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Human Resource Management,

Arab World Edition

Gary Dessler, Akram Al Ariss

Chapter 6: Employee Testing and Selection

Lecturer: Dr. Moza T. Al Nahyan

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After studying this chapter, you should be able
1. Explain what is meant by reliability and validity.
2. Explain how you would go about validating a test.
3. Cite and illustrate our testing guidelines.
4. List several tests you could use for employee selection, and how you
would use them.
5. Explain different assessment tools used in the selection process.
6. Explain the key points to remember in conducting background
7. List several tests you could use for employee selection, and how you
would use them.
8. Explain different assessment tools used in the selection process.
9. The key points to remember in conducting background investigations.

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Why Careful Selection is Important
After identifying the pool of applicants from the personal
planning phase , the next step is to filter and select the best
candidates to be interviewed & hired.
Selecting the right employees is important for three main
1. Performance Employees with the right skills and attributes
will perform more effectively.
2. Costs The cost of making a wrong hire can become
excessive considering the time and money invested in the
selection and training process.
3. Legal Obligations The legal The Importance of
Selecting the Right
implications of hiring Employees
incompetent employees
Costs of Legal
Recruiting & Obligations &
Hiring Liability
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Basic Testing Concepts
Any selection device used should be both valid and reliable.
Reliability Consistency of scores results obtained by the same
person using the same test at different times - Are test results
stable over time?
Validity (Test Validity)- Indicates whether a test is measuring
what it is supposed to be measuring.
- Does the test actually measure what it is intended to
Types of test validity

a. Criteria validity a type of validity that shows that the scores

on the test are related to job performance. This means that who
do well on the test also do well on the job & vise versa.

b. Content validity a test that contains a fair sample of the

tasks and skills actually needed for the job.

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How to Validate a Test
In order for a selection test to be useful, we should be sure that
tests scores relate in a predictable way to job performance.
Steps in test validation:
1. Analyze the Job: write job descriptions & specifications to
determine predictors (skills & knowledge) and criteria (standard of
2. Choose the Tests: choose tests that measure the attributes
(predictors) that are important for job success.
3. Administer the Tests: by using the concurrent and/or predictive
validation methods.
Concurrent validation: is to conduct the tests on present employees
on the job, and then comparing their test scores results with their
current performance.
Predictive validation: is to conduct the test on candidates before
hiring them. Then, after a period of time on the job, we compare their
performance with their earlier test scores results .

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How to Validate a Test (Cont.)
4. Relate the Test Scores results and Criteria: this is done
through correlate tests scores with job performance.
5. Cross-Validate and Revalidate: repeat Steps 3 and 4 on a
new sample of employees periodically.

Content validation
A test should contain a sample of actual, observable, and on-the-job
behaviors is what provides the content validity.

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Types of Tests
1. Tests of Cognitive Abilities Cognitive tests include tests of
general reasoning ability (intelligence) and tests of specific mental
abilities like memory and inductive reasoning.
a. Intelligence Tests (IQ)- Tests of general intellectual abilities
they measure not a single trait but rather a range of abilities
including memory, vocabulary, verbal fluency to numerical ability.
b. Specific Cognitive Abilities (Aptitude) they measure specific
mental abilities such as reasoning, verbal comprehension,
memory, & numerical ability.
What Tests

Cognitive Motor and Personality

(Mental) Physical and Achievement
Abilities Abilities Interests

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Types of Tests (Cont.)
2. Tests of Motor and Physical Abilities
Employers may use various tests to measure motor abilities
as hand, arm movement, & reaction time. They may also
want to measure physical abilities as dynamic strength,
body coordination, and energy. For example: lifeguards
must show they can swim before they are hired.
3. Achievement Tests they measure what a person has
learned. In specific, they measure job knowledge in areas like
economics, marketing, and HRM.
4. Measuring Personality and Interests
It can be used to assess personal characteristics as attitude,
interpersonal skills, stability, and motivation
The big five: is a model which industrial psychologists
emphasize five personality dimensions as they apply to
personnel testing, as shown in the next slide.

