Jobs with old-fashioned skills and knowledge tests

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RobertColumbia
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07 Sep 2015, 6:52 pm

Passing tests (exams), in subjects that I have barely studied is one of my greatest strengths. It used to be (so I have been told) that it used to be possible to get all sorts of interesting and well-paying jobs by passing employment exams that covered literacy, math, job knowledge, and situational judgment aspects. If you could "see Spot run", do high school algebra, and identify the best type of ammunition to carry in case of homicidal customers, you could Get Hired. At least in the US, there was a sharp move away from that about 30 or 40 years ago, leading to the present situation where resumes, degrees, behavioral interviewing, and personality testing rules.

Are there still any companies with good, or even mediocre, jobs that still hire primarily based on test scores? I'm especially talking about opportunities that downplay (or even disregard) work experience, degrees, and references and concentrate on how well you did on the test or tests.



Aristophanes
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07 Sep 2015, 8:36 pm

RobertColumbia wrote:
Passing tests (exams), in subjects that I have barely studied is one of my greatest strengths. It used to be (so I have been told) that it used to be possible to get all sorts of interesting and well-paying jobs by passing employment exams that covered literacy, math, job knowledge, and situational judgment aspects. If you could "see Spot run", do high school algebra, and identify the best type of ammunition to carry in case of homicidal customers, you could Get Hired. At least in the US, there was a sharp move away from that about 30 or 40 years ago, leading to the present situation where resumes, degrees, behavioral interviewing, and personality testing rules.

Are there still any companies with good, or even mediocre, jobs that still hire primarily based on test scores? I'm especially talking about opportunities that downplay (or even disregard) work experience, degrees, and references and concentrate on how well you did on the test or tests.


Unfortunately none that I know about. We live in a social economy now, people don't care about what you can do they care about who you know and how well you can fit into the "company culture".



SocOfAutism
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08 Sep 2015, 9:18 am

Some low-paying places like chain grocery stores and drug stores still use online tests where it's easy to see the "right" answer, then you just get a call and they hire you as long as there's nothing egregiously wrong with you, like smelling horrible or drooling.

Something else I noticed about places like that- Once they hire one of your "types" they will be more open to hiring you. For example, there's a furniture factory here that hires Bhutanese refugee with limited English ability. After the one or two they had worked out, they were confident in hiring more. The grocery store I go to has a long-time autistic employee who rarely talks to people and wears earbuds. The store has a union so it can be hard to get in, because then it's hard for the store to fire you. Anyway, because this one guy is such a great employee, more autistic employees started popping up and have stayed, so I would say this particular place is "autism-friendly."



HisShadowX
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08 Sep 2015, 10:12 am

Sadly a skills assessment test is often confused with a Personality Test which puts anyone autistic and truthful in a bad spot because a lot of the questions discriminate against autistic traits.

If anything HR has become a glorified payroll department and rather than go over resumes and properly interviewing prospects they in turn depend on a computer to pull information that they want. Though more often than now this doesn't work as planned.

Pretty much an application should consist of your work history and your skills. Now cover letters were supposed to bypass the new computers but now HR prefers to use automated software to detect info on that as well. Ultimately it's a no win situation for most people and just as HR is lazy this happened due to the fact management also grew lazy.

We no longer train people and work on their skills. So now most Entry level positions require five years of experience.

It's a self defeat in practice because the baby boomers are not going to be able to work forever



glebel
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08 Sep 2015, 10:42 am

Regrettably, now a days it seems like you are hired for who you know, not what you know. As jobs become more scarce, the people who control these jobs are going to look out for themselves and their social grouping. These additional tests are just a way of weeding out the people who don't fit into their groupings without getting sued.


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Aristophanes
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08 Sep 2015, 10:52 am

glebel wrote:
Regrettably, now a days it seems like you are hired for who you know, not what you know. As jobs become more scarce, the people who control these jobs are going to look out for themselves and their social grouping. These additional tests are just a way of weeding out the people who don't fit into their groupings without getting sued.


