Retail stores, the oh so crucial holiday season…and those pesky employee pre employment “profiles”

We have seen them at nearly every major retail store.

Sears requires it, Bloomingdales does and so does Burlington Coat Factory and many other larger retail stores. Many do not — TJ Maxx, Big Lots! and probably quite a few more.

I’m talking about the GATE profile or whatever it is that the individual store calls it. This is about an hour’s worth of statements that you will rank from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.”

“There are no right or wrong answers” the candidate is assured….so if that is the case, why does your store waste time and money adding this “profile” to the on line application for employment?

The statements to rank are “I often lose my temper” to “I rarely lose my temper”, “I believe in following the rules, “”I like to be the leader,” “I believe in working quickly”  “one day I will become important in the company,” “I believe that working fast is the best way to work” and “People would describe me as outgoing.” There are about 300 statements in all and many are asked again and again, but worded a bit differently each time.

Each store must have a “mimimal” score — I got a call from Burlington Coat Factory to come in for an interview but all I got from Kohl’s, Bloomingdales and Sears was “Thank you. We will see if there is an appropriate match.” And I never heard from the store again.

I do not place much confidence in any pre employment “test.” The best of test takers are sometimes the worst of employees — and such a test will not ensure the exclusion of time wasters, those who are frequently absent or late nor will it exclude and pinpoint those who steal or the discourteous. No test is failsafe or perfect.

Years ago the test of choice for a job candidate in retail was The Stanton Survey. This was another one of those things that was supposed to “flag” a drug user or thief. There were questions that took about 45 minutes to answer and a section where the candidate would submit a handwriting sample.

(Handwriting samples are interesting — but again, not a failsafe way to choose or exclude a job candidate. Handwriting analysis is not an exact science)

So that is where I stand on that. I cannot see why these stores can’t  do it the way UPS does it when it comes to hiring seasonal employees: Conduct a short interview and HIRE all of the candidates, depending upon the outcome of the background check.

I also visited the last 3 remaining outlet stores, a few companies at random and canvassed one entire office building — that was about 8 or 9 companies (each company now comprises one floor of the building) and nobody had a job available. Not one blessed thing.:(

The only businesses left are the hotels and restaurants. Very doubtful if any visit to those establishments will yield a job for me.

PS: I did not hear from AC Moore, either. They had a plain ole on line application. Perhaps some of those jobs “advertised” on their website are bogus or there for some other reason. Shit.

One thought on “Retail stores, the oh so crucial holiday season…and those pesky employee pre employment “profiles””

  1. I wonder how much of an impact that automated checkout counters that shift the work of checking out to the customer have had in retail. They can’t be used everywhere, but where they can be used, one person can oversee 4-6 registers where they might only have 2-3 additional checkout counters open to take care of the people. Multiply that over all the big box and grocery stores in your area, and it has to be at least a couple of hundred full-time equivalent jobs.

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