Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jumping through “Hiring Process Hoops”

Hiring managers have a tough job.  They are tasked with sorting through hundreds of applications and resumes to find the best person for an open position.  They want to do it in the most efficient, least expensive way possible.  Making the wrong hiring decision is more inefficient and expensive than doing it right the first time.  With an unemployment rate still near 10%, hiring managers are bombarded with applications from those who want the job.  Therefore, hiring managers are in the driver’s seat and can afford to be very choosy during the hiring process.  As jobseekers, this means that we are often asked to jump through many hoops in the hopes of receiving an offer.

I recently applied for a director-level position at a medium-sized, Minnesota-based company.  After a phone interview and face-to-face interview with a woman from Human Resources, I was asked to complete an online assessment.  The assessment took an hour and I was able to do it from home.  I must have passed because I was asked to come in for two more rounds of interviews.  Finally, I was asked to complete 3 more hours of on-line assessments, then an 8 ½ hour series of assessments with a consulting company downtown.  During this process, I completed online personality tests, problem solving tasks, and logic problems.  I completed a 2 hour “inbox” prioritization drill, a role play meeting with a “direct report”, and an intense interview with a psychometrist.  I didn’t get the job.

During the interview process for various positions that I have applied to, I have completed pen and paper tests, online assessments, case studies, and behavioral interviews.  I have been assessed on my math, analytical, problem-solving, reasoning, management, decision-making, and other various skills.  My personality has been classified and compared to the company culture and the desired traits for the open position.  The results from all these activities supposedly provide information to the hiring manager regarding how I would perform if I were hired for the position, but do they?

What do you think?
·     What have you had to go through to try to get a job?  Did you get it?
·    Do you think that these steps are necessary to sift through the candidates or do some companies take the process too far?
·    Do you think assessments, role plays, and other interview tasks accurately demonstrate your capabilities to do the job?  Why or why not?

Barrie Berquist is a Retail Analyst on the ConAgra Foods Team at Acosta Sales and Marketing.  She has been a member of the MN AMA since 2007 and is a member of the MarCom Committee where she serves as the Career Insider Blog Project Manager.  She can be reached at barrieberquist@yahoo.com.  You can follow Barrie on Twitter @BEBERQUIST. 
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The unfortunate part about the scenario you described is that the company may not end up with a very creative thinker (creative regardless of industry or role) because they are looking for a candidate that fits a very narrow and safe description. And, someone that fits right in with the existing culture will likely not be able to shake anything up, resulting with a continued status quo. Perhaps that's what the company was looking for.

Thankfully I haven't had to go through a battery of tests like you noted, but I do recall one interview where the HR person diagrammed my sentences as I spoke. Once I figured out WHAT he was doing I was so flustered that I'm pretty darned sure I didn't complete another coherent sentence.

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