Saturday, March 15, 2014

WSJ: Job Hunting? Dig Up Those Old SAT Scores

It sometimes threw me off when you apply for a job and there's space for GPA. Although in some respects I understand, if there's barely any job experience shown seen then you need something. Not that GPA is an indication of future success at work.

Still, it would throw me off even more that hiring managers would be interested in SAT or ACT scores. When I was in high school - Go Falcons - my ACT score wasn't that good so I wouldn't be entirely happy if I go for a job, get interviewed, and then my scores were requested. Even if it had been a decade out of high school, even if I had already gotten my degree, and even if I should've established a decent work record.

All the same, this aspect of this Wall Street Journal article concerns me:
Putting too much stock in standardized tests can put minority candidates at a disadvantage. In 2013, SAT test-takers in the "Black or African-American" category scored an average 431 on the exam's critical reading section, 429 on math and 418 on writing. White test-takers, meanwhile, scored nearly 100 points higher on average in every section. There is a racial divide for ACT score reports as well.
In any case, that article explores all aspects of this practice. Even notes companies that stopped this practice. Unfortunately this "fad" may not go away any time soon, however, it's good to know it's being evaluated and some just choose to go another direction.

It's like many ways that employers seek to screen out candidates. It's often unfair, but it's what they use and especially frustrating in an economy with high unemployment.

As far as "fads" perhaps one day employers won't even bother with these pre-employment assessments anymore in the future. Are those an indicator of future success?

Hat-tip for my new favorite blog - Ask a Manager - where a commenter on her blog pointed readers to that Wall Street Journal article. There was a question about whether or not an applicant for an office manager position should provide old SAT scores.

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