Hiring Practices

Today you’ll be given a questionnaire to answer…often as soon as you upload your resume via an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) online.

You can and will be ruled out, and it will have nothing to do with skin color, disability or gender identity.

In the 1990s I was often given the Omnia Profile to take in an office before I was interviewed. “Omnia” sounds like the test is all-knowing.

I’d have to check off adjectives that described me, among these: funny, humorous, adventurous, careful, meticulous, fashionable, and so on. These were some of the actual traits listed on the paper quiz. You had to check off the traits you thought you had. Then on the other column you had to check off the traits you thought other people thought you had.

At the time I wondered how the HR person scored the test. Once I also had to take a test of logic that had what seemed like geometry theorems on it.

The good news is that if you pass these kinds of tests ideally you won’t be ruled out on other factors.

These tests thought are not infallible. They screen out capable people. I was always mystified as to whether I should check off “funny” OR “humorous” or BOTH on the Omnia profile–if they amounted to the same trait.

A very odd quiz indeed. After taking the Omnia, my interviewer asked me: “How would you respond if you had to work for a hot head?” No kidding.

You’re supposed to answer the tests according to the traits the employer values on the job–not how you see yourself away from work–say grilling burgers at a barbecue or talking with friends in a bar.

I took a computerized personality test at Adecco–a temporary staffing agency in 1997. I knew how to answer the questions so that I was given a job assignment.

In fact, long-term temporary work positions might be a good fit for a person diagnosed with schizophrenia who won’t be able to climb a corporate ladder.

Word processing…legal proofreading…computer help desk positions– all come to mind as possible alternative careers.

The Affordable Care Act/ACA commonly touted as Obamacare would then give you health benefits if you’re not a full-time employee when you do temp work.

A myriad of non-traditional jobs exist. The idea that people should fit in boxes is what I don’t like–the idea that there’s only one acceptable career option and it’s office work in a corporation.

Non-traditional work often makes sense for a person who has limitations or needs accommodations.

I’ll end here and talk about alternative careers in the next blog entry.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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