You Got to Be Kidding Me!

Business / People

Posted in Miscellaneous by Stacy McMahon on April 29, 2007

My girlfriend and I were just discussing a senior PR position she interviewed for with a DC-area law firm. Long story short, she was asked to take several tests, plus being told in so many words that her portfolio was worthless because hey, she could easily have plagiarized it. To me, this highlights a serious deficiency I’ve been seeing in American business since the start of my working life: management fads that all center around the idea that human judgement should be completely removed from all major decisions.

I can see why that seems attractive — it’s the old “what if you were hit by a bus?” i.e. you have to be careful about letting your business get dependent on specific people, because if they leave you’re screwed. That only goes so far though. If you have senior people, presumably they’re senior because they have demonstrated skill and good judgement. Tests, psychological profiles etc may make good decision aids, but it doesn’t make sense to waste your people’s talent by relying exclusively on these limited tools. Just something to think about, if your management software will let you πŸ™‚

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2 Responses

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  1. Clint said, on April 30, 2007 at 8:08 am

    I don’t even have a portfolio. I just tell them I always work on confidential/internal websites and that it would be wrong for me to share. It’s true, too! πŸ™‚

  2. Louise (aka the "girlfriend") said, on April 30, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Three tests does seem a bit accessive. You also have to wonder if they’re this particular during the interview process, what on earth will they be like to work for. At this stage in my life I don’t need the hassle. Besides, I’d rather concentrate on more important things like my wonderful boyfriend. Life’s too short and priorities need to be set.


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