Understand Your Recruits With This Simple 10-Second Quiz

quizWhen I started my recruiting career 20 years ago, my mentor at the time told me about a quick candidate quiz. This simple quiz helps me understand what motivates candidates and determine if they are a good fit for the job in just seconds. I still use it to this day.

Feel free to steal it.


CLAMS is an acronym for:

  • Challenge
  • Location
  • Advancement
  • Money
  • Security

I “clam” my candidate by asking them to rank themselves for these aspects between 1 and 5 – a 1 being most important to them and a 5 being the least important.

By having candidates write this down for me or tell me, I cut to the heart of their motivations. I can compare their scores with available positions and guide them toward the best fit.

Making sure a candidate’s motivations mesh with the position’s requirements as well as the company itself, screens out poor fits and improves candidate retention. If I’m hiring a salesperson but the CLAMS quiz shows that money isn’t important to the candidate, something might be wrong.

If someone left their last job because they disliked their long commute and ranked location at the top, that’s a red flag if the position I am recruiting for is a long commute.

So they want a challenge? I recognize that some jobs simply won’t be demanding enough to keep the candidate mentally engaged. If I know the position doesn’t meet that standard, I might pass on that candidate.

What if they value advancement? I do my best to steer the candidate toward companies that offer abundant opportunities to take on more responsibilities and learn new skills. If the position doesn’t have an established advancement track, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new hire quit early.

Matching the results of my CLAMS quiz with the position gives me a fast snapshot at qualifying the candidate further. To me, retention is everything so I like to get a good fit. Keeping everyone satisfied is the goal. CLAMs is a nice starting point to help me get there during the qualifying stage.

Give CLAMS a try. At the very least, it builds a solid foundation to help kick-off the discussion of your candidate’s hot buttons.

Do you have any neat little tricks to get to know your candidates better? Let us know; we’d love to hear them!

Come check out The Sales Club launching now in Boston – www.getsalesclub.com and hire salespeople free of charge!

Jonathan Samuels

Hey I’m Jonathan. I created Ntroduced.com and love talent acquisition! I have 20 years of recruiting experience and innovation. I like to work out, watch silly TV shows and maybe have a slice of pizza to break up my healthy eating habits. I hope you enjoy my blog page. Please share them with your friends!

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