I HATE Taleo Assessment Exams!

I think every job hunter has run across these stupid little exams. Let me paint the picture. You wake up bright and early in the morning. You have a pep in your step that today is going to be the day. You prepare your coffee, fix your hair, and act like you’re actually going somewhere except for the fact that you are spending the day at home… job searching. But you want to feel like you’re doing something.

You hit your job sites (Monster, Careerbuilder, Craigslist… ya know, reliable sources) and you start reading the latest posts. You finally find something that looks like you can do (that’s not an appointment setter or selling door to door) … and do fairly well…and lo and behold they are paying decent with full time hours! So you click the link, submit the resume and then….

the infamous pop up screen shows…

THE JOB ASSESSMENT TEST… powered by Taleo

 That’s right… you thought you were done just submitting your resume and nice cover letter? Nope… if you want to proceed you have to pass their little personality test. It’ll ask you little things like

  • Do you lose your temper
  • Do you like to lead vs follow
  • Were you absent any time in school?
  • Can people tell if you’re emotional?
  • Can you sit still for long hours?
  • Do you want one thing to do or  many things to do?
  • Do people listen to you when you talk yada ..yada.. yada…

So you think, “Eh, I can pass this easy.” But it’s not easy… it’s long, AS HELL.. and after a while you feel like you’re being interrogated about every little detail of your childhood upbringing and all you’re applying for is a retail job at the mall. After a while the thought of, “Why do they need all this info for this job” start coming up. They ask you trick questions of true and false and MOST LIKELY vs NOT LIKELY questions that border between personal ethics or just random shit that you feel like you should answer because it’s what they want to hear–or is it?

Should I tell a company that I need a break or that I enjoy working long hours non-stop…I mean isn’t it the LAW that employees get two breaks and a lunch during an eight hour work day? Would I be forfeiting my rights in some type of cyber-contract if I said I didn’t want that? Confusion just fills my mind.

Whatever the right answers are, I’m definitely not giving them. Usually after spending over two hours to fill out the job application and assessment test… 30 minutes later I receive the email that I’m not qualified for the position.

REALLY? I graduated college and I can’t get a retail job at the mall?

What happened to proving yourself and talking to real humans to get a job, now I’m assessed by an automatic system that has decided that my personality type is not “marketable” or conducive to the workplace (whatever that may be) . I took one personality test that told me that I was very much the right brain thinker. I do realize that the majority of people are left brain and I wonder if the simple way I’m chemically wired is what is being assessed.

Well EMPLOYERS here’s my assessment of MYSELF!

YES I need a break, I’m human (even computer need to reboot) . Yes I get upset but I deal with it on my own (mostly by blogging ).  Yes I’m a leader but I can follow. Yes I wan’t a good paying job. Yes I want a career! Yes, if people take the time to know me they can tell that I can do whatever I set my mind to.  

But when I keep getting rejected by a computer that’s programmed to pick people by “types” this is what irks me.

Everybody is different and job diversity is not just picking people who are diverse ethnically but also in personality. Every one makes decisions differently.

But if this is the only factor keeping me out of jobs then I will just stop wasting my time on taleo moderated jobs. There’s a company that I know will embrace me as much as I will embrace it and that company will involve a human element. In our need to be more efficient in society, I believe we have lost what it means to be human and to relate to each other. If a company can’t relate to aspiring employees on a human level, then I doubt it can relate to it’s employees and that trickles down to how employees relate to customers and clients.

Okay I’m done venting. Tell me what you think and what’s your experience in the job market.

41 thoughts on “I HATE Taleo Assessment Exams!

