Fri Jul 24 2020

Recruiter’s Zeitgeist – Are You Smarter Than A President?

The recruitment landscape is ever-increasingly a digital one. We addressed in a previous issue the growing presence of digital tests as part of the hiring process and how these tests are likely to become even more ubiquitous in our post-pandemic world. Still, these tests are more commonly used at the graduate or junior levels of recruitment so you might assume that once you reach a certain level of seniority you will be exempt from such activities.

Apparently not.

Former bankrupt business tycoon Donald Trump has been bragging a lot recently about passing a cognitive test. Donald Trump also happens to be the current President of the USA and took this test in order to shut up critics who had questioned his mental capacity. Now, from a recruitment stand-point, this may raise a little concern. You might want to implement a little cognitive test early on in your candidate process, to weed out the complete dummies, but you probably don’t want to be panic checking a candidate’s intellect (or suspected complete lack thereof) when they’re already in the position. 

But to be fair to him I guess this could have been like a really hard test?

Apparently not.

Trump recently appeared on Fox News and set to bragging about how smart he is because he passed this test. Host Chris Wallace pointed out that he had also taken the test when he heard that Trump had passed it and said that it’s ‘not the hardest test. They have a picture and it says “what’s that?” and it’s an elephant.’ 

This didn’t deter the ex-reality tv star though. In fact Trump has now doubled-down, insisting that the test was ‘difficult’. He returned to Fox News and described one of the questions to prove just how strenuous this test was. The question he chose? Well it was one where the person is asked to remember five words. ‘Person, woman, man, camera, tv’, he recited in demonstration, claiming that he got extra points for being able to list these words in order. 

He continued to brag that ‘they said nobody gets it in order, it’s actually not that easy. But for me it was easy. And that’s not an easy question’, apparently, the doctors were super impressed by the fake-tan fanatic’s recall, saying ‘that’s amazing. How did you do that?’ to which he responded ‘I do it because I have like a good memory? Because I’m cognitively there’.

So what actually is this test?

It’s the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and, rather than being an exam to test whether or not you’re a stable genius, it’s typically used to help diagnose the early signs of Alzheimers. It’s not used to test IQ and it is meant to be easy for anyone who doesn’t have a cognitive impairment. So while it’s good that he passed, what’s concerning is the Home Alone 2 star’s insistence that the last five questions were ‘very hard’ and that Wallace probably wouldn’t have been able to answer them and that he was certain Biden wouldn’t be able to. Now Biden hasn’t risen to that challenge yet but you can if you like, the latest test is available online. If you don’t find the last five questions particularly challenging, you might just be smarter than a President. Let us know.

TT’s top story

Aker Systems have secured an undisclosed but apparently significant amount of investment from LDC. Hiring is expected as they target further expansion.

Have you heard?

Fancy recruiting for the US army?

They need some help right now. They’ve been recruiting from the gaming platform Twitch since 2019 – presumably under the logic that those adept with fake guns might be able to make the switch to real ones. Recently this approach has drawn criticism and Twitch users have retaliated by spamming the army accounts with questions about Navy Seals charged with war crimes and massacres committed by their forces. They also came under fire for running fake giveaways. They have now paused streaming.

LinkedIn have been all over the news this week

Not exactly for the right reasons though. They have announced that they will be cutting 960 jobs in response to firms recruiting fewer staff during the pandemic. The cuts will affect around 6% of their workforce globally and they have stated that these are the only redundancies they are planning to conduct. The cuts will be coming from their sales and hiring divisions.

And here comes that phrase again, ‘The New Normal’

I’m still opposed to this one due to my fundamental argument that normal is different for everyone but anyway that’s not the point right now. The point is that Recruiter have released some advice on how to keep operating in this new normal. If you can’t be bothered to read the whole thing, here’s my summary: ‘Communicate, communicate, communicate’.

App of the week

Habitica: Sometimes life doesn’t feel that fun, does it? You know what is fun though? Games. Games are good. Well Habitica is a free habit-building and productivity app that will treat your real life like a game. You’ll get rewarded when you make the app happy and punished when you make it unhappy. It will condition you. It will become your God. It will probably be fun. 

Word of the week



the ability to make good judgements and take quick decisions.

‘The recruiter decided to test their acumen by taking a test so hard the US President could barely complete it. They passed with flying colours.’

Dog of the week

Charlie is a 13 year old spaniel who loves bouncing on the trampoline so much that it was the first thing she decided to do after having puppies.

article written by Millie