Marketing firm test aimed at weeding out ‘snowflake’ applicants

Are you pro-police? OK around guns? Able to handle bad ideas and workplace bullies? If not, one Connecticut marketing agency would prefer you didn’t apply.

When was the last time you cried and why?

What are your feelings about employees or clients carrying guns?

You see someone stepping on an American flag. What do you do?

If you’re provoked by questions like these, then maybe The Silent Partner Marketing isn’t the employer for you.

Hoping to find candidates who fit the culture of the company—and to weed out “whiny, needy, entitled little brats”—Chief Executive Kyle Reyes has created a so-called “snowflake test” full of unusual questions. They range from queries about safe spaces to how you would handle an unethical client.

It’s the political nature of some questions that has generated the coverage in the news media. The Connecticut marketing and PR company introduced the test after ash-canning reams of résumés from applicants who didn’t fit the company’s pro-police and pro-Second Amendment culture.

The quiz has drawn sympathetic coverage in right-leaning venues such as Fox Business, while on the left AlterNet headlined its writeup, “Connecticut CEO Administers Depraved ‘Snowflake Test’ to Weed Out Sensitive Job Applicants.”

Reyes could not be reached for comment Friday morning, but in an article for the conservative NewBostonPost he explains that the test is a screening tool to get rid of, well, most people.

‘Most people suck’

In a YouTube video, Reyes seems to aim at millennials, saying, “You’re young, you’re ignorant, you’re brainwashed by liberal professors who didn’t tell you that in the real world, the only ‘safe space’ is in your parents’ basement,” the Independent reports.

In the article, Reyes makes clear that his disdain for bad hires spans the generations. “I don’t want most people to work for my company,” he writes. “No, seriously. Most people suck.”

He goes on:

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.

… 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.

Hard to argue with that last sentence. AlterNet states, “This screening process is a lawsuit waiting to happen.” Even Fox Business asked about potential suits.

In case you’re wondering how to answer (if you want to work there), Reyes’ Facebook background photo offers a hint. He’s firing what appears to be a .50-caliber semiautomatic rifle.

If all the talk about firearms makes you want to run for a safe space, wait a second. Reyes says he has a good reason for asking such questions.

“We do a lot of work with police and first responders, but we also do a lot of work filming with guns,” he says. Explaining that members of his firm recently fired a .50-caliber weapon while promoting a new show, he added, “So I need [employees] to be very, very OK with that.”

He has reaped an avalanche of publicity for his unusual vetting tool—to say nothing of his self-marketing savvy. Though Reyes said his goal was to weed out résumés, he received a flood of applications after an initial appearance on Fox.

Reports Fox Business:

“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,” he said.

According to Reyes, the company has eliminated 60 percent of interviewees through the application process.

“We used it to sort of weed out the people who were inundating us with résumés and didn’t even know what we do for work,” he said.

“This is the best piece of marketing you ever could have done,” a Fox presenter says. “I mean, it’s more worthwhile for you to talk about having the test then actually applying the test.”

The entire questionnaire

On Facebook, Kyle Reyes provides the whole test, a sampling of which we offer here as a public service, in case your HR department is looking to modify your hiring process:

  • 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”?
  • What does the First Amendment mean to you?
  • You arrive at an event for work and there’s a major celebrity you’ve always wanted to meet. What happens next?
  • What’s your favorite kind of adult beverage?
  • You see someone stepping on an American flag. What do you do?
  • How do you handle it when your ideas are shot down?
  • What do you do if a coworker comes to the table with an idea and it sucks?

Here’s one you surely will want to know before meeting that job candidate in a coffeehouse.

“You’re in Starbucks with two friends,” Reyes asks. “Someone runs in and says someone is coming in with a gun in 15 seconds to shoot patrons. They offer you a gun. Do you take it? What do you do next?”

Well, if “throw the gun at the bad guy” is your answer, be forewarned: You might trigger the folks at The Silent Partner.


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