  1. As someone who has worked in HR – in a healthy work organization (and I want to emphasize the work healthy – and yes, there are many out there), I can say that these tests are used not to judge/discriminate but used to:
    (1) assess your honesty levels (it’s a good bet that if you answer all those questions and your response makes you look like Mother Teresa, you’re probably not telling the truth and they aren’t likely to hire you; and/or
    (2) to determine a good position for you in the company. Some jobs require you to sit in the same seat all day while others may need to you move around or go out into the field and some jobs require you to be a take-charge person while others require you to do what you’re told without thinking too much and other jobs because of the nature of the work need you to have good attendance and some jobs need you to interact with customers/the public and you have to have empathy and listen well to their needs, etc. Asking those questions can help the managers know how/where to place you if you’re not applying for a specific position.
    Yes, I agree its annoying having to fill them out, especially when they already know who they are going to hire. If they know that you’re not getting the job, then you shouldn’t need to do those tests. Those tests should be only for someone confirmed to be hired, or at least someone who is one of the finalists. They really ought not to require EVERY person who applies for the job to take the tests.
    And I also hate that a computer program screens you out before a human being ever gets to see your paperwork. Computers make mistakes, especially since a human programmed it and configured the settings. Maybe you’re the best person for the job but if you get weeded out too soon, they will never ever find that out. These companies want you to have a lot of experience but nobody will give you any experience. Frankly, I think I might prefer to hire the person who may have less experience than the other candidates. That way you can coach and train that ‘fresh’ employee into the model employee. Worst of all, is when they never let you know that you’re out of the running. They can have that same computer send you a rejection letter or postcard. You call and they tell you a decision has yet to be made, or they stress for you NOT to call. The hiring process can be discouraging. It makes me appreciate every job I have, even the ones I don’t like. Trying to get a job is a hard job.

    • To the person above, have you ever actually taken this assesment? My boss actually took it and had a score of 48 out of 100… Doesn’t make sense…

    • Dude those tests shouldn’t even be there. they ARE used to discriminate. accepting that kind of selection prevents people from success and breeds contempt and hatred.

    • OK i can tell you FOR a fact they are biased i applied for a job assembling bikes at toys r us and one for stocking at night 2 applications i got a call from the HR person saying they recived my application but they said that they did not have a record of my assessment test i replied polity there should be since the application process wont Finnish unless you take the test she said ok hang on a minute there might be a glitch she came back two minutes later and said i failed the asements test HOW CAN YOU FAIL the test when it says there is NO wrong or right answer? AND NOTHING on that assessment had ANYTHING to do with assembling A bike which i have 20+ years of bike repair/ assembling under my belt

  2. Hi, yes, I have taken the assessment. We had to take them as part of our training in administering them. The actual score, by itself is really meaningless. The score really allows the person reviewing the results to look at where the test taker falls in relation to others who have taken the test and can assist with not just the types of interview questions to ask but also in assisting with job placement. It’s pretty regimented. People with one score may do better in jobs that bring them into contact with lots of people (socializers) where as someone with another score may do better in solitary jobs. The score isn’t really a pass fail, so to speak, so someone with a 48 isn’t necessarily failing. Yep, the tests can be frustrating to take and yep, some employers can use the results to make unfair judgments about the job applicants. But in a healthy organization, the Taleo Assessments can be quite beneficial to both the applicant as well as to the organization.

    • I think my concern is that its used as a filter, I know my app is never seen by a human to judge whether I'm qualified or not. Sure they may have specific things they are looking for but I'm sure there is room for error.

      • I completely agree with you. I’m job-hunting now, and I can’t tell you how discouraging it is to spend all day filling those things out and not hear back from a single place.

        If an employer were to actually look at me resume, he or she would see that I have extensive experience in customer service, and I have a fair bit of supervisory experience as well. If said employer were to contact my previous employers, he or she would learn that I am an excellent worker, and that their customers loved me. It’s frustrating because I KNOW I have what it takes to do well in a basic retail position (or any position, really), and most of the time my application probably doesn’t even make it to a human because of some stupid little personality test that, in my opinion, asks questions that are way too personal.

        For instance, a question I have seen on many tests asks you to rate how much you agree or disagree with the statement: I do not regret anything from my past. I’m sorry, but how in the world does that concern a potential employer? Any regrets that I may or may not have have absolutely NOTHING to do with my dependability, cheerfulness on the job, or work ethic.

