Utilizing Different Types of Employment Screening Tests – HR Affiliates Blog
Most companies test applicants for employment however the tests must be properly administered and non-discriminatory. Employers often use tests and other selection procedures to screen new applicants that they are considering hiring. The types of tests and selection procedures used include background checks, skills tests, credit checks, cognitive tests, personality tests, medical examinations to name a few.
So long as companies don’t use testing and screening to discriminate based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or age, they can legally use these tests. Depending upon each individual state, it is wise to check to see if any regulations would prohibit the use of any individual test. Employment tests must be validated and outlined for the purposes for which they are being used.
Following are some of the more popular tests that are being used by employers.
Background Screens and Credit Checks
Federal, state and county criminal background checks provide information on arrest and conviction history. Other screens include civil searches, prior employer verification, education verification, fraud and abuse registries, sex offender registry and motor vehicle reports to name a few. Credit checks provide information on an applicant’s financial and credit history.
Pre-employment Physical Examination
To determine the suitability of an individual for a particular job, some employers may require a pre-employment physical examination.
Urine drug tests, hair drug or alcohol testing, saliva drug screen, and sweat drug screen are among a few of the types of drug tests available. Pricing will vary for each and the tests are available for different types of drugs and alcohol.
Sample Job Tasks
Performance tests, simulations, work samples, and realistic job previews, assess a candidate’s performance and aptitude on particular tasks.
Physical Ability Tests
Physical ability tests measure the physical ability of an applicant to perform a particular task or the strength of specific muscle groups, as well as strength and stamina in general.
Talent Assessment Tests
Talent assessments, also called pre-employment tests or career tests, are used to help an employer identify candidates that will be a good fit for jobs. Talent assessments help predict a new hire’s performance and retainability.
Personality tests assess the degree to which a person has certain traits or dispositions or predict the likelihood that a person will engage in certain conduct. Cognitive tests measure a candidate’s reasoning, memory, perceptual speed and accuracy, and skills in arithmetic and reading comprehension, as well as knowledge of a particular function or job. Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability of an individual to understand his or her own emotions and the emotions of others. Testing job applicants for their emotional intelligence (in the form of psychological-based tests) is a growing employment trend. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment.
Most companies test applicants for employment. Depending on the type of test, many employment tests can be conducted online or in the employer’s office. Online employment tests are often used for pre-employment testing and assessment. Utilizing online testing eliminates the need for the candidate to visit the company’s office or for the company to have to administer the test.
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