An SMM manager with a tame raccoon, an animal hugger, an aerodesigner, a queue stander—today a lot of interesting, sometimes strange vacancies are offered in Ukraine. Abroad, they went even further: here they are looking for a penguin erector, a web-gardner, a chick gender determiner, an IT evangelist, and the like.
For their part, the questions at interviews make job seekers in Ukraine pretty nervous. For example: "What if you were offered to advertise pseudo-medicine?" and "Do you have connections with the police?" Overseas, instead, they are asked: "How would you test a toaster?" or "How many Big Macs does McDonald's sell in the US every year?"
The labor market is changing rapidly. Today, shops are already functioning without cashiers, new information technologies, artificial intelligence, programming languages and the like have appeared. In general, global labor market trends are targeted at automation and digitalization of professions. Therefore, it is not surprising that more unusual jobs are being created today in the IT and banking sectors.
And Ukraine is no exception. For instance, our employers are looking for Information Security Analysts that protect information systems from hacking, penetration, and cyber attacks. And the financial sector needs Quantitative Analyst—financial mathematicians. Their main activity is the pricing and risks of financial derivatives.
Even a usual vacancy can involve unusual responsibilities. For us, this is when companies hire an "irritant". Such a person shakes the system for sustainability and shows its vulnerabilities. Companies use the same method to hire hackers that hack their servers: they find security vulnerabilities.
In our practice, these were product owners whom we hired for our client—a large logistics company. The main task of these people was to be the ambassador of the end users, to defend their interests, being in opposition to the rest of the company. In particular, to argue, swear and make war against senior management.
Director at the digital consulting agency Olshansky & Partners
Vacancies in Ukraine that amazed us:
- The alcohol agent must visit 9 restaurants and pubs 5 times a week, where they will taste food and drinks for free. They must take pictures of food and drinks, make sure that they match the pictures on the menu.
- Queue stander: a person standing in the line for money. Permanent place of work—government agencies and sales in stores. By the way, the fee for such work is from 200 UAH per hour.
- Kyivzelenbud recently looked for specialists in squirrel breeding. CVs for this vacancy were received even from Texas.
- The cruise ship needed an SMM manager with a tame raccoon. Probably, the raccoon was supposed to help the specialist write posts.
- And more: Underwriter (Bank Employee), Actuary (Human Life Assessor), Crafter (Graphic Designer), Genealogist, Drone Operator, Data Architect, Scoremaker Cryptocurrency Consultant (Risk Economist).
Asking strange questions during interviews has become a common practice in HR. Experts argue that they give an understanding of whether the values of the company coincide with the values of a person, reveal the main hard and soft skills required ifor this or that position. And in this, Ukrainian employers keep up with their Western counterparts.
I remember how I was interviewed in Jooble for the position of a recruiter, I was asked «Where would you look for astronauts in NASA?» and «What would you do if I had to find 100 cleaning ladies in a week?» These questions are aimed at identifying non-standard thinking, finding alternative channels, testing for stress resistance.
Job Recruiter at job search site Jooble
Андрей Роговский, консультант, считает, что обычно эйчары задают такие вопросы, на которые очевидны два варианта ответов и оба неверны. Нужно предложить свой. «Например: «Барметал — дорогой и быстрый», «Облака — дешевые и медленные». Что лучше для решения такого кейса? В этой ситуации нужны нестандартные ответы», — говорит эксперт.
Andryi Rohovskyi, a consultant, believes that usually HRs ask such questions with two possible obvious answers and none of them is correct. You need to offer your own. "For example: "Bare-metal—expensive and fast","Clouds—cheap and slow". What is better for solving such a case? In this situation, non-standard answers are needed," the expert says.
Until recently, the phrase: "How do you see yourself in 5 years?" was one of the most popular in job interviews. Now employers learn not only about your experience, but also, for example, blood type and zodiac sign, because sometimes they select employees according to these criteria. And not only.
Unfortunately, the candidates do not always know how to present themselves well during the interview. Therefore, there are situations when the interview is more like a psychotherapy session.
When the interview seems to be going well, but there are not enough marker indicators, I ask questions to relax the candidates and give them the opportunity to feel at ease. For example: «Are you hands or head?» Hands are executors, heads are strategists, managers. It is important that there are no bad options here. The person-hands in a leadership position will get into operational activities, and the head in the role of an executor will not show the desired results.
The question: «What is your power?» determines the person positioning and changes the conversation. In response, I would like to hear about the superiority of a person, their trump card in working, and it does not matter whether it is about hard, soft, or about other skills in general. «Imagine that you have carte blanche—what company would you like to join?» relieves stress from a person, allows them to think and outline their ultimate goals.
Recruitment Team Lead, BAKOTECH
Candidates are also checked with simple questions, for example, how a person would have acted during a client's scandal or in case of an inadequate assessment of their abilities. At the same time, the recruiter keeps an eye on the person's reaction. And anyway the recruiter should in any case ask standard questions about education, experience and skills in order to confirm the qualifications of the applicant. However, unusual items may be added to the list of questions.
