The Beer Test: Has The Humble Pint Given Hiring Managers Beer Goggles?
Date: 28th April 2017
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The world ofBeer test recruitment is constantly shifting, growing and evolving.

New methods, new approaches and new hiring techniques are forever coming to light and being trialed by organisations across the UK.

Miss-hiring can be a costly process, taking up valuable time and money.

Our successful hiring equation poses three main things to consider when recruiting:

Can they do the job? + Will they fit in? + Do they want to do the job?

Organisations are beginning to focus less on whether candidates match a skills list. Instead of simply ticking the boxes, hiring managers are increasingly looking at whether a candidate will fit into the culture. And this is where the second part of the successful hiring equation comes in: will they fit in?

The social aspect of recruitment…

This social aspect of the interview has always been difficult. It’s easy to determine whether a candidate has the right skills or past experience, but what are they like at a networking event, or a social occasion? Recently we’ve seen the rise of The Beer Test. A candidate will be invited to join the team for lunch or a drink, in order to test-drive them and see if they can get on with colleagues in a more relaxed, social setting.

It’s a controversial step. Some argue that this can lead to beer goggles – an unconscious bias that leads to a lack of diversity in the workplace (read more on why this is important). Just because a candidate is fun at the pub:

  • Will they really be a motivated, challenging, driven employee who will add value to the team?
  • Will enjoying a pint really make them better at the job?
  • Does it give you an accurate reflection of how they’ll perform in a stressful situation in the workplace?
  • What if one candidate doesn’t drink at all?

While there are many arguments against The Beer Test, there are ways you can scale this back but use the idea in order to refine your recruitment process.

As the final step in a recruitment process, The Beer Test could be a great way to introduce a candidate to other employees and ask for their opinion on them. One of the World’s biggest companies, Google always strives for 360° decisions by involving not only the hiring-managers and leadership team, but also any new employee’s team members and colleagues. This allows them to ensure their unique culture and reputation as one of the best companies to work for doesn’t get diluted.

Remember, The Beer Test isn’t exactly what it says on the bottle tin. It doesn’t have to involve beer at all! Asking a candidate what they are looking for in a company’s culture can give you a good indication of whether they will fit in. If they’re seeking something you don’t think you can offer, then think carefully before hiring them.

Why not use a hypothetical version of The Beer Test, simply ask yourself “would I like to go for a drink with this person?” If the answer is no, then it’s unlikely that they will make a valuable addition to your team!

A more accurate recruitment tool: The LAB Profile

Or skip The Beer Test entirely. One great indicator can be to ask a candidate what’s important to them in their work and why they want to work for you, in order to highlight the core emotional response and triggers that we all have at work. The LAB Profile (Language and Behavioural Profile) helps us to understand these emotional responses and give them a language, so that we can identify (with precision) whether the candidate is naturally motivated to do the work expected of them, in the environment they will be operating in.

Katherine Wiid, Recruitment Coach and LAB Profile expert, often helps hiring managers hone their recruiting skills:

“The LAB Profile allows us to delve beyond the words people use. Candidates are clever; they often prepare answers in order to tell hiring managers what they want to hear! But what are they really thinking? How are they really feeling? The LAB Profile allows us to figure out just what makes people tick. This is crucial in the recruitment process, giving us the tools to spot a candidate with real potential, who will be motivated and driven within the role.”

Next time you’re hiring, remember the successful hiring equation and consider how you will recruit a candidate who is not only skilled and motivated to do the job, but will also fit in with your company culture.

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