Episode 6 - Too Much for Too Little for Too Long
The original theme of this episode was to continue the series on how to recognize old assessment products that try to look new. However, I ran into a situation that screamed for the attention to all assessment customers. A distributor of a fairly questionable assessment product was happily changing to a newer and much more up to date system. I was advising him on how to make the transition and happened to ask the price of the old product. He said it he sold it for $175 each, but the test publisher wanted him to raise the price to $275. I was ASTONISHED, FLABBERGASTED, and APPALLED. This was like buying day old bread at wedding cake prices.
It is not only that the price was ridiculous for the quality being delivered, but “Assessments are a digital product!” Any fixed costs are in the distributor system and the operations of the test publisher. The first assessment instrument may cost a million dollars in development, but the second one is near free. I don’t mean “free” literally. Of course, businesses want to make a profit. But, really, I believe that most companies using assessments today have been paying TOO MUCH, for TOO LITTLE, for TOO LONG!
Over 20 years ago, when I entered the assessment industry, tests were completed in booklets and often monitored for timing purposes. Once completed, the information generally required explanation by an expert or some special training. It was reasonable to charge for these services. Today the Internet delivers the surveys automatically; computer programs calculate the results; and the reports are presented almost instantly.
At the HR Technology Expo in Chicago, there were disruptive offerings of high end assessment technology with effective costs of as little as 50¢ per candidate. Not only was the cost disruptive, but the products were quicker and easier to use, with over 20 different outputs…at the same price. This dramatic change in cost opens the door to unprecedented opportunities for capturing talent more efficiently and across all positions. Imagine… increase applications; save time; and save money.
I encourage you to read Chris Anderson’s Free. If your business touches or is in the digital world, it offers a critical perspective for understanding the sea changes that are taking place in the marketplace.
More information on the qualitative differences in assessments is available at www.aboutassessments.com. Episode 7 will continue the discussion on how to tell the age or capabilities of the many assessment products competing for your business.
Written by Chuck Russell, CEO