The use of psychological tests to screen good candidates has been growing over the years. Surely, these tests are usually given to the prospective managers instead of giving to low-level employees, as tests consume time and money.
Some experts recommend against using psychological tests as they are not efficient to weed out the right candidates and they cannot provide a sufficient solution for companies’ turnover problem. Moreover, wrong usage of the test or an inappropriate question in the test may cause your company deal with a lawsuit. Nevertheless, when it is used properly, they may predict success on the job better than any other measure.
Cognitive ability tests are the best option among the psychological tests. In addition, personal tests, which were once viewed as useless, have gained support by some experts. Testing has some structural advantages over other means of selection. Candidates are asked to respond the same questions and the test applies the same standard to everyone, which may counterbalance interviewer’s stereotypes.
For example, the interviewer or the hiring person may have a bias against people because of their physical appearance, or without “right” educational background. Testing candidates will eliminate some biases that hiring decision-makers have and it will provide a fair hiring process.
Here are some experts’ tips to have an efficient pre-employment testing:
Specify your hiring needs: Knowing what qualifications and characteristics need to be used in the position, will guide you to the correct testing. Before administering tests, you need to understand the specific requirements, values and behaviors that define the company’s culture.
Don’t rely on test alone: The test should not be the only way of the measurement. Testing is just one-step of three steps, with the candidate’s record and conventional interviews. It can validate the information that is gathered from interviews and references and sometimes it may bring up an issue to go into further detail.
More is better (up to a point): A battery of tests in which several different characteristics such as personality, interests, integrity, and cognitive ability are examined; increases the predictive power. Although the cost rises due to the several different tests, you get its money’s worth.
Psychological testing is not for amateurs: Advanced interpretation technique with high level of knowledge in statistics, testing and assessment is required to get the right results from testing. You may consider getting a professional assistance to evaluate the test results so that there is no room for misunderstanding.
Beware of pitfalls: All questions in the test must have predictive validity, meaning that the test accurately measures the qualifications it seeks to measure and it predicts behavior in the specific job in question. Every company needs to validate the tests that are studied by test developers, with the data from its employees to protect themselves from litigation.
It is also practicable for companies to design their own tests with predictive validity.