Hiring to the Test

Employers prioritize their own assessments over GPA, references.

Researchers from San Diego State University’s Fowler College of Business in California have found that, when evaluating the employability of college graduates, good references and high GPAs might not mean as much as how well candidates perform on the potential employer’s own assessment and aptitude tests.

According to a new study by marketing professors Heather Honea, Paula Peter, and Iana Castro, employers who give assessment tests during the interview process rank those test results as the most important factor in determining a candidate’s employability. Other significant factors? The quality of candidates’ social media posts and their interview performance.

Employers were less likely to view grades, résumés, and professional profiles on sites such as LinkedIn as proof of candidates’ skills. “In other words,” says Honea, “we found when it comes to completing successful job interviews, performance on tests actually matters.”

“Evidence Items as Signals of Marketing Competencies and Workplace Readiness: A Practitioner Perspective” appears in the December 2017 issue of the Journal of Marketing Education.