CHAPTER 12Following World War II, testing was used extensively as a means for selecting new
hires. The popularity of testing as a selection tool continued for several decades, only
to decline toward the end of the 1990s. However, due in part to an increasingly
competitive global economy, heightened security concerns (especially post 9/11),
worries about workplace violence, and shortages of skilled labor, preemployment
tests are once again becoming a favored means for selection. For HR practitioners,
this may mean re-examining existing or previously used tests to support an increasing array of computer-based test options, while remaining sensitive to certain applicant populations, e.g., older workers, who may be more comfortable with more
traditional tests. It may also mean revisiting areas to be tested. Quantifiable skills,
such as computer knowledge, and personal qualities, like honesty, are among the
most common testing categories, but also popular are interest tests and tests that
purport to measure learning and thinking ability. HR test givers must also be ever
vigilant about possible adverse impact, job-relatedness, and overreliance on test
scores as the basis for selection.Can tests accurately predict how individuals are likely to perform in any given
job? Even the strongest supporters of tests will agree that not all tests are created
equal and that care must be exercised in their selection, implementation, and interpretation. Therefore, employers that administer tests are urged to consider test
results as only one basis for selection.
How Preemployment Tests Are UsedEmployers typically use preemployment tests to accomplish two primary objectives:
eliciting an applicant’s undesirable traits and identifying characteristics that most
closely match the qualities required for the available job. Specifically, tests given to
prospective employees may help to:
|• ||Predict acceptable or unacceptable on-the-job behavior|
|• ||Minimize or eliminate bias in the interview and selection process|
|• ||Allow employers to identify potentially unfit workers|
|• ||Identify responsible individuals, capable of working under certain working
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting & Orienting New Employees.
Contributors: Diane Arthur - Author.
Publisher: American Management Association.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 2012.
Page number: 221.
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