Henry Neils started Assessment.com in 1994 after a distant relative showed him the 400-question written career test he had developed for the forestry business after WWII. The lumber, logging and milling work was fraught with peril, and many good people lost their limbs and their lives operating the heavy equipment that was used to harvest trees.
"Put the wrong person in a job in the lumber business, and they could come home in a pine box," said Neils, president of Assessment.com.
Neils took the test, and "it ‘nailed’ me,” he said. But in those early days, the MAPP test took hours to take, and it then took days to deliver an evaluation. “I could see it was a diamond in the rough. But I knew I had to make it much easier for people to take and deliver it over the Internet,” Neils said.
Today, after investing millions of dollars in its design and state-of-the-art computer software, it takes mere minutes to deliver a comprehensive career assessment.
Users who have completed the free career assessment can click on five different careers to see if these are a good fit, and can upgrade to one of several packages to receive a more comprehensive narrative and match themselves to all of the careers and tasks they are best suited for. The MAPP test has been praised by career professionals and people all over the world, who have freely offered their testimonials.
The MAPP career test was originally marketed to businesses as a tool to help them recruit people who would be the best fit for sales and other types of jobs. Around 2000, Neils decided to rethink the business model and go directly to consumers. “After reading Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing, I understood the power of free, and that’s when we began offering free assessments for consumers,” he said.
“When we started the test, we knew there was a whole world of testing out there – it’s a multi-billion dollar industry,” Neils said. “But these tests are marketed to professionals who administer them to their clients and must interpret the results for them. We think our business model offers the best of both worlds: the MAPP test has undergone extensive reliability and validity testing by a number of psychologists, including correlating the results to the Strong Interest Inventory.® However, the MAPP can be taken and read by consumers without having to engage the services of a professional.”
In almost every country in the world, the MAPP test has helped people find a vocation where they can fully use their unique aptitudes and talents. It has helped provide a roadmap for students who are figuring out what they want to be, adults who are burned out and want to make a career change, and people are are unemployed and want to figure out their next career step.
Neils and his team also reached out to a variety of school, career, HR and outplacement professionals and offered them an attractive revenue-sharing offer: put the MAPP career test on your site for free, and we’ll give you 15 percent of any revenues generated from test-takers on your site. The MAPP test helps HR professionals make good hiring decisions, helps school counselors give good advice to students, and helps outplacement professionals advise their clients. Put the right person in the right job, and you reduce turnover and risk, just as it was originally designed to do years ago.
“If your job lines up with what you love to do, you’re a lucky person,” Neils said.