Maki People, you know? We started in 2021 with the project of creating the new standard of recruitment. We offer companies an all-in-one solution to help them recruit better, more objectively and fairly, while providing the best possible experience for all candidates.
As Chief Operations Officer, I am responsible in particular for the development of our skills tests, which represent the heart of the reactor. We have built a library of over 150 tests in a few months to reliably assess all kinds of skills for a whole range of different trades.
Why this test library?
To understand the central importance that this corpus of tests has for us, we must return to the vision that led us to create Maki People: to reinject transparency and fairness into the recruitment process.
In today’s world of recruitment, there is still a huge reliance on using CVs to identify and hire potential candidates. However, there are several shortfalls of using CVs for recruitment. CV creates a subconscious bias in candidate selection, which leads to stereotyping and unconscious discrimination. Reading through a mountain of CVs is laborious and time consuming and the information provided isn’t always accurate. In fact, ⅓ of the jobseekers tend to exaggerate their abilities on their CVs. It doesn’t guarantee what you are looking for and it certainly does not give you a sense of whether the candidate will be a good fit to the organisation.
In our research, we found that current recruitment processes for many organisations do not enrich recruiters with information to enable them to assess candidates appropriately and do not give these candidates an opportunity to showcase their true ability.
Moreover, a recruitment process perceived by candidates as complex and opaque, with questions whose objective and purpose do not appear to be obvious, risks harming the employer brand.
Therefore, we wanted to find a solution to solve these problems.
The idea of Maki People was to develop an accessible and turnkey solution to make recruitment fairer and more objective while offering candidates a simplified, smooth and seamless experience. Because, after all, it is their very first contact with their potential future employer.
We were looking for a way to objectively and accurately predict the success of a candidate for a given position. And it is the academic literature that has brought us the answer. Many scientific studies, including the well-known The Validity and Utility of Selection Methods in Personnel Psychology, demonstrated that competency testing was six to seven times more effective than other selection methods in rationally assessing a candidate's ability to excel in their position.
Furthermore, our approach integrates technology into our flexible solutions while ensuring the science behind our tests, enabling both recruiters and candidates to get the best experience possible during the recruitment journey.
What else do Maki People tests have?
Many recruiters and hiring managers have made the same observation as us and have tried to develop alternatives to the classic interview cycle. But, it is difficult for a recruiter to deploy relevant tests on a whole range of trades.
There are many services offering recruiters personality tests. These tests are obviously useful, as they shed light on the candidates and help to get to know them better, but they remain relatively unpredictable of a person's competence for a position. While personality is a dimension to take into account, it certainly is not the only one.
This is why we decided to put together a library consisting of a huge variety of psychometric tests. All our tests are based on objective data and established expertise, and covering all the relevant dimensions to determine if a candidate really has the required skills (soft and hard) to succeed in a given position.
Our library currently has more than 150 tests and it is constantly growing, adding more and more relevant tests as we scale Maki People to reach the global market.
We have job-specific tests that pertain to assessing niche skill sets; a future management controller must master cost calculation methods, a digital marketing specialist must be comfortable with Google Analytics, a salesperson must know how to lead a way to discover the real needs of the customer, etc.
We also have job-generic tests that require cross functional skills such as negotiation, project management or mastery of languages and tools etc.
Last but not least, our library also covers a wide range of aptitude tests (e.g. cognitive ability or personality) that can be used to increase the likelihood of a candidate's success in a job position.
In short, this test library gives recruiters a reliable, 360° view of candidates' skills to help them identify those who excel. And, from the point of view of the candidates, everyone really has a chance.
The candidate himself is paradoxically the poor relation of traditional recruitment processes. Yet it is at the heart of everything. We designed these tests without ever losing sight of the candidate, their experience, their feelings, the fluidity of their hiring process. Before being published, our tests are validated not only with our experts and hiring managers, but also with potential candidates.
How do you ensure the quality of the tests?
We follow a 4-step method to develop our tests, and guarantee their relevance, reliability and adaptation to a professional context.
It all starts with the selection of the experts who will build the assessments with us. We made the choice to set a high selection bar, to only work with the most eminent experts in each of the skill types we wanted to test. We asked the author of the reference book on corporate finance Pascal Quiry, Founder and Managing Director of Monestier Capital and Professor of Finance at HEC, leading specialists in Data Science issues (such as Yacine Aslimi, Data Trainer, R Expert, Lead Data Scientist or Arturo Guizar, PhD, Teacher & Freelance in Data Science), renowned teachers of each of the languages (such as Eleonora Martina Turri, Professor of Italian, Anne Le Grand, Founder of Parlez-vous French? or Edward Mitchell, Professor of English) that we wanted to evaluate.
