Candidate Tasks in Recruitment


1. What is a task:

It is a practical assessment to evaluate candidate skills.

2. Why do we use tasks in the hiring process?

We use them to:

  • Get a better assessment beyond CVs, portfolios, github repos and interviews.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of someone's abilities (technical & non-technical) for the role at hand.
  • Give candidates a chance to showcase their working style & communication, it’s common to set up a Discord chat so the candidate & task reviewers can chat, ask/answer questions and also provide updates.

3. How to design a task

Step 1: Understand the role's requirements.

Step 2: Design a task that aligns with the expected output of the role.

Step 3: Clearly communicate task instructions, expectations, and deadline.

What does a good task look like:

  • Has clear instructions & expectations
  • Has a deadline that’s realistic (usually 1 week is enough)
  • Has a recommended timeframe in which to complete the task i.e 2-4hrs (this keeps all candidates 'fair' in terms of time dedicated to the task)
  • Is aligned with the day-to-day responsibilities of the role
  • It is tackling a real problem the team face, some teams use a bounties approach


  • UX/UI Designer: Create a mobile app prototype/feature based on the target audience.
  • Sales: Create a presentation on selling a complex product to a potential client.
  • Engineer: Assess problem-solving skills by tasking them with debugging code.
  • Customer Support: A simulated chat interaction to assess their communication skills.
  • Financial Analyst: Analyze an investment portfolio to gauge forecasting abilities.
  • Content Writer: Create a blog post on a specified topic.

4. Time restrictions & compensation:

We want to see a glimpse of what they can do within the allocated time, this shouldn’t be seen as their full potential since they are not integrated into the working styles of the team or the full context of the team.

A simple and effective approach is:

  • A flat rate for completion of the task; ie. $200
  • A set time allowing completing the task; ie. 2-4hrs (some teams have longer, rule of thumb is allow enough time for the task to be completed) … The longer the task, the more time you/your team have to spend reviewing it

5. Materials for Candidates:

Ensure candidates have all the reference materials needed to perform and succeed on the task.


  • A digital marketer may need access to Google Analytics data.
  • A data scientist may need to be provided a dataset and access to statistical software.
  • A content creator may need a brand style guide and existing content for reference.
  • A Mobile UI Engineer will need access to Figma

6. Evaluating Tasks:

Setting clear evaluation standards is important so everyone is assessed fairly and we don’t let personal biases get in the way of hiring people who perform well during tasks. We should determine the criteria for task evaluation prior to seeing the first task submitted by a candidate.


  • Evaluate a coding task based on criteria like code quality, efficiency, and adherence to project requirements.
  • Assess customer service interactions based on responsiveness, problem-solving, and professionalism.
  • Evaluate a design task considering creativity, usability, and alignment with brand guidelines.

7. Effective Communication:

Maintain transparent and professional candidate communication.

  • Clearly inform candidates of the evaluation timeline and when they can expect feedback.
  • Use the Discord chat to interact with the candidate throughout their task

8. Feedback and Improvement:

Use candidate feedback to refine task instructions and evaluation criteria.

9. Sample Tasks:


Q: How long should candidates typically spend on the task? A: We recommend 2-4 hours to avoid impacting the candidate's current job and any family commitments.

Q: How long should the task take to complete? A: 1-week max (unless the candidate has let us know they have something that won’t allow them to complete the task, ie. health conditions, family, personal, ect.)

Q: What happens if a candidate encounters issues during the task? A: You can communicate with them via the discord chat created by the recruiter.

Q: Is there room for negotiation on compensation for exceptionally well-performed tasks? A: No.

Q: What if I can’t think of any tasks? A: Then check out the tasks templates above as inspiration or/and think of a daily task someone in your team does that you would expect this candidate to be competent with, for example, in recruitment we would expect someone to show their competency & creativity sourcing candidates, so that is what the task is based around.

Q: My team doesn't have time to review every task, what do we do?

A: The number of tasks to review should be minimal as you don’t need to send a task to every candidate, only the good ones that stand out as potential hires.

If that is still too much, revert to a technical discussion, so long as you’re confident you can accurately assess a candidate's suitability this way.