I'm looking for a new job again. Most employers want you to do a 4+ hour "employment programming screening test".
That is insulting and degrading. I'm a professional! I have 10 years of experience. I went to a good university. Can't you afford to have someone talk to me for a few minutes, to see if I have a clue or not? Why did I spend 4 years getting a degree, if employers are giving me a basic skills screening on an interview? Most of the "employment screening tests" are simpler and stupider than the homework and tests when I was a CS student. Is their stupid test going to measure more than "FSK has a CS degree with honors from a good university."?
However, it does act as a filter on another level. If someone isn't willing to jump through stupid hoops for a job, then they're not desperate enough to be a willing slave.
I'm also using it as a filter. I notice a severe negative correlation between "places that offer a stupid employment screening test" and "places I want to work". By refusing to take the test, I'm filtering out the most clueless employers. (However, my last job offered a screening test. Initially, I was extremely hostile to doing it, but the headhunter talked me into it. On the other hand, it wasn't such a great job.)
It's also a waste of time. Very frequently, I do their stupid test, and don't get an onsite interview anyway. I know I did well on the test. Why am I wasting my time?
On the other hand, I'm unemployed with nothing better to do. I might as well waste 4+ hours taking a stupid test for someone that probably isn't going to give me an onsite interview anyway.
However, it is possible that there are a lot of clueless unqualified liars out there. From my point of view, it's a stupid waste of time. The stupid test may screen out the truly unqualified. However, if you can't figure that out yourself after talking to someone for a few minutes, then you're hopeless.
I can evaluate someone's technical ability by talking to them for a few minutes. If you aren't willing to spend a few minutes interviewing each candidate, then you aren't serious about hiring someone good.
For what other jobs, do you ask basic skill tests before hiring someone?
- Do you ask a lawyer to define some basic legal terms, before hiring him?
- Do you ask a doctor to name some parts of your anatomy, before hiring him?
- Do you ask your dentist if he can name all your teeth, before hiring him?
- Do you ask your accountant if he knows the difference between a debit and a credit, before hiring him?
- Do you ask your plumber to name the parts of a toilet, before hiring him?
The correct solution is a free market. Ideally, in a really free market, the people making hiring decisions should be those with the most skills. In a corrupt collapsing State economy, it's the most clueless people making hiring decisions.
At this point, a pro-State troll may say "They are smarter than you, FSK. They have a job and you don't. They're in a position of authority and FSK isn't." No, that doesn't disprove my point, "The system is totally broken." In a dying corrupt system, the most clueless people, the parasites and the psychopaths, are the leaders. Being very skilled works against me rather than in my favor. Most middle managers would rather hire someone mediocre, rather than someone brilliant who could potentially replace them. Most people say "I want to hire the best!", but they really mean "I'm concerned about my own job security. I don't want to hire someone *TOO* smart."
In a really free market, it would be possible for skilled workers to get together and steal market share from inefficient competitors. In the present, that isn't possible, due to State restriction of the market.
It's a symptom of an unequal power relationship, between employers and workers/slaves. It's a symptom of a corrupt system. It isn't the underlying problem, but a severe symptom. In a freer market, if employers were rude to employees, they would work elsewhere or start their own business.
It is insulting and degrading, that employers demand a stupid screening test for a job. That's another sign that programmers aren't treated like serious professionals.