Robot dance in interview shocker

There are urban myths and horror stories around recruitment – and I’ve personally cringed through some in my time in HR – but last week I was astounded to learn that Currys (electronics store in UK) actually asked their interview candidates to robot dance during an assessment day.

Is this what happens when the labour market becomes the employers’ market? Or is this the inevitable result of letting clueless managers run a recruitment process? Perhaps it’s just a case of life imitating art – the candidates involved must have thought they’d walked into a scene from The Office.

I’ve heard in the past an indictment of HR people that we make it hard to hire talented people: through lengthy application forms, opaque recruitment processes, taking too long over decisions, not communicating with good candidates in good time… And honestly, how many people really need to interview someone before you can hire them?

But surely someone in this organisation could or should have put a stop to the robot-dancing assessment. By all means use innovation in recruitment and design assessments to find the required personal qualities (in this case: extrovertion? Side question: is ‘sense of humour’ a competency?) But don’t lose sight of the fact that you need to treat your candidates with respect, and remember that in these days of social media you can really do damage to your company brand even if you were just trying to have a bit of fun.

Candidates, if you’re ever asked to robot dance in an interview and you’re not comfortable with it: just walk out. Trust me, you do not want to work there that badly.

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