In our agency for the position of sales manager, we ask the candidate to imagine the animal and describe in detail what it is doing, where it is. This allows you to understand what approach the candidate uses in his or her work. The ideal candidate is an animal that moves forward, tempered, this is the inner feeling of a sales manager.
It may be unusual for someone, but we have a practice when we play with a candidate in Alias at one of the stages of the interview. First, the game shows how a person manifests themselves in a team. Secondly, you can immediately see the communication strategy: does the candidate explain in understandable language, or adapts to the opponent and how he or she reacts to a loss or victory.
HR Generalist at the communications agency VARTO
Another type of interview is a stressful interview. Here the employer is trying to unbalance a potential employee, a candidate, to put him or her in a situation in which he or she is guaranteed to feel uncomfortable. Also, some question or action is used that the candidate will not be ready for. Answers to non-standard interview questions give HRs information about whether candidates are suitable for certain positions, how they will adapt to the culture of the company, overcome difficulties, position themselves in communication with colleagues, and the like.
Most often, such an interview is conducted for:
- employees of banks, sales, customer service departments
- insurance agents, creditors;
- public relations specialists, TV presenters, journalists;
- office managers.
An interview for a targetologist at an Israeli online casino required a polygraph. They asked if I stole at my previous jobs, were my parents together or divorced (the director believed that employees from single-parent families were "dishonest"), if I had a girlfriend and why I chose this profession.
And an interview at a pharmaceutical company in Ukraine lasted 1.5 hours. Of the interesting questions I remember the following: «What is more important to me, the process or the result? Do I identify with a samurai? What if I was offered to advertise pseudo-medicine?»
CEO at Digital Monster Agency
How is it done abroad?
Here, employers' imaginations are limitless. For example, Marriott International has created a Facebook application for the selection of My Marriott Hotel specialists. With its help, candidates were able to visit the Marriott kitchen.
In just two weeks, users from 80 countries joined the game where everyone can open a restaurant, manage the budget of the establishment and train staff. Marriott had a very specific goal—to attract millennial candidates for hospitality positions and offer them something completely different in the recruiting process.
Mobile interviewing app Knack is available in the Apple Store. It allows you to assess a candidate's experience using gamification. The app offers three games to choose from: Wasabi Waiter, Bomba Blitz, and Meta Mage. The game puts a candidate in the place of a waiter in a Japanese restaurant, their goal is to get an order, analyze the client's mood, and quickly make a decision. Thus the recruiter will see the level of empathy of the applicant, his or her ability to take responsibility, their decision-making time.
The well-known automotive company teamed up with a mysterious music brand to fill over 1,000 vacancies for electronics engineers and programmers. To do this, a free mixed reality application was developed, available on iTunes and Google Play. During the game, candidates understand in detail the designs of electric vehicles, but at the same time they need to do a jigsaw puzzle, sequentially hacking the codes. Here, such skills as curiosity, persistence, the ability to think non-linearly and solve non-standard problems are tested.
Another interesting example of unusual recruiting is the experience of Deutsche Bahn. Deutsche, the largest German rail operator, decided to attract young talents. The company experimented with virtual reality and began offering candidates at job fairs VR headsets to make them feel like an employee. Thus, it was expected to fill the mass vacancies of conductors and electricians. After that, Deutsche Bahn began to receive 5-10 times more applications from the fair, and most importantly, better candidates now dominated.
The professions market in Ukraine is changing rapidly, adopting active global trends from around the world. New technologies, services and needs appear, followed by completely new professions and vacancies. Among them: IoT architect, biotechnologist, GMO agronomist, Big Data expert, Product designer, organizer of VR/AR broadcasts, and the like.
According to a Deloitte study, the most needed skills in 2021 will be:
- working with artificial intelligence;
- machine learning;
- cloud computing;
- disaster recovery;
- working with virtual and augmented reality;
- using blockchain technology;
- application of computer technology in healthcare and UX design.
At the same time, Ukraine is still lagging behind the world. Although employers are increasingly looking for specialists in new professions. Many companies continue to test candidates' intelligence with bizarre questions during interviews. Wondering what they'll come up with for the future?
Top unusual jobs abroad:
- Lavatories guide helps tourists to find a toilet. In Japan, such specialists are even employed in the civil service. The cost of such a service is from 6 cents.
- IT evangelist is professionally engaged in information technology propaganda. They promote technologies and products, write articles and blogs about them, hold seminars and presentations.
- The ant seeker finds the best representatives in the anthill. These ants will subsequently continue their genus on artificial ant farms.
- You can sleep at work for money at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There are established posts for women taking sleeping pills and sleeping as exhibits.
- Stringer is an extreme journalist who works in areas of natural disasters, during hostilities, riots and the like.
- The penguin erector puts the birds on their feet. And thereby contributes to the preservation of this biological species.
- The pillow spreader fights creases on pillows and sheets in luxury hotels.
- The operator of determining the sex of the chicks selects the food and conditions for the further breeding of future hens and roosters.
- Trend hunter is the first to track fashion trends of a specific target audience. This information is important for apparel, footwear and accessories manufacturers for product development.
- Web gardener cleans the site from outdated links, refreshes pages and changes the appearance of the site.
- Iceberg cleaner works for oil companies and removes blocks of ice in the path of ships.