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Zlatan Doesn't Do Tech Tests

Written by Liam Wilson
20/09/19 - 12:10

As previously stated, I only know two things well enough to blog/write about them. Football & recruitment. 

Luckily for you, I have again managed to combine them both.

Way back when, Arsene Wenger once asked Zlatan Ibrahimović to come to Arsenal on trial before deciding if he was good enough to sign (recruit if you will). Famously, Zlatan is quoted as saying "Zlatan doesn't do auditions". 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and all that, but what a mistake that turned out to be! Zlatan became one of the world's best (if you ask my Swedish friend Alex, the best ever) strikers and is still banging goals in, albeit in the MLS. 

Now before you go YouTubing his best ever goals, stay with me ... 

If I were you, I’d stop getting potential candidates to do take home tech tests, (Well…ideally any sort of tech test, but especially take home ones!) Not only does it add even more time to an already time precious activity, they aren't even realistic. 

Now, if you do a paired programming exercise with a current team member, using live code in your environment - great! It gives them an insight into how you work, how they would do in that world and they get to code with one of your team. 

Sending someone you like a tech test which takes two hours from home and being surprised they don't finish the process and join one of your more agile competitors is a bit like Arsene Wenger asking Zlatan if he can play football ... 

Do they fit culturally? Do they believe in what you are doing as a company? Do they have a GitHub or similar where you get an idea of how they approach development? If you answered yes to these - then you’re not adding much with a take home test, and it might just put them off your company. 

The market is the most buoyant I have ever seen it in seven years of technology recruitment - if you are looking for a job that is. If you are hiring - good luck! 

I'd be more than happy to do a review of your current hiring/interview process and let you know what some of the best companies in the country do when it comes to finding their people. 

Would love to hear your thoughts and what your favourite Zlatan goal is (so far!).