Career Landscape

Career Transitionioning can produce anxiety and be unsettling. Currently many job seekers not only face a steep level of competition from other employment candidates, they also face new and often daunting aspects throughout their career search. Some of these new and off-putting quirks appear in the form of tax credit inquiries by ADP, personality inventories masked behind the label of career assessments and on-the-spot video interviews. Eek!

For those of us who are introverts, the video interview, not to be confused with a Skype interview, is incredibly obtrusive. I am personally one of those non-photogenic persons, therefore I am sure this is only amplified by the video recording process. Thank you SparkHire Inc., for adding this feature to the process. A process which is already nerve-wrecking and painstaking, now you want to record my behavioral interview responses and utilize that as a tool to determine whether I would be a viable employee. I was more than a bit taken aback by this process.

One reason for my shock is that I did not know I would encounter this format. The HR Recruiter indicated to me, I will send you a link which will include a video and it’s only 5 questions. You will have about 4 or 5 days to complete the behavioral interview. My takeaway was that I would review an introductory overview of their company via video; afterwards, I would complete a behavioral interview encompassing five questions. What a communication breakdown. Initially I attempted to conduct the “behavioral interview” in my civics. Big mistake on my part. Therefore, on the following day I completed the video interview in full brigade—dress slacks and a sweater, while donning jewelry, SPF in the form of a tinted moisturizer, all the while I was enduring a toothache. Although the method allowed for several takes/retakes, (some if not all were unlimited), I knew the first and initial “take” would be the best I could deliver. Why? Well for those of us who took Debate and/or Speech & Drama in grade school, you are probably aware of the theory of ‘diminishing returns’.

Other features in the career search process, which are new and upsetting include the mandatory completion and submission of information so that your potential and perspective employer may determine if they are able to receive a tax credit/break from employing you. WTH—yes, what the heck is going on here I thought when I initially encountered this upon completing an application for a position which I felt could be a great role, as it was directly aligned with my career goals, background and areas of expertise. The information ADP required I submit in the mere application phase, included my full social security number—this in and of itself created a great deal of angst because one immediately begins to wonder whether you have been directed to a site where an identity thief is attempting to steal your personal information. Along with the SS#, you are asked for other identifying information such as your DOB and address all for the point of determining whether the employer can qualify you as an eligible candidate from whom they can obtain a tax break. I was stunned and uneasy, therefore I exited out of the application as I had been directed to an external site. This just made me uneasy and more anxious. I thought, if I am employed you will be provided all of this information, therefore you can readily determine if you can receive a tax credit at such time. Unfortunately companies such as Conn’s (no pun intended), did not allow me to complete the application process without submitting this information to ADP.

Lastly, the career assessments and tests, which the latter seem as though they were created by an insecure math genius who does not want certain persons joining the company, so they utilize the test as a tool to weed out non-math whizzes. The former appears to be a personality assessment, not quite akin to the Meyers Briggs inventory tool, but a version or variation thereof or so. This test, which many of us have encountered asks the same questions repeatedly, however slightly reworded and in a slightly different format in an effort to assess reliability of the prospective candidate's responses.

The readiness test, is ludicrous unless you will actually encounter word problems on your job day-to-day. This is highly unlikely unless you are in an educational setting teaching math concepts. I cannot understand how someone was able to convince an employer that this was a suitable pre-employment tool. I can only imagine the group of individuals who work in this one particular company where I encountered such a test, HCCS—Heavy Construction Systems Specialists, I am referencing your company!

The personality assessment is not new and quite an often used pre-employment tool. I wish the SPHR and PHR staff members would work to develop more viable, relevant tools which can indicate and predict career readiness and aptitude to determine if a candidate would be a good fit. Otherwise, many of these so called tools can be a waste of time and resources—both hard and soft costs.



Career Management