Conducting Pre-Employment and Employment Tests

By Arthur, Diane | Supervisory Management, August 1991 | Go to article overview
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Conducting Pre-Employment and Employment Tests

Arthur, Diane, Supervisory Management

Conducting Pre-employment and Employment Tests

Pre-employment and employment tests may be defined as procedures for determining job suitability. This is accomplished by examining the skills, knowledge, and/or physical capabilities of employees or employment candidates according to a predetermined set of objective guidelines. These results are assessed in relation to the requirements and responsibilities of a given position, and conclusions are drawn as to the appropriateness of the applicant's qualifications.

While many tests evaluate a job candidate's achievements and, hence, measure current skill level, others focus on aptitude or a person's potential ability. Tests may also help determine how motivated a person is likely to be in a certain type of job and/or work environment. In addition, they may be used to screen out individuals with certain undesirable traits, such as job-related physical shortcomings or drug use.

Testing policies

Companies administering tests should have a written policy that clearly states that their primary objective is to select qualified candidates, regardless of race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability. The policy should then describe how various tests are administered, evaluated, and interpreted. Details of this policy should be made available to all those directly involved in the testing process. In addition, a testing policy statement should be distributed to all managers involved in employee hiring decisions.

Conducting testing

Those involved in the testing process should be trained in the proper administration procedures. Following are some general guidelines for test administration:

* Tests should be given only when job-related criteria indicate a direct correlation between test results and job performance.

* Tests should never be given exclusively to members of selected groups, i.e., women, minorities, or the disabled.

* The testing environment should be the same each time a test is given. This includes factors such as lighting, ventilation, seating, space, and noise.

* The same tools or materials should be distributed in exactly the same order and manner each time a test is given to an individual.

* The purpose of the test should be explained to test takers at the outset. The language used to describe the purpose of the test should be identical each time the test is administered.

* Oral instructions should be recited at the same rate of speech using the same tone of voice and at the same pitch and volume.

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