        Another insidious thing about these assessments is that every company is looking for something different. Some companies may, yes, use the assessments to gauge how honest a potential employee is, or to gauge what sort of position within the company a potential employee would do best in. However, some companies do not. A friend of mine who used to work for a national drugstore chain told me that in order to “pass” their assessment, pretty much ALL of your answers have to be “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree.” If you have too many answers that are just plain “agree” or “disagree” or, heaven forbid, “neutral,” that means that you’re wishy washy, and if you’re wishy washy then, well, they don’t want you. Still other places will reject you if you put “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree” for too many items, because they assume you’re trying to make yourself look better than you are.

        At the end of the day, despite all these companies talking about how these assessments work, the bottom line is that they’re incredibly unfair to job seekers. Just because the majority of the employees who “pass” the assessment turn out to be good employees doesn’t mean that every single person who didn’t “pass” would have been a horrendous employee. Assessments do screen out the riffraff, but they also screen out a good portion of awesome, hardworking candidates who would be absolutely thrilled to have that job. I know I would.

        Bottom line, employers: Stop letting the computer decide who gets selected for an interview. Human judgment is worth much more. It shouldn’t take me longer to fill out a personality test than it does to fill out your job application. If you don’t waste my time, then I promise you that I won’t waste yours.

  3. Hello,

    Well, assessment test don’t work. If so I guess most employers want lazy, rude and unhelpful employees working for them. At every business that I frequent that uses these tests (Your nearest Big Box Mart, etc. here), the employees will stalk or ignore you. The employees do not appear to have any knowledge of the the store or products. Makes most sensible people question the validity of these tests.

  4. I think that 10% of the United States right now has a basis for a class action suit against Taleo! You are right that the assessment is subjective and not a true indicator of how someone will perform as an employee. I too, am college educated, Have taken 3 Sick days in 2 years, and have never had a history of violence or anger in the workplace. Yet the assessment disqualifies me at even the simplest of jobs.

  5. Well protesting doesn’t work cause they just ignore us, forget boycotting cause people don’t give a shit. and asking our government to help is asking the very same people who we’re asking jobs to stop which of coures they won’t listen…so i believe for any true change to happen in this country is to just……start……RAGING…..HULK…..SMASH

      • I think like anything else there is probably some good and bad with the administration of these tests. A part of me thinks re: the bad, these tests were created to justify nepotism. Since the results can be so subjective, maybe it lets the boss give a job to whomever she pleases then she can explain why she didn’t hire the person that just maybe was for more qualified than the person whom she hired.

  6. Ya these ‘tests’ are strange and it seems to me subjective rather than right or wrong. It is hard to respond to a ‘real life’ situation when it is not real life. Never been a fan of the personality tests either.
    People are complex they are not computers. I guess the test may weed out some people for the HR’s. Good post.

  7. I want to mention that the reasoning part of the test I found to be really hard!
    Im talking of those progressive matrices.
    I’m college educated and I feel stupid that I could not pass one of those tests for a technical support job…. very discouraging. The worst is that they don’t tell you why you fail, what if one day all the companies use Taleo? WTF am i going to get a JOB?????????????????????????

  8. The thing I hate the most is the notice on the screen that says no need to take the test gain because typically a person doesn’t change.

    I lot my job and applied at Macy’s where I have worked before and they wouldn’t hire me. I’m sure had I gone in, most likely but you can’t even talk to someone.

    Really, I’m college educated and can’t get a retail job?

  9. I graduated college with a 3.85 GPA and manage a retail store sucessfully and can not pass aTaleo retail test…..what are they looking for??.

  10. I ran into this test a few months ago while applying for a retail sales position. I unfortunately failed even though I have great history working in sales. It was disappointing being that I’ve worked for a bigger company and was top producer. I personally think that if my resume was reviewed by someone it would be no problem landing a job. I found the questions a bit odd as well. They had nothing to do with the job it self. Also, how can they filter people out like that? Like people can’t lie on the test? Lol. It’s nothing I’m fond of but, at least now we know where these large retailers get their crude employees from.

