Earlier this month, we co-hosted the Grand Final of King’s College London’s (KCL) inaugural Cultural Challenge. Seeking an innovative way to connect students with external institutions, King’s Cultural Institute offered KCL students the opportunity to compete for internships at four world-class cultural institutes (Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Southbank Centre). Students were invited to submit project proposals to address Challenges each institution was facing, with the winners receiving an internship at their chosen institution.
This Challenge serves as an interesting example of how recruitment can be done in a more open way. The default practice of requesting a resume and cover letter can be as tedious for the candidate as for the hiring manager. But beyond breaking the monotony, recruiting through a Challenge can benefit candidates as well as the recruiting organization:
- Candidates stand out: Candidates are better placed to make sure they stand out from the crowd, by sharing their ideas and applying their skills to a problem you set
- Organizations stand out: Organizations can stand out as a recruiter, demonstrating innovative and open thinking
- Live assessment: Seeing candidates in action and applying their skills to a task you set enables you to assess them based on a real-life scenario, rather than just a list of qualifications and an interview
- Multi-tasking: Not only can a recruitment challenge bring you the next bright hire, it can also solve as a brainstorming exercise to generate news ideas and fresh perspectives on a problem you’re facing
- Not just the usual suspects: A new and more open recruitment process, placing more emphasis on ability to complete a task, gives you a risk-averse way to consider strong and viable candidate who may have something incredible to offer but may be otherwise overlooked due to not fitting the standard form
- Fun! Recruiting through a Challenge should be much more fun (and a learning experience) for both the candidates and the recruiting organization
Next time you begin the search for a new team member, consider your preferred skills and attributes, and challenge candidates to demonstrate them in a new way.
Authored by Siobhán Gibney Gomis, Director of Business Development at InnoCentive