What Message Are You Sending With Your Pre-Employment Assessments?

Photo illustration by istockphoto.com
Photo illustration by istockphoto.com

Our colleagues over at ERE have a pretty eye-opening post today by Dr. Charles Handler about the messages that some organizations are sending job candidates with their pre-employment assessment experience.

What’s more, the job candidate in question in this case was a passive one — the company reached out to them, asked them to jump through a bunch of hoops, then gave them the kiss off without any reason why.

Handler’s assessment of this is sobering — both for the would-be candidate and for the seemingly tone-deaf organization that can’t see how badly (and brusquely) it treats job candidates that IT reached out to. He says:

I hate to say that the kind of thing you experienced is common, but it is. It is the result of several things, including the fact that companies don’t have enough time to discuss information with rejected applicants, companies are worried about being sued, and companies often do stupid things because they don’t know any better.”

And Dr. Handler adds this:

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While we can’t know for sure if the assessment was the stake through this candidate’s heart, it seems likely. While this may or may not have been appropriate, no one deserves to be treated as poorly as (this candidate) was, especially after sharing so much about herself. While it is often the case that assessment results are not shared, companies can still provide rejected applicants with some information that allows them to understand why they were rejected. It is amazing how easily we forget the golden rule. In this case silence is not an effective solution. Sweeping problems under the rug may work in the short run, but in the long run it can lead to some really smelly situations!”

The blog post — titled Pre-Employment Assessment and Candidate Feedback: Letters From the Black Hole should make anyone involved in recruiting, staffing, sourcing, and hiring sit up and ask, “Is this the way OUR organization treats candidates?” Be careful; after reading it, you may find that you come up with an answer that you don’t like.

For more of this article, click here.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.


1 Comment on “What Message Are You Sending With Your Pre-Employment Assessments?

  1. It is really unfortunate that this kind of thing happens.  

    The danger is obvious…  A candidate invests a significant amount of time and energy and in exchange they receive no real additional consideration from the potential employer.  Naturally the candidate is going to feel mistreated.  This is bad for the candidate and bad for the brand of the company.

    Every candidate is a human being and a potential Customer or influencer.  How they are treated can have significant immediate and long-term implications.

    As a matter of good practice, no assessment should be used for more than 20 percent of the hiring outcome.  I would recommend that if one is going to assess at such a deep level such as this as well as check credit, etc, it makes sense to at least complete an interview.  


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