Technical Recruiter Tip: 1 to 10 Rating Question

25th or Silver AnniversaryOur executive recruitment firm is celebrating its 25th or Silver Anniversary this year. During those 25 years our R&D, scientific, IT, engineering, manufacturing and technical recruiters have recruited and placed hundreds and hundreds of technical and manufacturing personnel worldwide ranging from staff level (e.g. Design Engineer) to middle manager level (e.g. Plant Manager) to director level (e.g. Director of Engineering, Director of Manufacturing and Director of Quality Assurance) up to and including C-level (Chief Technology Officer or CTO and Chief Information Officer or CIO) positions. In the process our executive recruiters have learned many useful engineering and scientific recruiting tricks that can help your internal management recruiters to streamline your technical recruitment process.

One useful technical recruiting tip is the 1 to 10 rating scale interview question. What you want to do is ask your job candidates to rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 10 on your key job attributes. This interview scale starts at 1, which means no job experience in that attribute, then progresses to 5, which means average job experience in that attribute and peaks at 10, which means job mastery of that attribute. For example, for a Project R&D Electrical Engineer the required strengths may be: a) analog hardware design b) digital hardware design c) firmware design and d) board design. Therefore, you should ask the candidate, “on a scale of 1 to 10 how strong are you in analog hardware design?” You can repeat this question for each of the other needed skills (e.g. firmware). Also, remember to clearly identify for the job candidate what the 1 to 10 scale stands for (e.g. 1 is poor, 5 is average and 10 is excellent). Do not leave anything to chance.

The benefit of the 1 to 10 rating scale interview question is it will force your job candidates to more precisely identify for you how strong their actual job skills are in a given area of importance to you. If you do not receive the right answer the first time, you can reformulate the 1 to 10 rating scale question for later in the interview. Finally, make sure to train your entire executive recruitment team on this valuable technical recruiting technique and practice interviewing on videotape. This will improve the overall effectiveness of both this technical recruiting technique and your executive recruitment process.

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What do you think of this technique? Does your executive recruitment team utilize anything similar? I welcome your thoughts?