What’s This About Candidates Needing Their SAT Scores?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that employers are requesting job applicants, even those in their 40s and 50s, for their SAT scores.  The article lists Bain & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Cvent Inc., McKinsey & Co., and Goldman Sachs among the requesters.

First, if a candidate is fresh out of college, as the article indicates, a SAT score can be relevant as it can help to make up for the candidate’s lack of actual work experience.  So I have no problem with recent college grads having to produce their SAT scores.  However, older workers are a different story.

I have been a recruiter for over a decade.  I have never had a client ask for a candidate’s SAT score.  Once a colleague had a client who demanded that all finalists pass a graphology test.  They had to provide a handwriting sample.  I suggested that she tell them at the start of the process so they would know what to expect (and that the client was nuts!).  She preferred to wait.  When the client, after interviewing three candidates, wanted all of them to provide handwriting samples, my colleague relayed the message and they all withdrew from consideration.  Long story short, she submitted a second round of candidates, told them upfront about the “test,” and they agreed.  They were second-tier and just wanted a job.  Two were chosen.  The client wanted Candidate A, while the graphologist recommended Candidate B.  The client went with Candidate B who was fired six weeks later.  By then Candidate A had found a job and my colleague dumped the client.

Again, no one has ever asked for a SAT score.

This reminds me of the nonsense, a year or so ago, with employers asking for Facebook passwords.  There were just a few and everything was blown out of proportion.  Some state legislatures actually passed laws prohibiting employers from asking candidates for their social media log in names and passwords!  It was much ado about nothing.

Something tells me that it will be the same with the SAT scores.  Young people; no problem.  But if an employer asks some, even in their 30s, not to mention 40s, 50s or 60s, for their SAT scores, and they can’t produce them, then it would seem to me that the SAT score request is a thinly veiled attempt at age discrimination, a subject I deal with in depth in my books.

I’m not an attorney, and I don’t play one on television, but my advice to anyone who meets the minimum number of years of actual work experience required for the position for which they are applying, and who is asked for their SAT scores, is to find an employment attorney.  They will probably be delighted to get your call!