Another important decision in the selection process involves applicant testing and the kinds of tests to use. A test is a standardized objective measure of a person’s behavior, performance or attitude. It is standardized because the way the test is carried out, the environment in which the test is administered and the way the individual scores are calculated — are uniformly applied . It is objective in that it tries to measure individual differences in a scientific way, giving very little room for individual’s bias and interpretation.
Over the years employment tests have not only gained importance but also a certain amount of inevitability in employment decisions. Since they try to objectively determine how well an applicant meets job requirements most companies do not hesitate to invest their time and money in selection testing in a big way. Some of the commonly used employment tests may be stated thus:
These are mental ability tests. They measure the incumbents learning ability and also the ability to understand instructions and make judgments. The basic objective of intelligence tests is to pick up employees who are alert and quick at learning things so that they can be offered adequate training to improve their skills for the benefit of the organization. Intelligence tests do not measure any single trait. But rather several abilities such as memory, vocabulary, verbal fluency numerical ability, perception , spatial visualization etc. Stanford Binet test, Binet Simon test, The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale are examples of standard intelligence tests. Some of the these tests are increasingly used in competitive examinations while recruiting graduates and post graduates at entry level management positions in Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Services sectors.
Aptitude tests measure an individuals potential to learn certain skills – clerical, mechanical, mathematical etc. These tests indicate whether or not an individual has the ability to learn a given job quickly and efficiently. In order to recruit efficient office staff, aptitude test are necessary. Clerical tests, for example may measure the incumbents ability to take notes, perceive things correctly and quickly locate things ensure proper movement of files etc. Aptitude tests, unfortunately do not measure on the job motivation. That is why the aptitude test is administered in combination with other tests, like intelligence and personality tests.
Of all the tests required for selection personality tests have generated lot of heat and controversy. The definition of personality methods of measuring personality factors and the relationship between personality factors and actual jobs criteria have been the subject of much discussion . Researchers have also questioned whether applicants answer all the items truthfully or whether they try to respond in a socially desirable manner. Regardless of these objections many people still consider personality as an important component of job success.
Personality tests are used to measure basic aspects of an applicant’s personality such as motivation ,emotional balance , self confidence, interpersonal behavior, introversion etc. The most frequently used tests are the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPL) the California Psychological Inventory the Manifest Anxiety Scale, Edwards Personal Performance Schedule etc. Some of the items in personality inventory run thus:
Personality Inventory & Items
Evil spirits possess me at times _____________________
I believe I am being followed __________________________
I am fascinated by fire ____________________________
I have indulged in any unusual sex pictures ______________
I am a special agent of God ______________
I day dream very little ___________
There are three types of PIP tests: projective (personality), interests and preferences.
Source: HRM VSP