How do you fairly select applicants with the same benchmark? How do you screen out the cheats and the liars from the rest of the pack? How do you know if the skills claimed are usable or long forgotten? To answer these questions and more recruiters are now turning to knowledge tests in large numbers.
A jobseeker might look very presentable at first contact but perform poorly under pressure. There are also instances where it is not feasible or appropriate to verify references.
How do you compare diplomas from different institutions locally and overseas?
So are aptitude tests the way to go? It depends. Tests can be used to double check your opinion about an applicant. Ultimately taking up employment has risks for both parties. Tests should not be used to single out on social or cultural background. Senior workers may fail tests that rely overly on retention when in the workplace the required knowledge to perform your dutty is readily available. A submissive parrot never makes a good team member. A recruit who passes tests with top marks might in fact be utterly fed-up in the job because there is nothing new to discover…
It is a skill to design a questionnaire which specializes in a given topic with different angles while avoiding guessing and misunderstanding.
The Myers-Briggs character tests are surrounded with controversy as people are of two minds as to what it is they are really assessing. Only 50% of those retested within 9 months will return the same profile!
Ultimately if you totally rely on the outcome of personality tests during the hiring exercise it puts your leadership qualities into question. If you cannot trust your judgment in selecting people who will work under your direction what are they supposed to look up to?
Aptitude tests will bring together four types of people. People who want to review as they re-enter the job market, candidates sponsored by a company to undergo a batch of tests before being called for an interview, agencies using online aptitude tests as a benchmark to select applicants down to a shortlist and finally experts in a given field who give out some of their knowledge by writing a test.
There is a case as to if you should let a person to apply again for the same test. To circumvent that, some assessment providers change the order of questions at random or select a subset of questions from a larger list. In that situation when we compare the replies of several candidates we are not comparing candidates who were given precisely the same experience.
So after all Aptitude Tests are neutral – it’s how you use or abuse them that makes them one or the other. In a world where everything depends on Key Performance Indicators and Return On Investment the appeal of aptitudes tests is the impression that you have performed due diligence. What about chatting with somebody over a cup of coffee and getting to know that person?