“Tests” are Not Useful

Because the cost of a bad hire is so high, some organizations are resorting to a variety of psychometric tests to determine if it's worth interviewing and possibly hiring a candidate. If you, like me, are suspicious of tests, take a look at The Einstein-Clavin Effect by Wendell Williams. My favorite quote:

… controlled research studies confirm the fact that people who “fake good” on self-reported tests can outscore folks who give honest responses. Burn that into memory: People who “fake good” on self-reported tests can outscore folks who give honest responses.

So, if you're using some kind of test (tests are not auditions, which are useful), see if you can correlate any previous hiring with the results on the test. I bet you can't.

Tests don't predict behavior on the job. Behavior-description questions and auditions do. I'd much rather spend the time interviewing well than pay for a test that doesn't predict work behaviors.

2 Replies to ““Tests” are Not Useful”

  1. How to hire the best talent and more simply how to find it, is a obstacle many companies face when trying to fill positions. There is a great interview on http://www.landed.fm with Gerry Crispin (chief navigator of CareerXroads)who talks about company hiring trends, the best way to recruit talent, and what can give job seekers the extra edge in getting recognized by the company they are applying for.

  2. Although I’m inclined to agree, in Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman writes about using optimism tests when hiring insurance salespeople. Granted, that I would suspect that someone could learn to game that test, but the constant rejection of insurance sales would weed out any cheaters.

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