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Pre-Employment Testing Pros and Cons

By:   •  July 19, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  1,333 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,282 Views

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Pre-Employment Testing-Pros/Cons

April Johnson

Northwood University

MGT -2500- Human Resource Management

Professor Donna Schiele

February 22, 2019

Pre-employment test is an objective and standardized device used to gauge a person’s KSAO (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other) relative to other individuals (Snell, Morris, Bohlandor, 2016). Pre-employment testing started in 1917 when psychologist around the country developed as a tool to help identify appropriate officer or others for a certain job. Since then, these tests have been used country wide and even world wide for public and private of different companies, etc. However, there are some pros and cons to conducting pre-employment tests, which will discuss the pros and cons of job personality tests, skills tests, honesty tests and physical tests.

When a pre-employment test is being developed, it needs to be reliable and needs to be validated for that company, so it doesn’t break any discrimination laws. It is a test developer’s responsibility to ensure it meets accepted standards of validity and reliability (Snell, Morris, Bohlandor, 2016). Companies should also ensure the test has not been challenged or disputed in court by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Companies will need to ensure the test they are using fits the position they are using it for. Not all tests fit every company the same. What works for Company A, for example, may not work for Company B because of the different job functions and just because the company is different. There are several types of tests out there. There are Job Knowledge tests, Personality Tests, Honesty Tests and Physical Tests, just to name a few. Also, there are pros and cons to these tests that I mentioned above, which I will explain in further detail.

Job Skills or Job Knowledge tests are achievement tests designed to measure people’s level of understanding or knowledge about a particular job (Snell, Morris, Bohlandor, 2016). Usually, Job Knowledge Tests are taken online. Because the test is taken online, the answers are auto-evaluated, therefore, there aren’t any chances for the test to be biased. At the end of the test, it will be able to provide the employer with an overview of the employee’s strength and weaknesses. The test is easy to use and less time consuming. In a customer service or sales environment, the best candidates will have strong interpersonal skills. For a technical position, a candidate’s personality traits aren’t as important as their specific skillset. In these instances, employers can choose to use tests that are based on skills to make sure that candidates have the knowledge they need to succeed (Hoegener, 2018). As said previously, the test needs to be applicable to the position, and if not, then it was waste of time. If it’s not validated, then it wasn’t suited for that candidate and that position. The test should be reliable. The Skills Tests should have consistency in questions, etc. Skills Tests may not provide a true picture of the candidate, therefore leaving guest work, which can be unreliable.

Personality Tests, also called “strength finders” and they are used to measure the base behavior traits that are important to each specific job’s performance requirement (Hoegener, 2018). Personality Tests measure characteristics such as attitudes, emotional adjustments, interest, interpersonal relations and motivations. Employers frequently used these tools, but critics say they are an invasion of privacy and unrelated to job performance (SHRM, 2018). Personality tests can prevent hiring the wrong person for that role. The test can provide a manager with insight on how a potential candidate will fit within the culture of the company. However, personality test can be time consuming, this can lead to frustration for the candidate and the test can be costly. Personality tests may not always be helpful on indicating if the candidate is the right fit. Also, the test may not be as reliable as a candidate could answer questions based on what they believe the answer to be or what they think the employer wants to hear.

Honesty or Integrity Tests ask job candidates a series of questions which is meant to measure honesty, dependability and work ethic. Some of the questions asked are: “How likely would you be to report a coworker you discovered was stealing office supplies?” Or, “Should an employee who lied on his application be fired if they falsification is uncovered?” (Snell, Morris, Bohlander, 2016). Honesty/Integrity may divert thief within a company or deter thief. The Society for Human Resource Management defines honesty/integrity as it measures an applicant’s propensity toward undesirable behaviors such as lying, stealing, taking drugs or abusing alcohol. There are two types that assess honesty and integrity. Overt integrity test asks explicit questions about honesty and personality-oriented. Covert integrity test, which use psychological concepts, such as dependability and respect for authority (SHRM, 2018). While these may be positive, these tests can be invasive, and some states do not allow these tests.

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