Re: Lying applicants and tests

Subject: Re: Lying applicants and tests
From: Marguerite Krupp <Marguerite_Krupp -at- BAYNETWORKS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 09:44:09 -0400

Hi Folks,

Bruce Ashley offered some good ideas for a tech writing test, although I
would substitute something more industry-specific for the "how to wash a
cup, etc." part of it.

My point is that it is VERY difficult to replicate the conditions exactly
for each applicant, and that 's where the HR folks have a problem. And some
candidates would take offense at testing, too. Of course, if they don't
like the rules you play by, it's well to find out early.

Bottom line, if you are considering the use of testing as a hiring tool, be
sure you have the full support of your company's HR and legal departments
before you do it.

<short rant>
Frankly, testing can be a two-edged sword. The ability to write well and
handle the tech writer's tools is only one of the three major criteria I
use in determining whom to hire. Subject matter and market knowledge (also
testable) and the ability to work well with others (hard to quantify) are
the other two. If you do give a test, you may decide to hire someone who
does not score as well on that, but who has stronger (perceived) abilities
in the other areas. The test score can then be used against you. ("You
hired someone less qualified than I was because s/he was <fill in your
favorite whine>.") Very tricky territory, and at least one writer I know is
litigious enough to use that.

As for going on "gut feel," I think people do that anyway, and anyone who
thinks he or she is 100% objective is not being realistic. Maybe I'm
cynical, but I think that people will find a way to rationalize what they
want to do anyway.

Strictly my opinion, and for the record, I'm not managing a group at
present, so you're all safe! <G>
<end of rant>


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