The Way I See It…

What started out as one article about assessments for the July issue of The Fordyce Letter has spurred some interesting debate.

Long-time Fordyce writer Margaret Graziano’s new piece, “Recruiting, Selection, and the Future,” talks about the use of these tools, how to choose them, how to navigate around them, and how to leverage them.

In the article, Graziano writes, “Rather than looking at the selection industry as the devil, we can look at the selection industry as a chief component in differentiating ourselves from the sea of recruitment options.”

Is the devil in the details, or do  you think the selection industry is the devil? Well, we asked some Fordyce subscribers to weigh in on the assessment debate, and here is a sampling of what we heard:


“As a third-party recruiter, I work with a variety of clients who utilize assessments/tools during the interview process to evaluate decision-making, motivation, and other innate qualities. I have mixed feelings on such tools, as I understand their value, but believe too many companies are using them as “make or break” factors for evaluating a candidate’s candidacy. My analogy compares such assessments with standardized testing in our educational institutions. At the end of the day, some individuals excel at such tests and others do not. Is it fair to penalize a candidate because they do not test well? Interpretation is the linchpin in this entire assessment strategy. Changing the emphasis in a sentence from the noun to the verb drastically alters how an individual may understand the statement. As such, when you allow individuals to freely interpret questions during these assessments, the cross-section of responses is numerous. Overall, I am of the opinion that assessments are a good supplement in the interview process. However, a candidate’s status should not ultimately hang in the assessments outcome.”

Trip Young
Account Executive

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“We are currently discussing how to best negotiate the sea of tools available without being drowned by them! I cannot help but recall the early days of the Internet, as well as the launch of, when I think of the new tools on the horizon. In those earlier times, many experts “in the know” rang the death knell for agency recruiters. The Internet and job boards were going to make us obsolete. Not surprising to me, just the opposite has happened. The crush of available information has made strong agency recruiters even stronger! Looking forward, there will certainly be challenges as we all learn how to best utilize social networks, specialty boards, add-on services, etc. However, nothing I see in the future will replace the human hiring decision in professional/career-level management, executive, and sales fulfillment. With that human hiring decision comes the need for professional advice, marketing, consultation, sourcing, etc., which are specifically what we provide. Combining that need with the reduction in the workforce of those people in the sweetspot of our service sector, I think it is safe to say that the need for our services will be increasing, rather than decreasing.”

Jim Cargill, President
MRI of Lake Tahoe, NV, Inc.


“I don’t plan to use assessment or behavioral testing any time in the near future.  Most everyone here works a specific industry; thus, most of our candidates come from referrals of people we already know and trust. When working with new candidates, we certainly run a Google search to see if there are any flags that pop up, but if we are thorough with our interviews and reference checks, I think our clients will continue to call upon us for their needs. We also spend a good deal of time preparing our candidates for their phone and in person interviews so they know what to expect and behave accordingly.”

Barbara Curtis
A T Recruiters International
(361) 854-4473

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


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