Using the Snowflake Test When Hiring New Employees

Many companies are finding it difficult to hire young professionals with a strong work ethic.  Despite the fact that they are less than a decade apart in age from their peers, the millennial generation seems to be worlds apart when it comes to work ethic. Millennial employees can come across as entitled and seem to have unreasonable expectations.  In order to avoid hiring employees with this type of rationale, one US company introduced what is known as “The Snowflake Test.”  What is essentially no more than a glorified personality test, the Snowflake Test was designed to weed out ‘whiny, entitled, millennial candidates.’  Let’s examine the Snowflake Test and its impact on hiring new employees.

What is meant by the term “snowflake?”

According to the CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing, “a snowflake is somebody who is going to whine and complain and come to the table with nothing but an entitled attitude and an inability to back their perspective.”  Many applicants are weeded out before the interviewing ever begins once they realize they will be given this test.

What exactly is “The Snowflake Test?” 

The Snowflake Test is a personality test given to job applicants.  The test includes questions such as “What does America mean to you?” and “What is the last time you cried and why?” and “What are your feelings about employees carrying guns?”  Many of the questions revolve around the candidate’s stance on America, police, and guns.  The idea is to weed out the people who are submitting resumes but don’t have a clear understanding of the actual position they are interviewing for.

Is this beneficial when hiring new employees?

According to the CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing, they have eliminated nearly 60% of applicants as a result of this test, allowing them to find candidates who are better suited for their position.  However, the Snowflake Test has certainly earned its fair share of criticism.  While there is nothing wrong with asking questions that are pertinent to the actual position, asking questions about an individual’s religious and political views just doesn’t seem necessary.  Many employers value a candidate’s “culture” and “fit” when deciding whether or not to hire them, but they need to be careful not to exclude applicants based on their personal beliefs.

How can employers narrow the field without using the Snowflake Test?

Like the CEO who came up with the Snowflake Test, employers need a way of narrowing their field of applicants.  However, there are more sensible ways to screen candidates.  Employers should come up with a list of job-related questions that can determine whether or not the candidate is qualified.  For example, if an employer is interviewing for a customer relations position, they could pose a scenario where a customer is rude to the employee and ask how they would react.  It is always best to design questions based on the position for which the applicant is applying.

Anyone who has ever had the task of sifting through stacks of resumes understands that it can be a grueling and time-consuming process.  Hiring new employees is no easy feat and understandably companies want to ensure they are making the right decision.  That said, tests such as The Snowflake Test might not be the best approach.  When interviewing employees, it is always best to stick to the job description and avoid any questions that might lend themselves to racism, sexism, and bigotry.