Caution – Are Those Free Online Assessments Really Free?
Caution – Are Those Free Online Assessments Really Free?

Caution – Are Those Free Online Assessments Really Free?

Caution – Are Those Free Online Assessments Really Free?

There are a number of online resources promising free career assessments. With unemployment rates approaching 10.5%, there are a lot of people in transition and looking for resources. One “bait-and-switch” tactic is to offer free assessments to the unsuspecting public. What the candidate discovers after investing 20 or 30 minutes completing the online test is that the “free” report that comes with the “free” assessment is worthless. Of course you will have an opportunity to purchase the rest of the report.

We have received offers from test publishers to link to their assessments and offer their tools to our clients at no charge. We are not interested in using bait-and-switch tactics with our clients, so we have declined. An old adage applies here and has a great deal of truth to it: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Many assessments on the market can be very costly, so it is tempting to go for the “free” offers. What is the best approach for someone who is seeking career assessment? There is another adage that rings true, and that is there is no substitute for hard work. The very best assessments are the ones that require brainstorming and soul searching on the part of the candidate. That cannot be accomplished by standardized one-size-fits-all tests. Certainly there are personality assessments and job interest inventories available that can offer insights, but we have found the best exercises for helping individuals chart a course for their careers are unique and specific to the person. Rather than standardized format, they offer a road map if you will to help guide thinking and draw out personal insights. Two in particular that we use are the “Forty Year Vision” and “The Seven Stories” exercise. These are both published by The Five O’Clock Club, a research based strategic job search organization.

If you are working with a career coach, you should have the option of completing assessments as little or as much on your own as you desire. You should be able to retain their help on an as-needed basis. This will help keep costs down while ensuring the best value of your assessment. Find out up front what type of assessments will be used and what cost will be passed on to you.