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Psychometrically valid and reliable employment assessment vehicles (I prefer
not to use the term "employment test") CAN be a useful component of the
overall hiring or promotion process. They are not a waste of time from the
employers' point of view, nor are they necessarily indicative of past,
present, or future performance from candidates' point of view.
The challenge is researching, developing, administering, and "grading" the
results of psychometrically valid and reliable employment assessment
vehicles. Some organizations, such as government agencies and quasi-public
authorities, have no choice in the matter. Other organizations choose
employment assessments in an effort to cut costs and standardize the
evaluation of candidates--particularly when there is a large candidate
population, a large number of similar positions to fill, or heavy turnover.
The bottom line? If you don't want to take the employment assessment and do
not need the job, don't participate. If you participate in an employment
assessment (performance, written, or oral), ask how the results will be
evaluated and used in making the employment decision, and whether they can
be communicated to you. If a company is not forthright in explaining the
overall process, decide whether you would want to work for it anyway.
The following URLs might provide some insight into the use of employment
assessments for both test takers and those considering the use of employment
assessments as part of the hiring process. Naturally, if you are considering
the use of an employment assessment vehicle, be sure to check with your HR
department and legal counsel about the applicable Federal and State laws
http://www.ahipubs.com/FAQ/testing/skills.html (While the URL may be
considered an advertisement and the samples are not necessarily germane to a
technical writing "test," it illustrates the importance of developing valid
employment assessment vehicles and understanding employment laws )