It’s 2am and I cannot sleep. I sit in my office/bedroom/extra room peering through the pink burlap sheers at the muted half moon high in the sky and wondering about the validity of assessments in the hiring process. It’s true, this is what wakes me up this evening or is it early morning?
I was asleep earlyish after fighting a beastly migraine most of the day and just like that bam wide awake. I tried to fall back sleep but it wouldn’t come, so I got up and gently stepped over the dog laying at the foot of the bed and walked out to the kitchen. I snagged a cookie and briefly stared out the window contemplating the silent symphony of blinking white and red lights on the horizon that can been seen from the kitchen window while I ate the cookie and savored the silence and the buttery sweetness. I return to the sleep chamber to try again. Nope.
So then I begin the overthinking ritual that is my gift to bear. I settled my focus on assessment testing validity in the hiring process. I knew I had to write and that I could not sleep until I did.
So again I rise and give in to the uncontrollable pull from the computer in the other room waiting for my words to flow from the fingers and set my mind free to sleep once more. I am restless but cozy in my camouflage Wal- Mart pjs and slippers and I sit down to write.
So a few days ago I received an invitation to apply for a position via Indeed. I get these from time to time but mostly they appear fake and I never respond. But this time was different, it was interesting and I took a few minutes and researched the company and decided to apply. Let’s play the recruitment game and see where it goes.
I was impressed with the company and the CEO and after reviewing the website really thought this would be a great place for me. A company that lifts women up and inspires them, gives them the tools to find that work that fills them with passion, not dread or boredom. So much to my surprise I received a notice from the recruiter that I had been moved up to round two. As if I am a boxer in the title match.
Round two was a series of “assessment tests” which I truly despise for many reasons, some that shall be voiced in this blog.
#1 The logic of which box or set of numbers or combination of shapes in a box helps you decide if I am an asset. I am sure there is some kind of justification in excellence in this area, but I just don’t see it. It’s a square peg in a round hole thing for me.
#2 The typing test on command – for those of us with test anxiety, probably not the truest marker of abilities. Eek I can’t type flawlessly 75 words per minute??? What good can I possibly be?
#3 The internet savvy test – which was nothing more than a test of Outlook skills insisting you use one method to reach the goal which again for an innovative thinker is not a fair test and mostly absurd.
#4 Finally, the most loathsome of assessments the personality assessment. you know the one. Please answer the questions choosing the response that best fits you.. true/always true/sometimes true sometimes false/ always false/ false. Oh and don’t overthink the question, answer quickly and please don’t spend too much time on any one answer. Oh sure. I can do that, I think, maybe, ok I will try or maybe not.
So as I muddled my way through the assessments that will provide a faceless recruiter with more information on me and my abilities to fill this position, I will no doubt be weeded out by the system as it analyzes ( I use this word loosely ) the data provided resulting in not moving to Round 3.
That is the fate, not moving to Round 3, the insanity of it all.
Now, my old school feeling kicks in or maybe it’s my age (another discussion for another day). How can you determine my worth when you have never even spoken to me? You cannot hear or understand my passion for the work by answering questions or choosing the right algorithm on an assessment test. You cannot see my enthusiasm through my excellent typing test. you are missing the human factor in this process. You are short changing the company by deciding through assessments if I am viable candidate. If I am worthy enough to meet in person.
You cannot hear my voice and I cannot hear yours. Sometimes despite the qualifications on paper, knowing and determining if you mesh with the company it’s ideals and ethos can be more important than assessment results that are stellar. These are things you can only discover through human interaction.
Has COVID removed the need for human interaction? Since we have discovered we can do most things remotely and we have embraced that for COVID safety is this the future? Because I believe that the phone system stills works just fine as does the technology of zoom or FaceTime in helping to fill the void of the missing face to face interview time.
Not only does it give you insight that assessments do not, it also is helpful to just talk. Get to know the candidate, learn about them, why they applied what they think they can do for the company and why. Those factors seem much more applicable to future success than the dreaded “Tell me about a time when” questions that seem to be the basis of interviewing these days.
As a candidate, I want to know if the hiring manager thinks I fit. If my qualifications in my resume are a match isn’t the personal match equally important? We have lost something in this technology world and our dependence on assessments and strategy for hiring the best candidate.
We burden the candidates with an overrun of assessments and qualifications before we ever speak a word in person. And this is results in companies missing the right candidate because they have the wrong hiring process.
Just my thoughts at 246 am..
And now I will return to the sleep chamber and try again.
Good Night or Good Morning, which ever it may be for you.
Until Next Time,