ve got their carrots.
Now, you may not need to go to these extremes, but you should still have a robust interview process to follow.
If you’d like to create a bespoke recruitment process for your business, please call me on 07971511731 or email Ali Waters.
Know anyone who’d thrive and be driven to make a difference in this challenging role as an Unlocked prison officer? Please refer them to the website here.