A few years ago I warned my readers about two job search trends. The negative aspects of these trends have reared their ugly heads again in recent weeks. Therefore, I thought it was appropriate to send out another warning.
#1 of 2 Job Search Trends: Employers’ misuse of personality assessments
It’s perfectly appropriate for employers to use personality assessments to build better teams of current employees. However, it’s highly inappropriate for companies to use personality assessments in making hiring decisions.
In fact, the creators of popular personality assessments indicate on their web sites that their instruments should never be used during the hiring process.
Yet, numerous big-name companies misuse these assessments to make hiring decisions on a regular basis. Small companies do it too, as I shared in a previous post about a situation one of my clients experienced.
Recently, I was reminded of this past client when I came across the HBO documentary entitled, Persona: The Dark Side of Personality Assessments. While I don’t agree with everything in the documentary, I do agree companies should not use personality assessments to screen job candidates.
However, I’ve seen it happen to some of my clients, and even to some of my friends. And it continues to happen because it’s legal (for now).
I highly recommend the HBO documentary to all job seekers. At the very least, it will help them become more aware of how some hiring processes work. Also, it will help them recognize when personality assessments are being misused.
In the meantime, it’s good for job seekers to prepare some questions they should ask a company if, or when, they’re faced with a personality assessment during the interview process. These questions are:
- What is the test measuring?
- How will you use the results in making hiring decisions?
- What weight will it carry compared to other decision-making factors?
- Are the results used to determine best fit for the company culture, or for the job role?
- Are the results going in my file?
- Will you share the results with me and interpret them?
#2 of 2 Job Search Trends: Parental intrusion in a job seeker’s job search
When I worked with college students, there was what we career advisers referred to as “helicopter parents”. You’re probably familiar with this term. If not, it’s the parents who hover over their children and all the details of their lives.
In recent years, there’s been a new trend of “lawnmower parents”. These are the parents who mow down any obstacles their children may face. They get overly and inappropriately involved in their adult children’s job search when there is the slightest delay or set-back.
What’s more disturbing is, it’s not just college students who have lawnmower parents. It’s people in their 30s! I often have the parents of 30-year-olds (usually 30-year-old sons) contact me on behalf of their adult child to ask about my career coaching services. In my experience, when this happens, it typically becomes problematic for the client’s success.
What these parents don’t realize, is how much their intrusion hurts their adult children’s chances of landing a job. When parents contact employers about their children’s candidacy, most won’t hire those candidates, simply because of the parental intrusion.
In addition, parents often approach networking with their own contacts on behalf of their children in the wrong way. Thus, undoing all I’ve taught the client about how to network appropriately and effectively.
This is why I’m hesitant to take on clients whose parents contact me on their behalf. Even if the parents are the ones who will be paying for the services. It’s not my business who’s paying for it. What is my business is who I’ll be working with.
If you’re someone with lawnmower parents interfering with your job search, please check out my previous post, “How to Avoid Stereotypes That Hurt Your Child’s Career“. Then, share it with them to help them understand the best way to assist you.
If you’re that parent, please take the time to read it. It will show you how to provide the best support for your son or daughter.