Human capital is perhaps more important today than ever before for organizations. A key factor for success is to acquire and retain talent.
The hiring process is a tough one for entrepreneurs and business owners, especially when starting up. Sadly, business leaders tend to overemphasize things that could detract from the selection process in the absence of properly validated screening tools.
As an example, take a look at the snowflake test.
To eliminate specific kinds of job candidates, a top executive came up with the test. The snowflake test also resonated with business leaders, despite the attention the executive received.
It would be wise to reconsider your decision to introduce the snowflake test as a part of your screening process.
How does the Snowflake Test work?
I would like to introduce you to this test. Silent Partner Marketing’s CEO, Kyle Reyes, developed a screening tool for potential clients, the snowflake test. We’ve developed this CEO-inspired test to help interviewers recognize overconfident and overrighteous candidates.
As a result, such applicants will be identified and weeded out.
A snowflake is by definition someone who complains or whines and comes to the table with nothing but an entitled attitude and an inability to support their viewpoint. In the snowflake test, applicants must answer 30 multiple-choice questions and a short essay.
Test questions for Snowflake
Don’t be shocked at the questions thrown your way if you’re going to apply to a company that gives snowflake testing to applicants.
This particular exam may contain the following questions:
- How do you usually start your day?
- Which is more important to you? Are you book smart or street smart? Describe how you answered.
- When did you last cry? Then why?
- The word “faith” has an interesting connotation. What is your opinion?
- What is your approach to bullying?
- When releasing controversial content, should we issue “trigger warnings”?
- Do you step on an American flag when you see someone doing so?
Some of these questions seem irrelevant to the job at first glance, or they may seem too personal. Apparently, the interviewer can gauge the type of person sitting in front of him or her by analyzing how he or she answers these questions.
Snowflake tests are effective hiring practices?
Even the most prepared job applicants can be surprised by the questions in the snowflake test, so it can be tempting to use it in your business. Your organization, however, will suffer more damage than good from this hiring practice.
The following are the reasons:
Tests encourage job candidates to lie
In this test, you can tell the truth isn’t as important as which answers the interviewer wants to hear – so you’ll pass. Despite the publicity surrounding the infamous snowflake test, Reyes’ company was flooded with applicants who knew what kind of answers he was seeking.
The snowflake test involves choosing the “correct answer,” even if you don’t know the answer. Therefore, when you know the questions, you will research and submit the correct answer. It’s a form of game playing.
Fear is built into the culture through the test
In addition to determining surface value, this test is likely to degrade the individual. Leaders inspire, motivate and uplift their teams to succeed. Instead of bringing about a culture of safety, the test seems to make things worse.
By implementing the snowflake test, companies are letting their workers know they are judging them based on their views and opinions. Because they’re afraid to be different, if they ever have an idea, they’ll be afraid to speak out.
Legal problems could arise for business leaders
There may be instances where the snowflake test crosses the line between discrimination and denial of service.
An applicant is asked how faith means to them in one of the test questions. However, there is no direct question regarding a person’s religion on this application, yet an applicant could misinterpret it as implying that question.
Innocent as it may appear, this line of questioning will tell the interviewer how the job candidate lives. A question like this is frowned upon by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Besides the Snowflake Test, what are the other options?
Exactly how should job candidates be screened legally? Instead of throwing snowflake test questions at the interviewer, stick to job-related questions.
You can pose a scenario where a customer is obnoxious to the employee, for example, if you’re interviewing someone to be a customer service representative. The applicant should be asked how they would deal with an irate customer.
Use a data-driven hiring platform, such as Caliper or Traitify, to help come up with questions for interviews. By assessing a candidate’s skills and personality, HR managers can choose candidates who are a good fit for certain roles.
It has the potential to cast a bad name on professionally prepared candidate assessments. If employers foolishly incorporate this test into their hiring process, they will eventually realize it is a complete waste of time.