So, you’re applying for a great job. You’ve put your application together, updated your resume, written a great cover letter – in other words, you’ve done everything right. You’re just waiting to hear back from the employer to see whether they’re going to progress you on to the next stage.
And then… you get an email asking you to complete some recruitment assessments. Unless you’re one of those rare people who actually enjoy taking tests, chances are that you’ll be approaching the prospect with a certain amount of dread.
It’s important to understand, though, that these tests can actually be good for you in a number of different ways.
Really. We’re not making this up.
As assessment developers, we’ve also had to complete a heap of employment tests ourselves, and we talk to candidates and employers every single day. We’ve learned a few things along the way, including how these tests can benefit not only employers, but the candidates who complete them too.
Here’s 3 ways that those dreaded recruitment tests can work in your favour:
- They’ll let you know if the job isn’t a good fit for you
While you could get a job that goes against your values, or has you completing tasks you hate, chances are you wouldn’t be happy there for long, if ever.
Tests that assess your values, job task preferences, personality, or cognitive ability are designed to see how well the candidate and employer match each other.
So, for example, if the employer is looking for someone who loves travelling and working outdoors, values working on their own and thrives on risk and challenge, wouldn’t it be better if they hired someone like Bear Grylls, rather than mild-mannered Chris, who loves numbers and science, likes comfortable working conditions and prefers a predictable routine?
Okay, it’s an extreme example, but the principle is the same: when you complete a test, your answers are compared to the kind of profile the employer is looking for. And it’s often in your best interests if you don’t progress any further when the job isn’t going to fit your personality, or meet your expectations.
Example report from the Revelian Work Preferences Profile (RWPP)
- They give you insight into your personality and preferences, strengths and weaknesses
Tests that assess things like your work-related values and preferences, and your personality and behavioural preferences, can give you incredibly valuable information about yourself.
And when you’re completing assessments that have been designed and validated by Organisational Psychologists, you know that what they’re telling you has been well researched and proven to work.
In many cases, when you complete these assessments for an employer, you’ll receive a report that outlines your results and helps you to understand what they mean. If you don’t receive a feedback report like this, we recommend asking the employer if they can provide you with one.
For example, our behavioural assessment, based on the widely used and endorsed DISC model, gives you an (often surprisingly) accurate overview of your behavioural style, including how you deal with problems, interact with others, and respond to rules and procedures.
Many employers use this assessment to see whether someone has the kind of behavioural style they’re looking for, or the kind of style that will complement their existing team.
There’s also a version you can use yourself to better understand your unique strengths, how you prefer to work with others, what motivates you, and how you prefer to communicate.
Example image from the Revelian Personal Insight Profile (RPIP)
- They give you a chance to shine
Recruitment tests are also a great equaliser, in the sense that most don’t rely on past experience or skills to assess your ability.
Obviously this is a huge plus if you’re returning to the workforce after a break, or changing careers, or starting out, since it gives employers some additional pieces of information about you: who you are and what you’re really capable of.
For example, while you may not have recent experience in your field of expertise, a cognitive ability test can tell the employer that you’re likely to pick up new information quickly and could perform more effectively than someone who has worked non-stop since the start of their career.
And while Chris the mild-manner accountant’s resume might look impeccable, maybe you’re a better bet because you share the employer’s company values and have the kind of personality that will fit in well with the rest of the team.
So, next time you’re asked to complete recruitment tests, we recommend approaching them for what they are: an opportunity for you to find out more about yourself and to help you make sure you don’t end up in a job that doesn’t fit in with who you are and what you want from your working life.
NB: Are you an employer? Find out more about how you can identify the right people for your business. Sign up for Revelian Express and start assessing your candidates straight away.
Kate has worked with a broad range of clients and businesses, from large-scale graduate programs, to consulting with individual managers on how to develop future leaders. Willing to take on any HR challenge - no matter how big or small - with compassion, enthusiasm and humour, Kate is highly respected and valued by both our clients and the rest of the Revelian team.
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- 3 Ways Recruitment Assessments Can Actually Benefit You - February 17, 2016