Resume writing and career advice
job search tips/workplace trends
Featuring career experts, recruiters, hiring managers and decision makers who help you get hired
Dear Matt: Why do companies use workplace assessments and how can job seekers prepare for them as part of the interview?
Matt says: Employers use assessments to gauge an individual’s personality, values, strengths and aptitudes to help prevent making a bad hire, says Dennis Bird, Senior Consultant in the Minneapolis office of Right Management (right.com), a Manpower Group Company that regularly helps employers administer workplace assessments as part of the transition or hiring process.
Employers are relying more on big data, predictive analytics and results from workplace assessments to help make hiring decisions. For many jobs, the standard interview process isn’t enough to determine the best candidate. Research by Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH.com), an outplacement and career consulting firm, shows that in 2001 only 26 percent of employers used pre-hire assessments. That number increased to 57 percent in 2013.
While you can’t complete pre-assessment prep courses or prep books, individuals use sites like glassdoor.com to share information about their interview experiences with a particular company and may provide insight into what pre-hire assessments were administered, says LHH spokesperson Helene Cavalli. There are a wide range of assessments. Some are behavioral, which look at interpersonal skills, personality traits, motivators and attitudes. Others are used to test for certain talents/abilities, such as problem-solving, math, vocabulary and grammar, and some test for leadership styles.
When you are asked to take an assessment, ask the recruiter or hiring manager which assessment they use and what it measures, says Bird. You may have completed similar assessments in the past or you could tap into your network to see if anyone has experience with the assessment. The more you know in advance, the more you can prepare.
For multiple choice questions, go with your gut reaction. Don’t over think it or try to figure out what the assessment is trying to measure. “Your first response is usually the best one,” says Bird. If you are doing assessments that require problem solving, skip a question you are stuck on, if you can, and come back to it later after you have answered the other questions. “Focusing on a question you can’t solve will only lead to frustration and anxiety,” says Bird.
If you are completing the assessments at home, pick a time when you have the most energy and a place you can concentrate. If the assessment is at the company or a third party vendor, give yourself plenty of time to get there.
“If you are asked to take an assessment, this is good news,” says Bird. “This means that the company or organization is interested in you and wants to get to know you better. Be confident in who you are and do your best.”
Workplace Assessments and Big data - what job seekers need to know
For more information on this topic I reached out to the experts at Adecco Staffing USA, a company that provides job opportunities and advice to American workers at every stage of their careers to learn about the role big data and workplace assessments play in the hiring process.
Esther Johannes, Adecco Staffing Regional Vice President, provided this information:
Does Adecco use workplace assessment?
Adecco’s philosophy regarding assessment is that is serves both the job applicant and the employer. We view assessment as a method to screen applicants into the process rather than out.
Adecco partners with the ProveIt assessment library. These assessments fall into three categories.
"Organizations are typically very clear early on about the use of assessment in their hiring process," says Johannes. "The most important thing to remember as a job seeker is that the assessment is just as much for your benefit as it is for the employer. The purpose of the assessment is to determine your likelihood for success and fit within the job role.
How to prepare for a workplace assessment:
What is the roll of big data in the recruiting process?
"Big data is certainly impacting the recruiting process," says Johannes. "A primary benefit to the employer is the opportunity to leverage tools to aggregate large volumes of data that provide insight into applicants, sources, and trends. As it relates to the job search, applicants should study the job postings paying attention to key words. Armed with this information the applicant can tailor their resume with the key words to increase the likelihood that their resume will filter successfully through resume reading systems."
About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes and cover letters, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for the Star Tribune, Flexjobs.com, Ziprecruiter.com and more.