Candidate Interview Work-Demonstration May Be Compensable in Business and at Work

Before inviting job candidates to perform work for an interview work-demonstration exercise, my savvy client reached out to me first to review the draft request. I’m very glad they did – below is the recommendation I gave:

Personally, I love work-demonstration as part of an interview process, both as a hiring authority and a candidate. When I was a marketing / stakeholder communications writer (which led to my HR career), I wrote a press holding statement as part of an interview process for one of my GE career jobs. It gives both parties in the interview process a sense of what it will be like to work together more authentically than the standard (and sometimes clinical) interview questions.

The key factor in my experience above is that I was paid for my interview work-demonstration.  The tasks you outline in your draft candidate request represent your respective candidates’ work time in the neighborhood of 4 – 5 hours of work each, for which they will produce work product that you may be able to use.  

The recommendation is that you pay your candidates a temporary employee per diem hourly rate of at least the current minimum wage (low in the range of the going rate for local hourly work for this particular professional role; asking them to track their time for the tasks, and completing the paperwork first for them to be temporary per diem employees before they complete the tasks you’re requesting) – and not as 1099 contractors, unless they currently own businesses like me, e.g. DBA or business corporate entity, website, business cards, have other clients, etc.

How do you (or will you) properly compensate candidates for work-demonstrations performed during your interview process to manage both compliance and reputation in business and at work?

Hiring employee

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