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Training Tip of the Month

Following World War II, testing was used extensively as a means for selecting new hires. The popularity of testing as a selection tool continued for several decades, only to decline toward the end of the 1990s. However, due in part to a globally competitive economy, heightened security concerns, and a shortage of skilled labor, preemployment tests are once again becoming a favored means for selection. For HR practitioners, this may mean reexamining existing or previously used tests to support an increasing array of on-line test options, while remaining sensitive to certain applicant populations, e.g., older workers, who may be more comfortable with traditional paper-and-pencil tests. It may also mean revisiting areas to be tested: Quantifiable skills, such as computer knowledge, and personal qualities, like honesty, are among the most common testing categories, but also popular are interest tests and tests that purport to measure learning and thinking ability. HR test givers must also be vigilant about possible adverse impact, job-relatedness, and overreliance on test scores as the basis for selection.

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