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Employment Testing

Hiring new employees is a difficult task. In a short time, with very little information, you must asses an applicants fit with a job's requirements and the culture of your company. There are a variety of tests that you can help you screen job applicants, such as the following:

  • Skills tests assess an applicantís knowledge, skills, or abilities in a specific field. Typing skill is one example. Knowledge of computer programming languages is another. The list of fields that can be tested is virtually endless.
  • Aptitude tests judge general abilities and intelligence, rather than skills in a specific field. Some of these tests are geared towards helping you understand how quick a learner the applicant might be when faced with a new job or unfamiliar challenges and/or what types of jobs might be best suited for them.
  • Psychological and personality tests try to uncover other important facets of the person, such as leadership qualities, initiative, creativity, competitiveness, cooperativeness, conscientiousness, introversion/extroversion, ambition, and so forth. Persons with the requisite skills and/or aptitude may be inappropriate if they will be unhappy on the job, if they are difficult to manage, or if they cannot interact properly with fellow employees and customers.

Before implementing a job test for applicants, seek legal counsel to understand what sort of testing is or is not allowed by local, state, or federal law. Pay particular attention to limitations on testing imposed by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

If the test that you want to administer is legal, be aware of its limitations. Few, if any, tests are foolproof. Skills tests tend to be the most reliable. The results

of psychological and personality tests can be most open to interpretation. Aptitude tests tend to fall between these extremes of certainty. In all cases, inspect closely the statistical proof from the testing service about the testís effectiveness.

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