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Old 04-04-2022, 10:20 AM   #1
sundialsvcs
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Job-screening fun: "some things shouldn't be automated"


Every now and then I get e-mails from people who are trying to fill jobs. A recent one came in which was ostensibly for a "senior" developer position, and it had an "on-line applicant screening test" which left me ROTFL.

The whole thing wound down to a "skills quiz" which consisted of one elementary Python exercise with multiple-choice answers ... and only one choice to choose from, which (although it was actually right) I was told was "wrong." Therefore, literally anyone and everyone who completed this "screening" was going to fail it – there was no other option available.

Nobody really likes being on the receiving end of most of these searches – "mountains of resumes" – and online screening services therefore do have a certain appeal when you don't want to hire an expensive agency to do the screening for you. But, I do wonder if anyone at the company which set this thing up ever actually ... ahh ... "tested it?" Obviously not. I wonder what this implies about the rest of their development shop? I wonder how long it will take any of them to figure out that something must be wrong?

It's one thing to be mistaken – quite another to just be "careless and sloppy."

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 04-04-2022 at 10:26 AM.
 
Old 04-04-2022, 10:38 AM   #2
hazel
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What is even worse imho is the use of algorithms to sift through CVs to determine who gets an interview. The algorithms are trained of course on existing staff, so they will be looking for candidates who resemble existing staff as closely as possible. If, for historical reasons, most of the staff in a particular department or at a particular management level are male and white, well-qualified women and people of colour will be filtered out by the algorithm. This is not actually due to anyone being a racist or a misogynist; it's just an unlooked-for consequence of using AI in an inappropriate situation. But the effect will be just the same as if it was racism or misogyny.

Last edited by hazel; 04-04-2022 at 10:40 AM.
 
Old 04-04-2022, 02:15 PM   #3
sundialsvcs
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One has fun thinking about the programmers who built that software. (And, how much do they get paid for it?) At one point it said that, "answering 'No' to any question will disqualify you," which obviously means that everyone upon seeing that will know "how" to answer every question asked – thus rendering every question useless. And, one also wonders why it allowed a screener to be published with only one question (or, no questions) in an exam-section, with any question having less than two answers, and with any question where every answer is "Wrong."

And yet, in many years of working with "production" websites I have seen a great many things even more stupid than this. I am by now convinced that many programmers just become so enamored of what they are doing ... that they have no idea what they are doing. They've been standing so close to it, for so long, that they just don't see a thing.

The web site had all of the good looks that you would expect from any competent front-end framework ... and absolutely none of the logic.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 04-05-2022 at 08:43 AM.
 
Old 04-07-2022, 12:42 PM   #4
rtmistler
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Humans are no better.

Fielded a call in like the 90's. Clearly the kid who called didn't know nothing. He was reading and struggling through technical terms.

One I had a huge problem with, "Tick Pip"

??!!??

I asked for a repeat or two and finally he says, it's spelled "T-C-P-I-P"

I just hung quietly up.
 
Old 04-14-2022, 07:25 PM   #5
sundialsvcs
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Dunno ... maybe you were being a little hard on the poor schleb ... do any of us still remember "as-kee?" (Or, for the mainframers still among us ... "ib-see-dic?")

But as for the company whose software I originally encountered, I admit to much less sympathy. "Maybe it's okay to let computer software do your job for you, as long as it works!"

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 04-14-2022 at 07:31 PM.
 
  


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