5. When should you take a job placement test?
Certainly at the time of transition between high school and university. Your experience at university is likely to be different from your high school experience. You will probably have a much wider choice of subjects at university – subjects we hope you’re interested in learning more about, you’ll have more freedom (no one telling you when to study, or that you have an assignment to hand in tomorrow, etc.), even the experience of co-ed living may come as an adjustment for some. Testing can help you come to terms with some of these novelties. At university you’ll also meet a different set of people in the same boat as you who are studying all sorts of different things; they’ll stimulate your thinking about courses and careers. Placement tests can help you find out and focus on what is best for you.
6. Can you afford to take this next step?
Can you afford not to? Investing in your career development is likely to be expensive, so take the time you need to look around. Have a gap year, work – at anything – for a year or two. Your brain won’t rust, and the added maturity of a couple of post-school years will help. The money you will earn will come in handy. The post-school experience may even give you a leg-up when applying for jobs later. It shows independence, maturity, and perseverance. It may also teach you what to avoid – that job in the advertising agency isn’t nearly what you thought it would be. All this will put you in a stronger position to benefit from the insights provided by a placement test.
7. You need to give your career a leg-up so you can make more money.
This is another reason for taking a placement test. Doing what you love makes you happier and more productive; you’re more likely to be prepared to work those extra hours, do that extra course, and take on that extra responsibility.
8. A job placement test provides direction for your career advancement.
For example, the Unilever Graduate Development Program takes fifty of the brightest and best young graduates every year and puts them through training, development, and job rotation for the first two years: engineers work in accounts, HR people work in marketing, marketers work in production. At the end of two years, most of them are so multi-skilled that they often move directly into management positions. A job placement test produces similar results in a shorter time.
NOTE: Another article you might like. In-depth discussion of job quizzes and how they can reveal your aptitudes. Job Test
9. Job placement tests reveal how personality and ability influence job suitability
Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes. This means that the better informed you are about your personal strengths and weaknesses, the better you are able to present yourself at an interview and to tailor your strengths to the requirements of the job. Imagine the disappointment of going into an interview ‘blind’ – without this information – and for the interviewer to tell you, after administering a job placement test, that you’re quite unsuitable for the position.
10. Don’t try to do the job placement test on your own
There are free tests available on the net, but a trained counselor will add enormous value to the understanding and interpretation of your test results. You must also remember that the more sophisticated tests – and therefore the ones likely to cost some money – usually provide a more in-depth assessment of the individual’s options and choices. You get what you pay for. Career counselors also guide you from the insights you gained in the test, to what you need to do to get to where the test is pointing you, e.g. study and qualifications options.
11. And be careful how you use the information from a job placement test
Some administrators will try to tell you that a job placement test helps young people to feel assured that they will be ‘happy’ in their professions after high school. No, it won’t. Job placement tests are only as good as the input you, the testee, provide. If you’re ill-informed or apathetic about your direction and choices, the test isn’t going to fix that. One advantage of a test may be that it forces a response to fundamental questions: What are my interests? What do I enjoy doing now? What are my best subjects at school? Why do I enjoy these subjects? This may start a process of engagement with your choices.
12. Re-take the test at key decision points in your career
Like your individual potential, the choices outlined in a test are not cast in stone. They provide a useful starting point for you here and now, but there will probably come a time, say every three to five years, when you want to lift your head from the job you’re doing and look around to see whether you’ve got to where you thought you were headed. It might be time for a review – and another job placement test.
Job placement tests are used by companies as pre-employment screening tests, as well as providing the employer with guidance on what sort of training and development should be tailored for their staff. For example, Joe Blogs is being considered for promotion to a managerial position. He is seen to have high potential, and it may be worth the company’s while to send him on to an executive development programme. These programmes can be very expensive in terms of time and money. Is Joe the right man for this programme? A job placement test will certainly provide some of the answers. By providing internal job advancement opportunities, employees stay loyal to the company and are motivated to succeed.
14. Combined with an effective performance appraisal system
Job placement tests provide all the information needed to inform the manager and employee about past progress and what doors this might open for future advancement. It’s worth reminding ourselves that according to Herzberg’s Theory of employee motivation, the factors which contribute to real motivation are achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, personal growth – in short, the work itself. Effective job placement is, therefore, the only sure way of ensuring continued employee motivation.
A final thought – The Peter Principle
Have you been promoted above your level of competence? A job placement test will help you identify the areas you’re not equipped for, and help you decide what you can do about it. It may be more helpful, of course, if you get this information before you accept the promotion, and work out a strategy for addressing it with your employer. They will appreciate your foresight, honesty, and commitment.
Here is an interesting fact, approximately 80% of Fortune 500 companies in the US and 75% of UK Times 100 companies use psychometric job placement tests as an employment screening mechanism, or to assess an employee for promotion.
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