5 Answers To FAQs About Pre-Employment Testing.

How Safe Are Personality Tests?1. I have heard that testing is not legal. Is that true?

That is clearly not true. In fact, proper use of good assessments can provide the most effective documentation of objective and nondiscriminatory hiring practices. Most legal issues occur when those instruments are used inconsistently or improperly. It is important to consult with individuals who are knowledgeable in such applications. Too often companies have failed to gain the benefits of new assessment technology because of conservative but uninformed advice. In today’s competitive world, businesses can no longer afford not to explore every possible competitive advantage.

2. Won’t some people be offended by being asked to complete a test?

Certainly, but if some people are offended by a company’s sincere and professional efforts to ensure the success of their employees through effective job matching, it is a small price to pay for the overall benefits to all employees in the company. Think of this way… if an applicant refused to complete your resume, provide references, or answer interview questions, how would you proceed? An assessment is no different. If an applicant refuses to complete any part of the application process, it’s a good indication about how he might challenge his job responsibilities.

3. Aren’t there some people who just don’t do well on tests?

The inherent concept in the newest assessment technology is that all people are good at something, but no one is good at everything. That includes testing. In general, most people are anxious about taking any kind of assessment. This reaction has been conditioned by years in school, where passing or failing a test determined an individual’s class standing. Other tests such as driving tests or medical tests also contributed to this attitude. This is why it is important to explain the purpose of any test or assessment to all candidates before it is given. Right and wrong answers do not exist for many pre-employment assessment tests. They merely assess personality traits and personal values and then match them to job benchmarks. Outliers are not wrong but indicate that individual might need to adjust extra hard to be successful if hire. Skill tests, like Excel, typing, and math tests, on the other hand, do have right and wrong answers. People who don’t do well taking tests will certainly be affected by technical and administrative type tests. Many of the latest instruments provide preliminary messages that do exactly that and put the candidate at ease.

It is important to recognize that people with poor skills will seldom be enthusiastic when asked to take a test to measure those skills. People with performance problems will not be enthusiastic about completing an assessment to see how their abilities match a particular job. That is exactly why assessments are a vital part of today’s business world. Effective assessment instruments can identify the critical areas that people do not want to reveal, but that the business must know in order to make the best decision.

4. Our selection process is rather long now. How can we find time to fit in any tests?

The use of good assessments tends to collapse the time needed for selection decisions, not make it longer. Using a 10 -15 minute instrument such as PeopleClues Personality fit enables an employer to effectively screen out unsuitable candidates before spending substantial amounts of interviewing time with them. By focusing the selection efforts on those candidates that are most likely to succeed, employers can not only make faster decisions but more accurate decisions. By accelerating the hiring decision, employers also become more competitive at capturing talent in their job market.

5. We use a customized interview system that seems to be effective. Do we also need testing?

Customized interview systems, behavioral event-based interviewing, targeted interviewing, and competency-based interviewing are all sound methods for identifying potentially successful job candidates. Several systems use bio-data surveys to profile successful employees and then attempt to match interviewees to that profile. These programs can be an effective part of an employer’s hiring process. They, however, lack the objective measurement of current assessments. As more people become involved with the interviewing, the system becomes more vulnerable to the subjective differences of each individual interviewer. The process also requires a substantial amount of interviewing time to accomplish the screening that newer instruments such as PeopleClues can do in a matter of minutes. These instruments even provide behavioral interview questions based on the individual characteristics of the candidates. By screening candidates before in-depth interviews, the process is made much more efficient. PeopleClues and other pre-employment tests provide recommended interview questions in each employee assessment report, and then you can have the best of both worlds.

This article originally appeared in The Total View, a weekly
online newsletter that focuses on hiring, management and retention
strategies. The Total View is written and published by Ira S. Wolfe,
president of Success Performance Solutions
and is distributed with permission by The Chrysalis Corporation.
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