Should Job Seekers Be Afraid of XQ?

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The recent Time Magazine cover story entitled How High is Your XQ? described a world in which employers used psychological tests and predictive analytics to screen applicants with crazy questions like “I do not like to draw attention to myself” and “I enjoy testing my skills against others.” “XQ” was author Eliza Gray’s shorthand way of referring to the magical, unknown qualities that employers are trying to identify through their algorithms, a playoff of IQ and EQ. In an earlier post, my colleague Dr. Kurt Kraiger noted that XQ works well if it measures the right things and combines them in the right way. That’s what jobZology® does, in measuring interests and values and predicting key outcomes like fit to job, fit to the company’s culture, and in turn, job satisfaction, commitment, and loyalty. We call it jQ. If you are an employer who wants to lead a workforce that fits you well, you should be very interested building jQ into your hiring process.

But what if you’re not an employer? If you’re a job seeker, should XQ worry you? Gray’s article tells the story of Kelly Ditson, a 24-year-old waitress and working mom from near Pittsburgh who was searching for a better job. Ditson was dismayed and stressed not only by the mysterious questions she had to answer, but by the length of the personality tests she was taking. She wondered: “…if they want to know about your personality, this is a little bit of an impersonal way. Wouldn’t they want to meet me in person?” More cynical job seekers might wonder how fair it is to be declared a bad fit based on their scores without having a chance to come in and interview. Does the predictive analytics movement ultimately hurt you?

The short answer is no. jobZology®’s jQ™ algorithms are designed not only to help employers identify applicants who fit, but to help job seekers identify jobs that fit them well, too. The fit between a person and a job has two sides; a good fit benefits both, and a bad fit make everyone unhappy. Think about a job you’ve had that was a poor fit. How long did it take you to realize you were miserable and in need of a change? jobZology® envisions a world in which job seekers focus only on the opportunities that fit, and don’t bother pursuing jobs they are unlikely to enjoy. Don’t fear XQ—use it to your advantage. Use jQ starting today.

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