Please don’t make me play frisbee

The other day I was talking to a colleague about recruitment assessment days. She said her friend had recently applied for a job at TGI Friday and the assessment was to play frisbee for an hour. From that single activity the recruiter would decide whether she was employable, a good fit for the role.

Two students playing frisbee
I wouldn’t enjoy having to play frisbee to get myself a job. Photo from the University of Maine.

Before I knew it I’d said out loud: “If anyone made me do that, I’d just walk out”.

Strong words.

And afterwards when I was reflecting on it I thought perhaps I’d been a bit hasty.

A game of frisbee could actually tell a recruiter a fair bit about the candidates:

  • If they were a ‘team player’ willing to ‘muck in’, who made the effort to pass the plastic disc to their team mates, who congratulated success and commiserated and motivated following failure;
  • If they had the qualities of a captain who could lead by example and communicate the vision of goal after goal, or empower others to take the helm when they showed promise;
  • If they could take direction and show willing to do what they were asked to even if on the face of it, they weren’t 100% sure of the point!
  • That their personality was the right ‘fit’ – in many organisations being able to have fun and maintain a balance between work and home life is seen as really important;
  • That they could follow the rules of the game and work within the boundaries they’d been set by the facilitator.

But to be effective the frisbee assessment would have to be relevant to the role.

I imagine at TGI they were perhaps looking for staff who need to be enthusiastic, customer-focussed, energetic and positive communicators, as well as being physically fit, so using a game or sport as a type of assessment is appropriate. But if the role wasn’t demanding of the qualities the game evokes then it feels to me like using this technique could perhaps be a symptom of a ‘power trip’ by the recruiter.

Have you ever been on a recruitment assessment day? Have you been asked to do something you thought was irrelevant to get a job? Have you experienced an assessment that you felt was ‘spot on’ and you rather enjoyed? Let me know your thoughts below.


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