The BLOG: Voices

CEO Makes Employees Take Snowflake Test

You’d better put on your safety pin.  This article is sure to trigger some of you.  Why?  Because … gasp … you’re about to get some real talk from someone who makes hiring and firing decisions every single day.

Companies across the country do their best to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about them.  They want EVERYONE to want to work for them.  They want to create this grand illusion that they’re more magical than Disney.  They sell the experience that they do things like donate socks to kittens and give each other foot rubs and all of that weird crap to make people happy.  Their oxygen is your desire to work for them.  Then, of course, you get there and realize it’s miserable actually working for the company.

But here’s the thing.

I don’t want most people to work for my company.  No, seriously.  Most people suck. 

WHAT.  DID.  HE.  JUST.  SAY????

I said most people suck.  Really.  Not just professionally.  Just as people.  They are whiny, needy, entitled little brats. 

Not just millennials.  Their parents.  Their grandparents.  Their kids.  Lots of people. 

And I want people to work for me who don’t suck.

Listen, we’ve got all of the magical stuff.  We have a 30-foot bar in the office with literally thousands of bottles of heavenly liquid.  We have an X-Box, huge beanbag chairs, an office dog, a private caterer, and a personal trainer. 

We get hundreds and hundreds of people reaching out to work for us. 

But again, lots of people suck.

I realized that pretty quickly … and I also realized it was a time suck on my staff and me to be weeding through endless piles of paper trying to find the handful of people who actually want to hustle for a living and would be a great fit for our company.

So I’ve implemented something that is going to give HR managers and the PC Police night sweats.

I lovingly refer to it as The Snowflake Test.

Anyone who may be a viable candidate for our agency has to take the test before they get an at-bat at an interview.

It’s 30 short-answer and essay-style questions that help us to really get to know a candidate.  We want to get in their heads.  See how they apply logic and reason to different scenarios.  See what makes them tick.  See if they’d be a good fit for our culture.

Among those questions?

  • Outside of standard benefits, what benefits should a company offer employees?
  • What are your feelings about employees or clients carrying guns?
  • What are your feelings about safe spaces in challenging work environments?
  • Should “trigger warnings” be issued before we release content for clients or the company that might be    considered “controversial”?
  • How do you feel about police?
  • When was the last time you cried and why?
  • What are your thoughts on the current college environment as it pertains to a future workforce?
  • What does “faith” mean to you?
  • You see someone stepping on an American Flag. What happens next?

Listen, people.  This is just a little real talk.  The truth of it – that nobody talks about – is that you need to fit the culture of a company or it’s just not going to work out. 

Since I launched this “filtering” process, if you will, I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of whining from the general public.

I was scolded by a woman on the phone yesterday who told me she wouldn’t take the test and “shame” on me for making people take a test to come work for us.  She “demanded” I remove the test or risk losing out on “perfect employees” like herself.


Well, snowflake, it’s back to the heaping pile of applications for me.


Kyle S. Reyes is President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing. He’s also an acclaimed keynote speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. You can follow him on Facebook.