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Psychobollocks

09/29/2009

Test, test, test. We don’t know what we’re doing so, I know, lets use some spurious test to give us some semblance of a measured process and then just come up with the conclusion we had in the first place.

I hate tests and I hate testing. Lets face it t he purveyors of these things are really the modern day Soothsayers. Selling predictions based on some old bunch of weed, the size of your arse and the direction of the prevailing wind.

And I know the challenge will come back, “when they are used properly they can be informative as an addition to other means of assessment” (God, did I really just write that?) but so can graphology. Not that I hear anyone chanting for that apart from the French and lets face it, they still have two hour lunch breaks, 6 months holiday and call everyone Mr and Mrs in the workplace.

I’m yet to be convinced there is any better means for recruitment or development than sitting down and having a conversation. Asking questions and listening. Talking, exploring and getting to know the person. Sure sometimes I will use a few scenario based questions to give the person something to discuss, but tests? Nope.

I have never taken MBTI, Belbin, FiroB etc.etc. Although I have worked in companies that used them regularly. Quite frankly I never understood the point. What was it going to tell me about myself that I didn’t know already? And if I didn’t know it, was I going to accept it because it was on a piece of paper?

I think not.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. class-factotum permalink
    09/29/2009 17:32

    I once worked for a short while for a small company as their temp HR person, going through resumes to find a real HR person. I had to give the Birkmann test to everyone we called in. I graded them while they waited and knew immediately if the owner would want to interview b/c the applicant had to get above a certain score. But the owner wouldn't let me tell people they would not be interviewing further.

    I talked to a friend who was a real HR person and she told me that such testing was illegal unless it was directly related to the job.

    Which it wasn't. Does knowing that the person in charge of apartment maintenance is a "superintendent" make you more qualified? I didn't know that — I had never lived in New York and that is a New York thing, much like the taxi medallion example they use in Econ 102 is a NY thing. In Houston, we did not take taxis.

    I mentioned the possible illegality to the owner, who got really mad at me. I was fired shortly thereafter, which was fine because I really did not want to be associated with that place.

  2. HRD permalink
    09/30/2009 15:49

    @class factotum – Sounds like you were best out of there. Cowboys….the lot of them!

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