It is legal for employers to administer pre-employment testing to job applicants or potential employees. But such testing must be properly administered, validated and non-discriminatory.
The various ways to test your potential employees include aptitude tests, physical ability tests and personality tests. In some cases, it may be prudent to conduct lie detector tests, medical exams and drug testing.
Following are details of major kinds of pre-employment testing:
Such tests are used to select candidates who already possess a special knowledge or skill, required for performing a job. In contrast to aptitude tests which measure the potential of a candidate, achievement tests identify what he already knows. Hence the latter is best indicator of authentic job performance. Examples of such test are typing tests and fork lifting tests. Clerical typing tests are widely used. Driving tests of forklifts help screen out the most efficient candidates.
Such tests can measure space visualization, general intelligence, and mathematical aptitude, reasoning skills, verbal ability and comprehension ability. Such tests are good to measure cognitive potential of candidates.
An example of an aptitude test is simulation of a performance like manual dexterity test which needs the candidate to manipulate or manoeuvre small parts kept on a board. This will help evaluate whether a candidate is suited to a job on the assembly line.
Agility and Physical Ability Tests
Such tests judge an applicant’s strength, endurance or general physical fitness, required to perform simulated or actual tasks for the job.
But as per law, such tests do not seek information about nature and severity of mental or physical impairment or psychological health. They only measure the ability of a person to perform a stipulated task. Strength of specific muscle groups and general stamina and strength may be measured.
Such tests determine the degree to which a person has certain dispositions or traits and can predict the likelihood of a person to engage in a particular conduct. The objective of such tests is to determine whether the candidate will be a good fit for the company. The Myers- Briggs test is used by majority of Fortune 100 companies. Companies may be interested to know how traits of candidate fit job role, his strength in interpersonal relationships, his individual motivations and whether his attributes are in line with company vision.
Emotional Intelligence Tests
These tests measure the capacity of candidates to understand his or her emotions as well as those of others. Emotional intelligence is vital as it determines ability to work with colleagues and customers and react to frustrations and failures in a mature way.
Background Checks/Lie Detector Tests
You will be putting your company at risk if you don’t conduct background checks on new hires. Such checks can detect red flags like criminal record or wrong educational and professional information. They will also indicate honesty of candidate.
Lie Detector tests or Polygraph tests are useful to screen candidates who aspire to job roles that involve sensitive work like security service jobs, jobs with guns and jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.
Various tests are administered to check presence of alcohol and illegal drugs in the body of candidates.
These are all some of the ways in which employers evaluate job candidates for their companies. The kind of tests used is based on the nature of the company and that of the job role.