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Companies Look to Data & Personality Tests to Recruit

More businesses are using data software and tests to weed out applicants.
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Interviews? Resumes? Cover letters? Think again.

Turns out, more and more employers have recently turned to personality tests and data analysis software to make hiring decisions.

 When it comes to data, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that spending on "talent management" software in 2011 was up 15% from the year before, to an estimated to $3.8 billion.

Big companies are also snapping up smaller recruiting-tech companies. Last month, consulting giant IBM scooped up recruitment software company Kenexa for $1.3 billion, while in February, computer technology vendor Oracle bought job-applicant tracking system provider Taleo for a reported $1.9 billion.

As for personality tests: while it seems more companies are using them to recruit, the tests could mean trouble for the company.

An example is Vicky Sandy, a hearing-impaired women rejected from a cashier job at a Kroger supermarket. She recently told the Journal she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after receiving a 40% on the supermarket's pre-employment test. Why? The test predicted that compared to other applicants, she was less likely to "listen carefully, understand and remember."

In fact, the EEOC reportedly received 164 complaints about the testing last year. This September, the organization responded with a draft enforcement plan that includes pre-employment tests in any claims of recruitment and hiring discrimination. 

In addition, Xerox recently told the outlet that it requires applicants to take 30-minute tests that create scenarios to determine personality traits, such as "creative" or "inquisitive."




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