Personnel Testing

28 07 2010

The most basic type of personnel test is an achievement or knowledge test, such as comprehension of a learned skill whether the knowledge be absorbed through reading material or a set of actions, like typing (Olver, et al).  Kenexa offers employers a Prove It! testing library to choose from to test applicants and personnel on very specific concepts and skills (Kenexa).  The tests are timed and results are returned with degrees of comprehension to the business, detailing where the subject falls from beginner to proficient in the tested material.  This, to me, is the most beneficial of all types of personnel tests because it allows you to be certain of the subject’s ability to handle a very specific and necessary skill.  Anyone can talk the talk about being able to type at this speed or function efficiently through this software, but being able to test their specific level of capabilities allows you to know who truly is the best person for a job.

Projective tests, such as the Rorschach Test and the Thematic Apperception, have no clearly defined right or wrong answer and are scored by the perception of the test giver (NOVA).  These tests present the subject with an image and require them to interpret or provide a narrative for the image and are used primarily to analyze candidates whose potential position will require a good deal of interaction with other people and a need to handle highly stressful situations (Frey).  I would not utilize this test for personnel primarily because the validity and relevancy are open to interpretation (Olver, et al).  I can see how these types of tests would be beneficial in visually witnessing the knee-jerk reaction of a candidate when facing a particular situation, but without knowing their personal experiences, challenges and diversities that could impact their response, I would be making a judgment that I am not comfortable in making as opposed to determining a concise score or answer.

Personality assessments or inventories are also projective, but the results are assessed through software to conclude personality types (Olver, et al).  One such test we utilized at a previous employer of mine is the Craft Personality Questionnaire or CPQ which assessed a candidate’s qualities, measuring their determination and drive, their strengths and weaknesses in social and leadership settings, and offered methods to coach and lead the employee if hired (SalesTeamFocus).  I would certainly utilize this test in the future because it helps give a clearly defined view of the type of individual you are testing, provides the screener with in-depth reports and is viable long after the interview for use when you are working one on one with the employee.  I have to say after taking the test myself I found it to be fairly fool-proof in that my answers that we more along the lines of what the manager might want to see were re-presented numerous times over to seemingly drill down a more accurate response.  Another personality assessment with which I am familiar is the TriMetrix assessment which was facilitated also by my former employer for management and office staff.  The personnel testing of this assessment is truly quite in depth and works well as it pools the results of all members into one analytical report to demonstrate how each may interact with the other (Smith).  It also permits for specializing the test to the job type specifically to determine how the candidate would be suited in that role (Smith).  I would definitely try to implement use of this test in an office setting as it would help me to factor in the manner in which my employees would work best in team assignments as well as find their individual strengths and areas for improvement.

Another test for personnel or candidates is physical and motor skill abilities testing, such as the Stromberg Dexterity Test (Olver, et al).  Another such test is the Minnesota Manual Dexterity test, which tests the subject for their hand-eye coordination and their manual dexterity, allowing the tester to be able to measure the reaction time and finger dexterity of candidates for jobs which require the use of these skills (Sammons Preston).  I think this test would prove most beneficial for employees and candidates who will be handling data entry, filing, preparatory needs and would likely be something that might help me see how well a candidate can process their actions.  I’m not entirely sold on the need of this type of a test, yet.
Works Cited

Frey, Ph. D., Rebecca. “Thematic Apperception Test – Define, Therapy, Person, People, Used, Personality, Score, Women, Health, Definition, Purpose, Precautions, Description, Results.”Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. Web. 27 July 2010. <;.

“Thematic Apperception Test.” Center for Psychological Studies. NOVA Southeastern University. Web. 26 July 2010. <;.

Olver, Ph.D., James M., Theresa K. Lant, Ph.D., Robert Plant, Ph.D., Karl D. Majeske, Ph.D., and Steven R. Kursh, Ph.D., CSDP, eds. Essentials of Human Resources. Pearson Custom, 2009. Print.

Prove It! Skills Testing Website. Kenexa. Web. 27 July 2010. <;.

“Craft Personality Questionnaire.” Sales Personality Tests – Sales Aptitude Test – Online Psychometric Recruitment Testing and Assessment. Web. 25 July 2010. <;.

“Sammons Preston – Evaluation.” Sammons Preston. Web. 26 July 2010. <;.

Smith, Greg. “Trimetrix – The Job Analysis Protocol.” Trimetrix Assessments. The Maui Analysis Group. Web. 25 July 2010. <;.



10 responses

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18 12 2010
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