Remedy Intelligent Staffing / Bad testing / deceptive practice
Job seekers beware of Remedy Intelligent Staffing and something it calls a 40 question “survey.” As someone who has found himself on the receiving end of this company’s misleading practices I hope this will save other poor souls the insulting humiliation that it is foisting on job hunters.
After completing a more or less standard employment application, the applicant is seated at a computer and presented with the “40 question survey, ” a term which is deceptive to say the least. The answers are multiple-choice and you are given 20 minutes to complete it.
From the get-go it was clear that this was in fact a psychological screening quiz designed to trip up the applicant into revealing their weaknesses. The whole thing amounts to nothing more than a retooled MMPI report, and anyone who knows what that is knows we are talking about a farce masquerading as science. Read on...
The forty questions all revolve around these five key issues:
> Substance abuse (alcohol and drugs--perhaps half the questions were on this single topic).
> Workplace violence.
> Workplace theft.
> Workplace fraud -- i.e. falsely claiming injury, insurance fraud of any kind, etc.
> Attendance -- i.e. punctuality, sick days (legitimate & otherwise), leaving early, etc.
The applicant is confronted with these same five issues in a different way with each question, which not only ask about past history but pose *hypothetical* situations as well. To top it off the answer choices are in both absolute and shades of gray.
For me, most of these questions were a slam-dunk. I do not abuse any substances--don't even drink--and never have been violent or committed fraud or theft, so I finished the thing in only 10 minutes. The rep then informed me that due to a problem with their computers they wouldn't have the results until after their I-T man had checked them, and I would have to come back a second time to complete the application process. I was further informed that they would contact me to come back "in a few days"--a maneuver that in hindsight now appears to have been a ploy.
After a week's silence I called the rep who had seen me and was curtly told that "due to the answers [I] gave on the survey, [I did] not meet [their] hiring requirements." I further learned that I was not only disqualified from the job I had been interested in, but was banned from applying for ANYTHING with this company for "at least six months" as well. I asked for details on how I had failed the "survey" but was refused the information. And that was it: no explanation, no review, no appeal, no second chance.
Since then I have endlessly mulled the matter over and cannot think of anything I listed that would have categorized me as a bad employee. Most employers who have seen my work history have actually complimented me on it. However while answering those questions it was impossible not to have second thoughts about just what this quiz was getting at. Did they want only "perfect" applicants? Or were my responses "too perfect, " especially those regarding the substance abuse issue?
I cannot believe I am alone in having those thoughts--and I do remember situations like mine being in the news at one time or another. Either way this thing is graded it defeats its own purpose. Anyone who has committed these acts isn't going to tell an employer about it, and some of the questions are bound to have even a sincere applicant end up second-guessing themselves. And although the quiz does allow the applicant a one-time shot to change a response to any question; as the thing is administered by computer, I have no doubt that all the entries are saved. In my humble opinion the type of person most likely to pass anything like this is a pathological liar.
Curious to learn anything about this scarlet-letter-test, I looked up Remedy's website. It was quite an eye-opener. Under the "For Employers" section of the site, several "technologies" designed to ensure that an employer gets "only the best" are mentioned. Included is a blurb that applicant "personal integrity is tested, " referring to something called "X-Ray, " which is billed as a "self-screening integrity assessment." Figures are also provided about the percentage of applicants who admit any flaw--and are presumably failed--regarding the five issues. Except for substance abuse, all the figures quoted are in the low single digits, which of course says nothing about the applicants who lied. (To quote the old saying, "figures lie and liars figure.") The site finally concludes its pitch with this epilog: "If a candidate does not meet our stringent standards, they are promptly dismissed from the hiring process."
Finally, the truth comes out--and quite a different one from the innocuous "survey" that applicants are told they are taking. It would really be interesting to see how many other people have been burned by this "survey." However laudable the goal may be in screening prospective employees, things like this don't do it. And if the employer itself is going to be less than truthful, don't expect the applicant/employee to be any better.
(Attention Cliffnotes: Here's a good nut for you to crack.)