Is it truly worth exploring alternative techniques that go beyond the traditional interview? 

Or is it better to adhere to conventional interview methods?

We are all aware that the better the hiring decision, the higher the chances of retaining that employee.

That is precisely why relying exclusively on traditional interview methods may not offer the thorough evaluation we desire or require to determine a candidate's suitability for a role.

Recognising this, many membership organisations are exploring the idea of incorporating additional analysis, alongside traditional interviews, to gain a more holistic understanding of a candidate's skills and capabilities.

These additional layers could include presentations, writing exercises, role plays, IT tests, psychometric testing, accuracy assessments, touch typing tests, and more

Let's delve into the various depths that hiring managers can add to their interview techniques when assessing different types of key skills.

1. Events

To truly assess a candidate's suitability for events roles, it is important to evaluate their organisational skills, attention to detail, creativity, and ability to manage multiple responsibilities.

One assessment method that can be used is the development of an event proposal. Candidates can be asked to develop a comprehensive event proposal for a hypothetical conference, webinar or networking event, including the event concept, budget, marketing plan, and logistical details. This assessment allows hiring managers to evaluate a candidate's ability to plan and execute successful events, their attention to detail, and their creativity in developing engaging event concepts.

2. Education & Training

When it comes to assessing education and training talent, additional innovations can provide valuable insights into a candidate's suitability for the role. For positions in the membership sector that require educational expertise, it is important to evaluate a candidate's knowledge, teaching skills, and ability to engage with learners effectively both in-person and virtually.

One assessment method that can be used is the development and delivery of a sample training and learning session. Candidates can be asked to prepare and present a short training session on a relevant topic to demonstrate their ability to convey information clearly and engagingly. This assessment allows hiring managers to assess a candidate's communication skills, instructional techniques, and ability to effectively transfer knowledge to others.

3. Finance

Evaluating the prowess of finance professionals for membership organisations can benefit greatly by going beyond the typical interview format. While interviews provide valuable insights into a candidate's qualifications and experience, integrating supplementary evaluation techniques can aid in pinpointing the ideal candidates for finance positions.

Financial analysis exercises provide hiring managers with a valuable opportunity to evaluate a candidate's critical thinking, problem-solving, and financial analysis abilities. Additionally, role-playing simulations allow those hiring to assess a candidate's capacity to handle challenging situations, work well under pressure, and think quickly on their feet.

4. Marketing & Digital

Assessing marketing and digital talent involves evaluating candidates' understanding of digital marketing strategies and their ability to implement them effectively. One assessment method is the development of a digital marketing campaign, which allows hiring managers to evaluate strategic thinking, creativity, and the ability to leverage digital platforms. Assessing proficiency in analytics and knowledge of emerging trends in the membership sector is also important. Those interviewing can use case studies, data analysis exercises, and discussions on emerging marketing practices and technologies to assess candidates' skills and adaptability.

Candidates' creativity and ability to develop content can be evaluated through portfolio reviews or by requesting examples of their previous work. This allows recruiters to assess storytelling skills, design aesthetics, brand alignment, and the ability to create engaging digital assets.

5. Membership

To assess a candidate's suitability for membership roles, it is important to evaluate their understanding of membership principles, their ability to engage with members, retain and grow membership communities, and their proficiency in managing membership databases and systems.

One assessment method that can be used is a membership case study. Candidates can be provided with a hypothetical scenario involving membership challenges and asked to develop a strategic plan to address them. This assessment allows recruiters to evaluate a candidate's problem-solving abilities, strategic thinking, and understanding of membership dynamics.

6. Policy & Public Affairs

To determine if a candidate is well-suited for these disciplines, it is crucial to assess their grasp of policy matters, their capacity to analyse and interpret legislation, and their aptitude for effectively advocating for the membership organisation's interests.

One assessment method that can be used is a policy analysis exercise. Candidates can be provided with a policy brief or a legislative proposal and asked to analyse its implications, identify potential challenges, and propose strategies for the organisation to navigate the policy landscape. This assessment allows hiring managers to evaluate a candidate's analytical thinking, research skills, and ability to develop effective policy and public affairs recommendations.

7. Communications & PR

Presentations and writing exercises such as Press Releases serve as powerful tools for Communications and PR candidates to directly display their abilities. These assessments hold significant value in disciplines that prioritise effective communication, brand alignment, and creativity. By incorporating presentations and writing exercises into the evaluation process, recruiters can gauge a candidate's aptitude for articulating ideas, thinking quickly on their feet, and creating compelling content. This not only allows employers to assess a candidate's communication skills but also offers a glimpse into their thought processes and problem-solving capabilities.

8. Secretarial & Governance

Targeted tests serve as a valuable asset in objectively evaluating the specific skills of secretarial-focused candidates, offering a concrete means to assess their expertise in essential areas. For instance, accuracy and touch typing tests prove instrumental in evaluating attention to detail and organisational skills, both of which are crucial for excelling in secretarial focused positions.

To assess governance professionals, case studies and real-life scenarios can be used to evaluate critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, risk strategies, and understanding of current governance principles.

Adding extra assessments to the interview process can provide valuable insights into a candidate's abilities, but it's important to consider potential drawbacks.

1. Time and resources:  Nobody wants to prolong the interview process and risk missing out on top talent! Incorporating additional assessments into the interview process can result in increased time and resources needed for recruitment. Areas like role plays and targeted exercises often require extra preparation and administration, which can pose a challenge for organisations with limited resources or tight deadlines.

2. Candidate experience: Lengthy and complex assessment processes can sometimes negatively impact the candidate experience. Candidates may feel overwhelmed or stressed by multiple assessments, leading to a less favourable perception of your organisation. It is important to strike a balance between thorough additional assessment and ensuring a positive candidate experience.

3. Validity and reliability: When utilising assessments to gain insights into a candidate's abilities, it is crucial to prioritise the validity and reliability of these measures. Certain assessments may possess biases or limitations that can impact the accuracy of the results. To ensure adherence to EDI/DEI principles throughout your hiring process, it is advisable to consult with specialist recruitment firms like ours. Hiring managers should diligently assess the validity and reliability of each assessment method employed.

4. Fairness and diversity: Extra assessments may inadvertently introduce bias into the recruitment process. Certain assessments may favour certain demographic groups or backgrounds, resulting in a lack of diversity in the candidate pool. It is crucial to consider the potential impact on diversity and ensure that assessments are fair and inclusive. We can also help here!

5. Overemphasis on assessments: Relying too heavily on assessments can overshadow other important factors in candidate evaluation, such as experience, cultural fit, and motivation. While assessments provide valuable data points, they should be considered in conjunction with other aspects of a candidate's profile.

To conclude...

In conclusion, while incorporating additional assessments into your interview process can offer valuable insights, it is crucial to carefully consider the potential drawbacks.

Hiring managers must thoroughly evaluate the impact on time, resources, candidate experience, validity, fairness, diversity, and overall balance when integrating supplementary assessments into your hiring processes. Our team can collaborate with you to find the perfect balance and even handle some of these steps on your behalf.

By striking the ideal equilibrium, membership organisations like yours can enhance your evaluation process and effectively hire the perfect candidates for your positions.

Partnering with us, the most experienced recruitment specialist focused on the membership sector, will ensure that you have the support you need throughout the entire hiring process.