Yeah the big keyword since the start of the current century has been "company culture". Practical things like work ethic, production, and knowledge have been replaced by social skills. This will only get worse in the near future, when we're able to take automation out of the factory with robotics we'll eliminate most physical jobs and therefore the only jobs left will be social in nature.



RobertColumbia
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08 Sep 2015, 11:24 am

HisShadowX wrote:
Sadly a skills assessment test is often confused with a Personality Test which puts anyone autistic and truthful in a bad spot because a lot of the questions discriminate against autistic traits....
We no longer train people and work on their skills. So now most Entry level positions require five years of experience....


Yes, I was talking about jobs that use skills assessment tests or other non-personality tests. Personality tests have a significant element of honesty in them. Skills, knowledge, practical demonstration, and other non-personality tests can't usually be "faked" - either you have the skill (or the knowledge) etc., or you don't. There's no trying to figure out the employer's desired profile and trying to skew the results. In other words, instead of being given a "test" asking me "Does it make you mad when supervisors allow lower productivity employees to keep their job?" and things like that, I would be given a test that could tell me "Go to room 305. You will find ten haches there. Batten them all down, using the best practices in hatch-batten-downing provided on the back sheet of this form. You have fifteen minutes."

One of my dreams is to find a job where I can "get in the door" by studying the career on my own and passing the skills assessment tests, despite not having any actual paid experience in that field. I think for many people nowadays, finding actual "experience" is harder (often much harder) than slogging through books, home laboratories, etc. on your own to teach yourself!



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08 Sep 2015, 2:39 pm

What I have seen in my area, this example is for a library aide.

"Skill test will count for 30% of applicant's score and the rest will be based on the interview."

I don't know how one grades an interview, but there you go. My city counts the skill tests no more than 40% of an over all score. The 40% was for a payroll job.

The library aide is a skut work job of shelving books etc.



MistyMay
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08 Sep 2015, 10:45 pm

Aristophanes wrote:
glebel wrote:
Regrettably, now a days it seems like you are hired for who you know, not what you know. As jobs become more scarce, the people who control these jobs are going to look out for themselves and their social grouping. These additional tests are just a way of weeding out the people who don't fit into their groupings without getting sued.


Yeah the big keyword since the start of the current century has been "company culture". Practical things like work ethic, production, and knowledge have been replaced by social skills. .


No, having colleagues you don't want to strangle is a pretty essential component to a non-horrible work environment.

If you're good at what you do, if you've got a sufficiently in-demand skill set, employers are VERY happy to accommodate you -- I've never, ever had an issue.

I've a very specialized skill set and replacing me would be expensive and time-consuming, as my employer spent years training me. So I get paid commensurate with my analytical skills but have no staff and don't have to entertain clients. I'm the only director with no direct reports, no expense account.

If you possess easily replaceable skills and you're a pain to deal with, it is only sensible that your employer will fire you and hire an easier-to-deal-with-and-equivalently-skilled replacement.

Quote:
This will only get worse in the near future, when we're able to take automation out of the factory with robotics we'll eliminate most physical jobs and therefore the only jobs left will be social in nature


You say that like its a bad thing. NAFTA? The FTAs with the EU and South Korea? Global value chains, anyone? The manual-labor-jobs-have-left-and-skills-and-innovation-are-the-way-of-the-future is old news.

If you're good at tests, you're presumably good at school -- particularly in post-secondary education. If you're good at tests but not-so-good at college, you've clearly got other deficits... doing your best isn't enough if you can't be bothered to do what's actually required. That, alone, is kryptonite to employers.

In short, maybe it's YOU (no useful skills, or no sufficiently useful skills that employers are willing to overlook your flaws) and not THEM (employers who'd prefer to hire a quality staffer with people skills if one is available over that of a quality staffer that's a PIA).



