3 tips for a beneficial case study
Incorporating case studies in the recruitment process is an effective method to make sure you hire the right people. Not only do you get to test your candidate’s analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills, but you also get to see them in action. It’s a hands-on approach for your candidates to find a solution to a real-life business problem, and it allows them to get creative and prove they can tackle the challenges you hand to them. It’s also a helpful way for them to get a glimpse of what tasks the role might imply.
At audvice, we use case studies as a part of our recruiting process, to ensure we hire people with a fitting skill set and approach. Case studies can be very time-consuming, sometimes even frustrating, for both the candidate and the employer, and that is why we want to share some best practices with you.
#1 Brief accordingly
If you want the best outcome of the case study, your candidate must be aware of your expectations. The guidelines and constraints must be clear, in terms of content, layout, presentation, and allotted time.
But your candidate also needs to understand what problem they are being asked to solve. If it’s a real-life problem that your company has faced, or is facing, a proper understanding of the situation is crucial. And since your candidate is not working for you yet, they might be hesitant to ask questions.
Therefore, when creating the briefing, make sure to provide enough information and material to properly execute the case study. In addition to providing all the required documents, and a written briefing, we also record briefing playlists with audvice, which provide the context which is so essential in real-life scenarios. We simply record these playlists and share them with the candidates via a public weblink. It’s just like having a meeting, but takes less time, and the candidate can listen at their own pace and as many times as they need. Plus, if assigning one case study to multiple people, you only have to record the playlist once.
#2 Accelerate the process
Normally, every candidate gets a certain amount of time to finish the case study and then present it in a meeting. That means they all have to prepare a presentation, and you have to coordinate your calendars and schedule meetings with every candidate, which adds up to a lot of time. We make the whole process more efficient and drink our own champagne by using audvice. Not only do we brief our candidates with playlists, but we also ask them to submit their case study in the form of a playlist by a specific deadline.
Sharing a case study via playlists also naturally limits the amount of time that you and the talent spend on it. How many times does it happen that case studies vary greatly in terms of time invested? By sharing the briefing as a playlist and asking them to answer in the form of a playlist, you ensure that they don’t build an Excel sheet on which they could end up spending 3 weeks on. This avoids frustration on both the talent and employer side, because playlists are an effective way to prepare a Q&A with the candidate.
Furthermore, you’re given the opportunity to test your candidates' communication skills: listening to their voices provides a good understanding of how they present a solution, so you actually learn more about them than through presentations sent by email.
#3 Use real-life business problems
Of course, your candidates will be solving a real-life problem. But rather than using a problem that has already been solved, why not challenge them with a problem you are currently facing? That way, they can work on a task they may continue managing if they join your company.
In the best-case scenario, the talent develops a solution no one thought of before and gets the position to actually work on it. In order for you to get the best impression of what that could look like, let me share what a specific case study for a marketing manager could look like if you are currently looking to generate leads to sell your product to.
The overall topic could be: Start a marketing campaign that generates highly qualified leads for the sales team to start a conversation.
These are the questions you could ask them to present:
What content would you suggest creating for it and why?
What channels would you use, and why would you use them?
How exactly would you use these channels? Feel free to dig into the details.
How would you apply A/B testing for it?
How would you measure whether your campaign was successful?
All in all, a case study is the most authentic and safest approach to finding the candidates that best fit your company. If executed the right way, this approach to recruiting talent is as beneficial for you and your candidates as it is efficient. If you are curious to see how a playlist case study could work for you, make sure to check out more here.