Employment tests are devices that assess the match between applicants and job requirements. Some are paper-and-pencil tests; others are exercises that simulate work conditions.
A math test for a bookkeeper is an example of a paper-and-pencil test and the account-executive test at Merrill Lynch is an example of a Simulation.
Tests are used more frequently for candidates for jobs. Various tests measure these differences.
Types of Employment Tests
There are 10 types of employment tests;
- Cognitive Aptitude Tests.
- Psychomotor Abilities Tests (Test of motor and physical abilities).
- Personality Tests.
- Achievement Tests.
- The miniature Job Training and Evaluation.
- Work Sampling Tests (Simulations).
- Performance Tests.
- Polygraph Tests (Honesty Test).
- Graphology Tests.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing.
These are explained below;
Cognitive Aptitude Tests
Cognitive tests include tests of general reasoning ability (intelligence) and tests of specific mental abilities like memory and inductive reasoning.
It measures an individual’s ability to learn, as well as to perform a job. Job-related abilities may be classified as verbal, numerical, perceptual speed, spatial, and reasoning.
Psychomotor Abilities Tests (Test of motor and physical abilities)
This type of test is used to measure strength, coordination, and dexterity. It measures the speed and accuracy of simple judgment as well as the speed of finger, hand and arm movements.
It is feasible to measure many abilities that are involved in many routine production jobs and some office jobs.
Motivation and interpersonal skills are also very important. As one consultant put it, most people are hired based on qualifications but most are fired for nonperformance.
And nonperformance “is usually the result of personal characteristics such as attitude, motivation and especially temperament”. It is a selection tool, personality tests have not been as useful as other types of tests.
They are often characterized by low reliability and low validity. Because some personality tests emphasize subjective interpretation, the services of a qualified psychologist are required.
Achievement tests measure what someone has learned.
Most of the tests we take in school are achievement tests. They measure our “job knowledge” in areas like economics, marketing or human resources. Achievement tests are also popular at work.
The miniature Job Training and Evaluation
Miniature job training and evaluation means training candidates to perform several of the job’s tasks and then evaluating the candidates’ performance prior to hire.
The approach assumes that a person who demonstrates that he or she can learn and perform the sample of tasks will be able to learn and perform the job itself.
Work Sampling Tests (Simulations)
Work Sampling is an effort to create a miniature replica of a job. Applicants demonstrate that they possess the necessary talents by actually doing the tasks.
By carefully devising work samples based on job analysis data, the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for each job are determined. Then each work sample element is matched with a corresponding job performance element.
Performance tests measure the ability of applicants to do some parts of the work for which they are to be hired, for example, a typing test for typists.
Validity is often assumed when the test includes a representative sample of the work the applicant is to do upon being hired.
Polygraph Tests (Honesty Test)
For many years, another means used to verify background information has been the polygraph, or lie detector test.
One purpose of the polygraph was to confirm or refute the information contained in the application blank. The use of lie detectors for verifying information on the application form can only be used for specific jobs, such as police officer or federal agents that typically require a security clearance.
Honesty tests are the most frequently used psychological tests in the industry.
An individual’s response to the test statements indicates the individual’s attitudes towards theft, embezzlement, and dishonest practices. These honesty tests represent a valuable selection tool for choosing employees who will occupy positions that involve handling company money.
It has been said that an individual’s handwriting can suggest the degree of energy, inhibitions, and spontaneity to be found in the writer, disclosing idiosyncrasies and elements of balance and control from which many personality characteristics can be inherited.
Although most scientists doubt the validity of handwriting analysis, it is estimated that more than 3,000 U.S. organizations including Ford, General Electric and the CIA, consult graphologists to supplement their usual HRM procedures.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Medical tests have grown in popularity in recent years. Through an analysis of urine, hair or blood samples laboratories are able to screen for the presence of drugs.
The basic purpose of the drug-testing programs contends that it is necessary to ensure workplace safety, security, and productivity.