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The SmartList Story - Why we built it and how it can help you



If you are active on social media, you know the story of Wordle, the new word game. While the game is insanely popular, the most amazing part of the game's success story is that the inventor made this game for his wife, who was fond of playing word games.


Many great products have come out of the developer's attempt to solve a specific problem they were facing. I developed SmartList to solve problems I faced while recruiting teams when running a training & consulting company. I looked at the pain and process we followed to solve the recruitment problems and built it as a SaaS platform.


We designed the SmartList platform to address those recruitment pains. Here is a note about the top six benefits SmartList offers and the problems it solves for recruiters.


1. Create assessments in a jiffy


Creating recruitment assessments is not a skill-set you would get in a hiring manager. We struggled to put together the right recruitment assessment in my past organisation. The task of creating an assessment was generally on the department manager. This led to a delay in starting the recruitment process.


SmartList offers a curated assessment pack right in the application. If you know what skills you need to look for in the candidate, the application will provide you with an assessment block that has the necessary question to test the skills.


Assessments comprise various blocks/modules, and you can choose the assessment blocks to build your recruitment assessment.


2. Get to where the candidates are


The first hurdle in recruitment generally is reaching the right candidate. Being a niche player, the conventional candidate sourcing routes were challenging for us. A close look at the past recruitment successes showed us that the new age sourcing routes (like LinkedIn, employee referrals) were working well for us. We needed a solution that would make it easy for potential recruits to apply to positions without any second thought.


SmartList allows the recruiter to float an open recruitment application cum assessment link on all social platforms. The open link enables anyone to click on the link to apply for the job and complete the preliminary assessment.


This makes the application process very seamless for the candidates. It also helps recruiters tap the potential candidates right where they are present. Indeed, a win-win for both.


3. Assess what matters to you


Being a training/consulting organisation, we needed specific skills in our recruits that went beyond knowledge checks. The content development resources we hired were required to make good slides, and trainers had to be good speakers. While we used standard aptitude tests, they were insufficient to test candidates on many essential skills.


In SmartList, we built an assessment authoring engine that is very flexible. You can create the assessment to test specific skills you need to check. Eight different question types can be used to build an assessment you want, without any restriction. So, if the role requires specific demonstrated skills, you can put as many video response questions as you wish. One of the early users of the platform asked candidates to record a video of them doing a specific task and upload it. This helped the departmental manager assess candidates on the real skill, all done over the web.


4. Look beyond the resume


In the candidate shortlisting process, resumes are losing their utility. Most of the candidates meeting the minimum requirement look the same from their resumes. While hiring trainers/facilitators, we ended up reviewing a pile of resumes. This was both time-consuming and needed a lot of resources. Recruiters also hesitated to drop candidates and moved a large chunk of resumes to the next stage.


With video response questions in SmartList, we can see the face behind the resume. One-way video questions end the need for the first round of filtering that generally happens over a call. Observing a person responding to the question helps recruiters take a more objective decision about moving the candidate to the next step.


5. Take a high-conviction screening decision


One of the issues recruiters face is "how does one drop a resume at the screening stage"? Getting quality candidates is difficult, and recruiters end up keeping resumes on the list due to FOMO (fear of missing out).


SmartList puts recruitment assessment right at the top of the recruitment funnel. Once the candidate completes the assessment, the recruiter has immediate access to detailed scores. With all candidates ranked as per their scores, recruiters have a very objective way to start working through the list from the top. The candidates at the bottom of the ranked list are the obvious ones to be kept on hold. This helps recruiters take the screening decision without any subjective criteria.



6. Impact candidate experience


Delay in recruitment impacts candidate experience. Good candidates don't remain in the job market for long. Unless they see the recruitment process moving, they lose interest in the opportunity and move on with the next best option. We were always looking for trainers with deep domain knowledge in our organisation. To make sure we had candidates interested in the role, we had to move fast in the recruitment.


When candidates take recruitment assessments on SmartList, they can see that organisation is progressive. They know what to expect from potential hires. Because recruiters can screen candidates based on objective evaluations, they make faster decisions about moving to the next stage. This builds a positive impression about the organisation whether you hire the candidate or not.


As a hiring manager, you will love the ease of using the platform. It will help your recruiters work more efficiently, screen candidates faster and bring quality candidates to the interview stage.


We will dive deeper into these six benefits in the following few articles. Stay tuned!



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