Use of employment testing can be valuable for your hiring process when implemented properly. Any process that adds quality data to help you make better hiring decisions should be considered. Employee tests and other assessment tools sometimes contribute greatly to your decision data.
What is Employment Testing?
Generally, testing is the practice of administering written, oral or other tests as a means of determining the suitability or desirability of a job applicant. The premise is that if scores on a test correlate with job performance, then it is economically useful for the employer to select employees based on scores from that test.
A test can be defined as a standardized series of problems or questions that assess a persons knowledge, skills, abilities, or other characteristics. The use of tests and other selection procedures can be a very effective means of determining which applicants or employees are most qualified for a particular job. However, no test or assessment can be used as the sole reason to hire or not hire and employee.
There are many reasons why you should consider testing. These include:
- Hard to get information can be obtained
- Individuals are treated equally
- There are lots of applicants
- The cost of making a mistake is high
- The job requires attributes that are hard to develop or change
Testing is not right for every situation. Here are some reasons you should not test:
- Cost – Employment testing ranges from inexpensive to very expensive. You have to have the budget to incorporate any instrument into your hiring process.
- One-off Position – Tests may not be the best choice if not many individuals are being considered in a particular employment decision.
- Comprehensive Process in Place – If you have a quality decision-making process in place and a test would simply add costs and time with no gain in decision accuracy.
Types Of Tests
There are different kinds of tests. Tests vary according to their mode of administration (e.g., paper and pencil vs. Web-based), their content (e.g., interpersonal skills, mathematical ability), their level of standardization or structure, their costs, their administrative ease, and many other factors.
Here is a list of the types of pre employment tests that are available:
- Cognitive tests – assess reasoning, memory, perceptual speed and accuracy, and skills in arithmetic and reading comprehension, as well as knowledge of a particular function or job.
- Physical ability tests – measure the physical ability to perform a particular task or the strength of specific muscle groups, as well as strength and stamina in general.
- Sample job tasks – performance tests, simulations, work samples, and realistic job previews assess performance and aptitude on particular tasks.
- Personality tests – assess the degree to which a person has certain traits or dispositions (e.g., dependability, cooperativeness, safety)
- Integrity tests -aim to predict the likelihood that a person will engage in certain conduct (e.g., theft, absenteeism).
Best Practices For Employee Testing
Any testing program you consider should include the following:
- Proven Instrument – the tool you choose needs to be both valid and reliable. These are the two measures of an effective tool.
- Administered Uniformly – use a standard testing procedure that does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion or age.
- Stay Current – to ensure that a test or selection procedure remains predictive of success in a job, you should keep abreast of changes in job requirements and should update the test specifications or selection procedures accordingly.
- Control Administration – ensure that tests and selection procedures are not adopted casually by managers who know little about these processes. A test or selection procedure can be an effective management tool, but no test or selection procedure should be implemented without an understanding of its effectiveness and limitations for the organization, its appropriateness for a specific job, and whether it can be appropriately administered and scored.
Employment testing can be a valuable part of your employee selection process. There are many types of employee tests you can use to gain important data. The use of any job testing tool will depend on your need, your budget and the availability of a valid and reliable test.