For tests evaluating cognitive abilities (logical, numerical reasoning, etc.), and personality inventories, which require a slightly different scientific approach, we have set up a scientific committee made up of renowned psychometricians such as Adrian Furnham, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Philip Corr.
Once the experts have been identified, the second stage begins, the construction of the test itself. The Maki team will accompany the experts to apply with them the best practices for writing tests, such as respecting the balance between different types of questions, between levels of difficulty or even the simplification of question formulas.
The third step consists of evaluating the first iteration of the tests, which is to pilot and review the psychometric quality of the tests, ensuring that they adhere to the recommended statistical guidelines. The tests are also reviewed by potential hiring managers to ensure face validity is met.
Finally, once the test has been launched, we constantly analyze the activity and results of the candidates, question by question, in order to be able to constantly optimize the reliability and validity of our tests by applying statistical methods using a mixture of classical and modern test theories.
Developing a hundred tests in three months: a challenge?
For us, building this library was an adventure in terra incognita. Of course, we wanted to move quickly and quickly obtain enough tests to meet our needs, but above all we had to find an effective working method with our network of experts.
In the beginning, we spent a lot of time explaining to them what we were looking for, thinking with them about exactly what we wanted to test for each trade, and identifying objective and scientific ways to do it.
Above all, the difficulty was to ensure that the tests were as relevant and precise in substance as they were practical and user-friendly in form. The product team worked a lot on ergonomics and the visual experience. We went over each test with the relevant experts to optimize the length of the questions and answers and to make the candidate journey as smooth as possible. For example, we had to make sure that the tests made sense to the candidates: if I apply to be a salesperson, I have to understand why I am being asked such and such a question, I have to be able to project myself into practical situations assigned to me. All while making sure to keep the essence of the test as designed by the expert. Not to mention the need for consistency across the test library, to deliver a unified and consistent candidate experience.
A hundred tests a few months: experts in the sector say they are impressed by our speed.
So yes, this initial phase posed its share of challenges. But the strategy we adopted paid off. At Maki People, many of us come from backgrounds outside of the traditional recruiting world, so we approach things with fresh eyes. This is what led us to focus on skills tests, which take less time to develop than yet another personality test and allowed us to be more productive and faster.
We also benefited from the adequacy of our business plan to the very real expectations of the market. Both the experts who work with us and the clients immediately understand the "why" of Maki People and what we are trying to do, and are all the more inclined to trust us. This is why we managed to convince experts of incredible stature even when we were in our infancy.
Above all, this test library was lovingly crafted by our amazing team of talented and passionate Maki People, who worked tirelessly to bring the vision we had to life.
And today they can be proud of what they have accomplished. It's not just me saying it: the feedback from our clients and candidates clearly rewards the team's efforts.
And now ?
This feeling of a job well done does not mean that we intend to rest on our laurels. Quite the contrary. We constantly assess the satisfaction of both recruiters and candidates and collect their feedback or suggestions to ensure that our tests are always better tomorrow than yesterday. We actively collect and analyze all possible data to refine and improve what can be improved on objective bases. Our product evolves and improves week by week.
The feedback, data from candidates and the number of tests carried out also abound in this direction:
- “A surprising and very interactive way to test the overall personality of a candidate and his adequacy with the organization. I loved it”
- “It's the first time that I can finally fulfill one of my dearest wishes: to apply without a CV”
- “What I liked the most was the fact that I immediately understood why I was asked such and such a question, that is to say the real usefulness of the assessment”
- 37,433 tests were carried out entirely by candidates on Maki People (all specialties combined)
- Tests offered by companies to candidates focus as much on soft as hard skills: Problem Solving, Time Management, English, Microsoft Excel,...
We are also working to enrich our library by adding new tests, either based on our own market analysis, or thanks to the ideas and feedback from our users.
Above all, we must not forget that our core business is skills assessment, of which testing is only one part. We are therefore considering developing different evaluation formats, re-imagining the exercise of the test.
We are also convinced that there is also a lot to do in the other stages of the recruitment process. For example, job retention and career development.
Based on what we have already built, there are a thousand and one avenues to explore to help companies further optimize their recruitment journeys, strengthen their employer brand by offering potential recruits an exceptional experience, and to give each candidate the chance they deserve.
Paul-Louis Caylar spent 12 years at McKinsey & Company, the leading consulting firm, where he was elected Partner in 2014. He advised large companies in all sectors (industry, consumer goods, Tech, Telecom, Pharma) on top management issues. In 2018, Paul-Louis joined Logistics Tech start-up, Everoad, as COO, where he led technology-based operations, pricing, sales, business intelligence and supply chain. marketplace. In 2021, he founded, alongside Maxime Legardez Coquin and Benjamin Chino, Maki People, where he currently holds the position of COO.