Aristophanes
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08 Sep 2015, 10:52 pm

MistyMay wrote:
Aristophanes wrote:
glebel wrote:
Regrettably, now a days it seems like you are hired for who you know, not what you know. As jobs become more scarce, the people who control these jobs are going to look out for themselves and their social grouping. These additional tests are just a way of weeding out the people who don't fit into their groupings without getting sued.


Yeah the big keyword since the start of the current century has been "company culture". Practical things like work ethic, production, and knowledge have been replaced by social skills. .


No, having colleagues you don't want to strangle is a pretty essential component to a non-horrible work environment.

If you're good at what you do, if you've got a sufficiently in-demand skill set, employers are VERY happy to accommodate you -- I've never, ever had an issue.

I've a very specialized skill set and replacing me would be expensive and time-consuming, as my employer spent years training me. So I get paid commensurate with my analytical skills but have no staff and don't have to entertain clients. I'm the only director with no direct reports, no expense account.

If you possess easily replaceable skills and you're a pain to deal with, it is only sensible that your employer will fire you and hire an easier-to-deal-with-and-equivalently-skilled replacement.

Quote:
This will only get worse in the near future, when we're able to take automation out of the factory with robotics we'll eliminate most physical jobs and therefore the only jobs left will be social in nature


You say that like its a bad thing. NAFTA? The FTAs with the EU and South Korea? Global value chains, anyone? The manual-labor-jobs-have-left-and-skills-and-innovation-are-the-way-of-the-future is old news.

If you're good at tests, you're presumably good at school -- particularly in post-secondary education. If you're good at tests but not-so-good at college, you've clearly got other deficits... doing your best isn't enough if you can't be bothered to do what's actually required. That, alone, is kryptonite to employers.

In short, maybe it's YOU (no useful skills, or no sufficiently useful skills that employers are willing to overlook your flaws) and not THEM (employers who'd prefer to hire a quality staffer with people skills if one is available over that of a quality staffer that's a PIA).


Lol nice try on the attack, however, I don't have an employment issue so you'll need to look elsewhere for your self-righteousness and self-esteem. I was merely pointing out facts. Just so you know, however specialized you are there's someone else out there with the same skill set-- we're at the apex of the industrial revolution there is no such thing as "unique".



SocOfAutism
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09 Sep 2015, 1:58 pm

RobertColumbia wrote:
HisShadowX wrote:
Sadly a skills assessment test is often confused with a Personality Test which puts anyone autistic and truthful in a bad spot because a lot of the questions discriminate against autistic traits....
We no longer train people and work on their skills. So now most Entry level positions require five years of experience....


Yes, I was talking about jobs that use skills assessment tests or other non-personality tests. Personality tests have a significant element of honesty in them. Skills, knowledge, practical demonstration, and other non-personality tests can't usually be "faked" - either you have the skill (or the knowledge) etc., or you don't. There's no trying to figure out the employer's desired profile and trying to skew the results. In other words, instead of being given a "test" asking me "Does it make you mad when supervisors allow lower productivity employees to keep their job?" and things like that, I would be given a test that could tell me "Go to room 305. You will find ten haches there. Batten them all down, using the best practices in hatch-batten-downing provided on the back sheet of this form. You have fifteen minutes."

One of my dreams is to find a job where I can "get in the door" by studying the career on my own and passing the skills assessment tests, despite not having any actual paid experience in that field. I think for many people nowadays, finding actual "experience" is harder (often much harder) than slogging through books, home laboratories, etc. on your own to teach yourself!


The only job I know of that does that is computer programming. You can get hired on a trial period after a phone interview, which mostly consists of senior programmers asking you knowledge/skill based questions. They don't care so much about your personality. Just that you can speak English and come up with the right answers. Most companies will pay to relocate you to where they are if you pass the phone screening, even if it's flying you from another country. If you're interviewing for an international position, you have to have your work VISA in order and be ready to leave within a couple weeks.

However, if you don't work out, you might not have your contract extended or get hired after a few months and then you'd have to move on to a new position. This is where aspies would be at risk, because they had a harder time fitting in. The aspies with specialized knowledge who made it a point to make themselves useful tended to make it in and do well.