Tests- Context, Relevance and motivations

by Richard Gary
(Austin, TX)

I will always have the opinions tests can only take an employer so far in assessing prospective talent. The missing component in the test(s) often is the matching of direct/indirect management personality (styles) with those of the candidate. While some would argue that management 'may' have gone through a similar testing/culling process and the corporate culture has led to a profile that is consistent across the organization- I don't think that is reality.

Far too many prospective employees try to 'work' the test by guessing what characteristics/right answers the employer is seeking for the available position. This may lead to a result that is radically different that the one desired.

Others may struggle with their own differing perspectives of work vs non-work, vocation/avocation, work/family. These too may cloud the results profile and still not match candidate with employer properly.

Motivations vs. desired outcomes resulting from the data extracted from the tests need to be discussed up front. For some employers, these results do serve as a way to narrow down selective candidates. For some candidates, it does little to aid their decision process and may impact negatively their view of the employer.

Perhaps candidates can use their knowledge of these tests to extract stronger questions to understand targeted candidate profiles and management styles. Even those answers may still be biased with 'expected answers' rather than reality.

But this is the reality- every candidate/employer relationship has elements of faith, trust, and hope... at some point we each have to commit and rely on building the right and best relationship possible.

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