Employee Selection Tests

A candidate is routed through all the selection steps including selection tests before a decision is made. If right personnel are selected, the remaining functions of personnel management become easier. The employees’ contribution and commitment will be at optimum level and employee-employer relations will be congenial. We can conveniently classify tests according to whether they measure cognitive (mental) abilities, motor and physical abilities, personality and interests or achievements.

Cognitive tests include tests of general reasoning ability (intelligence) and tests of specific mental abilities like memory and inductive reasoning.

Intelligence Tests: Intelligence (IQ) tests are tests of general intellectual abilities. They measure not a single trait but rather a range of abilities, including memory, vocabulary, verbal fluency and numerical ability.

Originally, IQ (intelligence quotient) was literally a quotient. The procedure was to divide a child’s mental age (as measured by the intelligence test) by his or her chronological age, and then multiply the results by 100. If an 8 year old child answered questions as a 10-year-old might, his or her IQ would be 10 divided by 8 times 100 or 125.

For adults, of course, the notion of mental age divided by chronological age wouldn’t make sense. Therefore, an adult’s IQ score is actually a derived score. It reflects the extent to which the person is above or below the ‘average’ adult’s intelligence score.

We are mentioning here names of some tests and not elaborating on how they are conducted. Intelligence is often measured with individually administered tests like the Stanford-Binet test or the Wechsler Test. Employers can administer other IQ tests such as the Wobderlic to groups of people. Other intelligence tests include the Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test, the Slosson Intelligence Test, the Wide Range Intelligence Test and the Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence.

Specific Cognitive Abilities: There are also measures of specific mental abilities, such as inductive and deductive reasoning, verbal comprehension, memory, and numerical ability.

Psychologists often call such tests aptitude tests, since they purport to measure aptitude for the job in question. Consider the Test of Mechanical Comprehension in which tests the applicants’ understanding of basic mechanical principles. It may reflect a person’s aptitude for jobs like that of machinist or engineer that require mechanical comprehension. Other tests of mechanical aptitude include the Mechanical Reasoning Test and the SRA Test of Mechanical Aptitude. The revised Minnesota Paper Form Board Test consists of 64 two-dimensional diagrams cut into separate pieces. It provides insights into an applicant’s mechanical spatial ability; you’d use it for screening applicants for jobs such as designers, drafts-people, or engineers.

Tests of motor and physical abilities:

There may be a need to measure motor abilities, such as finger dexterity, manual dexterity, and reaction time. The Crawford Small Parts Dexterity Test is an example. It measures the speed and accuracy of simple judgment as well as the speed of finger, hand, and arm movements. Other tests here include the Stromberg Dexterity Test, the Minnesota Rate of Manipulation Test, and the Purdue Peg Board. The Roeder Manipulative Aptitude Test screens individuals for jobs where dexterity is a main requirement. Finger dexterity tests are conducted for small assembly products like telecom instruments, switchgear, PCs, watches where even both hands right as well as left come into action simultaneously.

Tests of physical abilities may also be required. These include static strength (such as lifting weights), dynamic strength (like pull-ups), body coordination (as in jumping rope), and stamina. Lifeguards, for example must show they can swim a course before they’re hired.

Selection of personnel for an organization is a crucial, complex and continuing function. The ability of an organization to attain its goals effectively and to develop in a dynamic environment largely depends upon the effectiveness of its selection programs. In a situation where the right person is not selected, the remaining functions of personnel management, employee-employer relations will not be effective. If the right person is selected, he/she is a valuable asset to the organization and if faulty selection is made, the employee will become a liability to the organization.