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(March 14, 2008) Mocked by football fans, questioned by sportswriters, feared by job-seekers, valued by HR departments, the Wonderlic Personnel Test has been in play since 1937 as a quick way to sort out who belongs in the first draft of a recruiting campaign. When, in 2006, quarterback Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans got a score of 16 out of 50 on the test, which is administered to players in the NFL, many wondered what difference the Wonderlic results could make in predicting performance in such a skull-crushing sport. And what appears to be true for football players seems to the public to apply to many other forms of employment, as well. Who cares if your plumber can or cannot solve a simple logic problem on a test, if he or she is adept at following the logic of pipe threads?
Despite accusations that the Wonderlic favors white, middle-class job applicants who are more familiar and adept with its format, it continues to be an industry leader in skill assessment. About 130 million people have taken the 12-minute test since it was first created.
But the Vince Young incident touched a deep chord within the national psyche, one that reverberates today. Sportswriters, for instance, feel obliged to take the test themselves, to share the suffering of those about whom they write. Our long tradition of distrust in the superiority of "smart people" in America leads us to doubt the value of such testing. No wonder that so many wags have devised their own comic take-offs on the Wonderlic.
Not to be outdone, I've come up with my own. One not focused on football, but on the noble sport of personnel recruiting. And to be sure that I'm not outdone by Wonderlic, Inc, itself, I offer a special bargain it can't match: my test is free. If you pass, you are fit for a career in our field. Here are two sample questions:
1. Which one doesn't belong with the others?I want you to know that I got 50 out of 50 on my test. But I leave it to you to decide if this makes me a worthy new hire as I begin my work as writer for the Electronic Recruiting News. I look forward to a continuing conversation with you, as together we put rumors and assertions about HR to the test, and seek out the latest knowledge and insight in our field.
A. Health coverage
B. IRA contributions
C. Free computer games
D. Family leave
2. 3.14159265 equals:
A. The average number of days of paid vacation offered by employers in America
B. The average Wonderlic score of bankers in the subprime mortgage industry
C. The answer to a question on a Google employment assessment test
D. The average percentage of the corporate ___ that goes to HR professionals
. - Jim Burklo - . Permalink . - . Today's Bugler . - . Send To a Friend . - . Readership Feedback
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