The future of any organization depends on its employees. It has been observed that organizations with intelligent, efficient and devoting employees progress more than those which compromise with workforce efficiency. These days several tests like cognitive abilities, motor and physical abilities, personality & interests, and achievement tests have come up. By conducting these tests on applicants his/or her abilities can be properly judged and hence a proper selection of employees can be made. (King, 2006, 45)
Cognitive abilities test
In cognitive abilities test the aptitude of an applicant to work intelligently and efficiently in unfavorable situations or under pressure or in distracting and competing situations is tested. The speed with which an applicant focuses his attention on any issue, understands it, encodes and categorizes it is observed. His ability to analyze and implement comprehensive instructions accurately, his versatility to respond properly to two or more different issues of concern at a time, his ability to recognize the importance and urgency of some issues and making specific response to those issues, his ability to maintain speed with perfection is tested.
The potential of a person in maintaining steady and precise responses during unremitting and recurring activities is observed. The ability of a person to formulate programs and recall and put them into action efficiently and accurately is observed. In cognitive abilities test individual’s capability of identifying and analyzing perceptual information, discriminating the information and processing the information to derive solutions for the problems is also tested. (King, 2006, 97)
Personality & interests tests
Personality and interests test measure applicant’s interests, choices, emotional makeup, personal characteristics and stability. This test can help in assessing the applicant’s talents and skills and hence jobs can be allotted based on their interests. Personality test is a kind of psychological test and is conducted to determine applicant’s personality, interests, values and skills. By this test managements can have a better idea of what kind of person the applicant is and what are his capabilities.
Achievement tests are the test of the applicant’s performance. Unlike the Cognitive abilities test this test is a kind of practical test. In this test the applicant is made to face the real working conditions of the organization, so that the actual performance of the candidate can be properly judged. These tests are very beneficial for both the candidate and the management. The candidate becomes acquainted of the original working condition of the organization and the management of the organization can get an idea of the capability of the applicant. (Lamb, 2004, 228)
Motor and physical abilities test
In motor and physical abilities test applicant’s physical fitness and strength is tested. There is a popular saying that a healthy body can only have a healthy mind. An employee, who is physically fit, can work with all his heart and sole. In every company there are certain types of jobs for which physically fit and strong employees are needed. Thus physical abilities test is must. Motor ability test is an individual’s ability to perform motor skills is tested. The applicant should have fine motor control. The applicant must have the aptitude to control motor movements accurately. So that making incorrect responses can be avoided and more motor speed can be obtained.
Advantages and disadvantages of the above testing systems
There are several advantages and disadvantages of the above testing systems. Cognitive abilities, Achievement tests and Physical abilities testing systems are the most legitimate testing systems. Cognitive abilities tests are highly reliable. The method of numerical tests, aptitude tests and verbal reasoning has high validity, which increases with complexity of job. This test can be conducted with several candidates at a time. Thus have higher validities. Results can be generated through computerized equipments. Thus this test saves both time and money and is advantageous than personality tests.
Physical abilities test help in identifying candidates who are physically unfit for any specific job. This tests decrease company’s costs on insurances, medical and disability claims and workers compensations. It also decreases non-attendance among workers due to medical reasons. Achievement tests are very beneficial for both the candidate and the management. The candidate becomes acquainted of the original working condition of the organization and the management of the organization can get an idea of the capability of the applicant.
Personality & interest tests have more negative ethical and legal consequences than the Cognitive abilities, Achievement tests and Physical abilities testing system. There are no proper answers to personality tests. Thus scoring of the test can be questioned. Assessment of applicant’s personal behavior is practically not possible. The applicant may hide his original nature during selection. Evidences supporting personal behavior of the candidate may not be available. Any applicant might have interest in any job, but this does not prove he is good in it. Personality of an applicant has lesser impact on his job performance than his education and experience. Again this method of testing is very costly. (King, 2006, 117-9)
Contribution of modern technology in staff selection process
Advancements in technology have helped to make the applicant testing and selection process more efficient. The previous hand scoring method of testing where marks were calculated by adding number of correct answers given by the candidate is an erroneous process. Now days with use of computers computer-based scoring and optical scanning systems have come up. Tests are scored with the help of a computer and software designed test scoring. On-site systems produce test scores and as well provide interpretive reports. Mail-in and fax scoring system completed answer sheets are scanned and faxed or mailed to test publisher. He checks the papers, calculates the scores and sends reports to the employer. (King, 2006, 15)
It is very important to make a proper choice while appointing employees in the organization. Assessment of applicant’s interests, personality, and skills aptitude and physical fitness help in determining which kind of job will be appropriate for the candidate.
King, H; (2006); Management Today: Ethical and Legal Concepts; HBT & Brooks Ltd.
Lamb, Davis; (2004); Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization on the Strategic Strata; National Book Trust.