  11. These tests are straight from hell, which, ironically, is probably where the greedy corporate pigs who abide by them will be sent.

    More applicants should refuse to take them as well as refuse to hand over their social security numbers on the online applications. 1) Refuse to take the test/s. 2) Contact the company’s HR dept. with your resume and a cover letter with something like this inside: “As a very qualified candidate, I would love the opportunity to apply for the open position. However, I decline job assessment tests. And with state revenue departments being hacked into for social security numbers, I also do not give out my social security number online. I have enclosed/attached my resume for your consideration. Should my experience and qualifications match what your company is currently looking for, please contact me. Thank you for your attention. I look forward to speaking with you.”

    If you never hear from them, no big deal, you probably wouldn’t have passed their discriminatory, inaccurate assessment test anyhow. And if you had passed it and even had gotten hired, you probably wouldn’t have enjoyed working for $9.00 an hour, 18 hours per week, 4 hours per shift, with your schedule availability left completely open, making it impossible to work a second job with the same asinine demands.

  12. Those messed up Taleo quizzes should be trashed. Yes they usually are on the low end jobs and take up waaayyy to much time out of a serious job seekers day. They are designed to give the company hiring manager a selection process, and I don’t think it’s giving them the best of job applicants, as the employees already on the job are often sloppy, disrespectful, lazy and bad representatives for the company. But they passed ‘Taleo’! whoo pee.

  13. Who can we really complain to? This has to change! Reports say there are many jobs out there (I truly believe that) but no one is getting hired because of these incoherent tests.
    I see the benefits for a hiring manager to use these assessments as quick filters because it makes their job much easier ( I was one of them) and I only saw a few injustices because I met a few worthy candidates I would’ve hired on the spot if they hadn’t fail the assessment. It was an A, B, C or D scale. D is a no hire. I always did hate these assessments since they first came on the scene about 2004 if not earlier or later.
    I hate it with a greater passion now that I’m looking for another job.We need to change this, send the President this piece of info telling him why people are not getting hired because of these inhumane tests. Yes there are many jobs created but who are filling these jobs? Not me.

  14. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m
    not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say great blog!

  15. Just found this post and I thought I’d put in my thoughts.
    I am also a college grad who kept getting rejected from retail jobs because of the maddening assessment tests.
    So I cheated on my personality test. I looked up all the answers online, got an interview, got the job. I’m not even remotely sorry I cheated and lied. These tests are unnecessary barriers to employment and if I have to use dynamite to get through them then so be it.

  16. I just took one of these assessment tests and I came upon this article—I was cracking up laughing! First off… Stop letting computers pick your employees because there is something called an interview where you can actually talk to a person and ask them questions where you can weed out the bullshiters by asking the same questions in person (ever heard of an interview?). I’m sure that “mild mannered mike” who brought the gun to work and shot up the office passed his assessment test with flying colors. Please note I’m not condoning gun violence I’m just making a point

  17. Will Saunders is a Taleo Bot! hehe,
    Montré Bible, your hired!
    Seriously, Mr Bible, I ain’t filling out any of that 3rd party, data-mining, invasion of privacy bs myself. But it sure was refreshing to see another with the same disgust. Loved your article! Very well written. I’d hire you in a second. I don’t know about the left brain, right brain thing. I think it may be more of a Brain, No Brain thing. Most employers can’t have people with brains, or so it would seem. Good Luck m8.

      • Hey montre glad too see you still have this blog going, i posted about a year ago with my taleo assessments test with toys are us and the ordeal i went threw anywhoo i moved back to Portland ore from California it will be a year at the end of the month any ways after filling out some apps from a temp service ( one that does Not use assessment test ) i got a a email less then 20 mins after filling out their online ad got a interview for the next day went in SAW a real person answered all their questions they said they would do a back ground check and call my former employers and sent sent me on my way after about a hour total time … i kid you not i was not not even home 10 mins they called had a job set and lined up for me the the next day been there for almost a year now this was One week of me being back in my home town of Portland Ore

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