3 Apr 2022


The Use of Tests in Employment

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Academic level: University

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Companies and government owned businesses face a problem when determining whether job applicants are suitable and desirable. It is challenging to determine whether a new applicant will succeed in his job or fit in the organization’s culture. It is, therefore, important for business organizations and the government to administer different types of tests to determine whether an applicant has the required values and skills (Highhouse & Rada, 2015). The main premise in job testing is that there is a positive relationship between job performance and the scores of an applicant. This paper examines the uses of tests in employment.

The Utility of Tests (Measurable Benefits)

Employment testing is very beneficial since they have several measurable benefits. They are very effective in reducing the operating costs of most business. They assist in hiring the right individuals who can promote the success of any business. It is also important to understand an applicant’s skills so as to offer effective training. Therefore, job testing plays a very vital role in identifying individuals who can be trained and only those who possess relevant and needed skills as asserted by Highhouse & Rada (2015).

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Tests are also of great important to those who take them. They assist test takes to formulate a relationship between employment tests and their job. Most applicants are likely to offer quality work and services as they get important feedback relating to the needed training and development in an organization.

Employment testing mainly focuses on the behavior of required employees. They assist in coming up with a staff that understands the role of business ethics. This is more likely to lower role conflicts in an organization. A good example is when employers administer job-knowledge tests which ensure that applicants have special kind of knowledge before being hired. This assists in determining employees’ behavior than just looking at his characteristics.

The Current Use of Tests in Business and Government

Job applicants widely vary in terms of skills, values, attitudes, and abilities in addition to work styles. These differences are more likely to affect their performance in the work pace, job satisfaction, and managerial potential (Need, 2006). Each job in any business organization or the government sector has specific and relevant job-characteristics. Therefore, most large business organizations and the government currently use tests due to the following.

According to Need (2006), test an applicant’s basic skills. By administering basic skills tests, the government and large business organizations are able to select individuals who have mastery of basic skills such as one’s ability to effectively communicate. This will save these organizations from spending more on offering a basic skill training its newly recruited workers. For instance, jobs such as customer attendant require that employees have effective communication skills. It is through testing that the government and large business organizations recruit employees who are fit in those job positions. Skills such as honesty are also measured by administering integrity tests. 

According to Zhan, Wang, & Shi (2015), personality tests can be used in personnel selection. Personality factors show a strong relationship with job performance. This includes measuring the ability of an employee to be a successful leader or his/her effectiveness in a team environment. At times, personality tests can be used by the government and organizations to reveal potential disorders in the health of an applicant. This assists the government to have knowledge of an applicant’s medical condition before offering him a job. The government also uses personality tests to select policemen, firefighters, and security personnel. This is due to the requirement that most of these employees are supposed to carry weapons.

The government and business organizations also administer cognitive ability tests so as to measure an applicant’s cognitive intelligence. This is because there is a positive relationship between job performance and higher cognitive ability (Zhan, Wang, & Shi, 2015). This is an assumption derived from criterion-related validity. The government, therefore, uses cognitive tests to select employees for those jobs that are intellectually demanding. This includes jobs such as hiring security personnel and experts. 

The Impact of Technology on Employment Testing 

Technological development has many effects on Human Resource Development. This includes recruitment and performance. The effects are both negative and positive. For instance, job applicants are familiar with the kind of tests used by the government and business organizations to examine different aspects in their background. This has contributed faking of results since employees already know what employment tests test. Therefore, these tests became meaningless and their validity reduced as indicated by Milligan, Reilly, Zumbo & Tipton (2016).

Additionally, employment testing has become easy since most companies can administer their job tests online. This makes most organizations to save a lot of money since the reviewing process has been promoted by technological advancement (Milligan, Reilly, Zumbo & Tipton, 2016). For example, technology has promoted e-recruiting in high technology industries. This reduces the recruitment costs (Biddle & Feeler, 2016). Technology has also promoted test security. Businesses can use several methods to enhance security in employment tests. For instance, businesses ensure that there is a single point of entry or the sending links to the applicant’s email for verification. Technology has enhanced test security and promoted the validity of employment tests.  

In conclusion, employment testing is one of the ways used to recruit the right employees by the government and large business organizations. Through these tests, employees are able to affect the profitability and performance. This is due to the existence of a positive relationship between test results and job performance (criterion-related validity). Therefore, the government and large organizations use employment tests to select employees with specific skills and who can adapt to the culture of the organization. 


Biddle, D., & Feeler, L. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 20,160,071,061. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Highhouse, S., & Rada, T. B. (2015). Different Worldviews Explain Perceived Effectiveness of Different Employment Tests. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 23(2), 109-119.

Need, W. C. D. H. P. (2006). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage.

Milligan, G. S., Reilly, T. J., Zumbo, B. D., & Tipton, M. J. (2016). Validity and reliability of physical employment standards 1. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 41(6), S83-S91.

Zhan, Y., Wang, M., & Shi, J. (2015). Retirees’ motivational orientations and bridge employment: Testing the moderating role of gender. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(5), 1319.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). The Use of Tests in Employment.


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