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I know it’s an employer’s market and they have all the power when it comes to interviewing candidates, especially in today’s rather shaky economic reality. But still you would think that an employer would understand that a candidate who is currently employed cannot afford to take upwards to 2hrs off in the middle of a workday to go in and write some stupid technical tests.

I had applied to a position that was posted on a job board about a month ago. I sent in my resume along with a cover letter explaining how I could make an excellent addition to their organisation. It has been a month so I figured they just tossed my resume aside, and I haven’t looked back.

Yesterday I got a rather terse telephone call from this employer saying that I have been scheduled to come tomorrow (Wednesday) for 1pm to do a MS Word & MS Excel technical test, to see how strong I am in Microsoft Office. There was no opportunity to discuss how long this testing would be, and if it were possible to schedule it at a time that would not conflict with my current work commitments.

Plus, it pisses me off that they have this requirement for a technical test. For fuck’s sake! I am a designated accountant, my resume (CV) indicates 12+ years of accounting experience in various industries and in various positions. Other than the accounting system the second most used tool of most Financial Accountants is Excel. We know how to use the goddam programme, if we didn’t we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs.

I emailed their HR and asked if it were possible to reschedule as I could not take time off in the middle of the workday. They suggested 9m. Again, I would be 2hrs late for work if I did that. I suggested this coming Friday, as I have the day off from work, and therefore there would not be any conflict. That is not possible, only tomorrow is scheduled for testing.

Maybe because it is a governmental agency their HR Department has this driving need to justify their existence by forcing these stupid tests on candidates.  Last time I did a test like that was when I was applying for a junior position at Sears Canada. It was an equally stupid test, which could easily be discerned once I met my fellow new-hires .. not a one could do a journal entry, but darn it! they passed the stupid test.

Am I heartbroken that I am not interviewing with this entity? Not really, no. Other than the renumeration issue I like where I work and I am not willing to jeapordise a current job for possibly becoming a candidate for another job.

So my dear readers, if you work in HR, please pay attention – you need to work with the candidates, not dictate to them, if you want the best candidates. There is a reason why we are employed, we have skills that make us valuable to our current employers.