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Types of Tests (Cont.)
The "Big Five"
For example, as shown in the below figure, extraversion and
openness to experience correlates with career interests and
occupational types. Also, conscientiousness, extraversion, and
openness to experience are strong predictors of leadership

(Sociable & Active)

Emotional Stability
(Achievement &
(Anxiety & Insecurity)

Openness to Experience
(Imaginative & Autonomous)
(Trusting & Caring)

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Work Samples and Simulations
In addition to the selection tests covered in the previous part,
work samples and simulations are additional selection tests which
measure job performance directly.
A. work samples, presenting applicants with situations
representative of the job for which theyre applying, and evaluate
their responses. Ex. Work samples of a cashier may include cash
registered and counting money.

Measuring Work
Performance Directly

Work Management
Job Training
Samples Assessment

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Work Samples and Simulations (Cont.)
B. Management Assessment Centers
It is a two to three day simulation in which ten to twelve candidates
perform realistic management tasks, under the observation of
experts who appraise each candidates potential. Simulated exercises
1. The In-basket: which candidates must take appropriate action to put
in priorities & executing an accumulation of reports, memos, phone
calls, letters of the stimulated job he/she is about to start.
2. leaderless group discussion: which candidates must manage a group
discussion. Then their interpersonal skills, leadership ability, &
individual influence will be evaluated.
3. Individual presentations to evaluate each participants
communication skills.
4. Objective tests (like personality & mental ability test)
5. Interviews: to assess the candidates interests, past performance, &

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Work Samples and Simulations (Cont.)
C. The Miniature Job Training and Evaluation means to
start first by training candidates to perform a sample of job
tasks, and then evaluating their performance prior to hire. It is
considered as an expensive approach.

Realistic Job Previews

Providing candidates with a realistic job preview that includes
work schedules, preferences and other job standards at the
point of their interviews. This can help reduce turnover rate

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Evaluation of Assessment Methods on Four Key Criteria
The below table summarizes the validity, cost, & potential adverse
impact of assessment methods for evaluating job candidates.
(Develop/ Applicant
Assessment Method Validity Adverse Impact Administer) Reactions
Cognitive ability tests High High (against minorities) Low/low Somewhat
Job knowledge test High High (against minorities) Low/low More favorable
Personality tests Low to Low Low/low Less favorable
Biographical data Moderate Low to high for different High/low Less favorable
inventories types
Integrity tests Moderate Low Low/low Less favorable
to high
Structured interviews High Low High/high More favorable
Physical fitness tests Moderate High (against females and High/high More favorable
to high older workers)
Situational judgment Moderate Moderate (against High/low More favorable
tests minorities)
Work samples High Low High/high More favorable
Assessment centers Moderate Low to moderate, High/high More favorable
to high depending on exercise
Physical ability tests Moderate High (against females and High/high More favorable
to high older workers)

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Background Investigations and Reference Checks
Testing is usually only one part of the selection process. Other
tools may include background investigations, reference checks,
honesty test, & physical examinations.
Most companies try to check and verify the job applicant`s
background information and references.
A. Investigations and Reference Checks
- Job applicants can expect the following investigations:
o Reference checks
o Background employment checks
o Criminal record checks
o Driving record checks
o Credit checks
Why conduct investigations and checks?
- To verify factual information provided by applicants
- To uncover damaging information such as criminal records
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Background Investigations and Reference
Checks (cont.)
There are many types of background checks. Companies
may rely on several sources of information, as shown below:

Former Employers

Current Supervisors

Sources of Commercial Credit

Information Rating Companies

Written References

Social Networking Sites

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Honesty Testing Programs: What Employers
Can Do
B. Honesty Testing - These are psychological tests designed to
predict job applicants ethics and honesty and other forms of
Companies can conduct the Antitheft Screening
Procedure, which includes:
- Ask direct questions in the face-to-face interview.
- Listen, rather than talk.
- Check all employment and personal references.
- Test for drugs.
C. Graphology (handwriting analysis) is another selection
test which refers to the use of handwriting analysis to
determine the writer`s basic personality traits.

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Physical Examination
D. Physical Examination
Once an offer is made and the person is hired, a medical
exam is usually the next step in the selection process.
Reasons for pre-employment medical examinations:
- To verify that the applicant meets the physical
requirements of the position.
- To discover any medical limitations to be taken into
account in placing the applicant.
- To establish a record and baseline of the applicants
health for future insurance or compensation claims.
- To reduce absenteeism and accidents.
- To detect communicable diseases that may be unknown
to the applicant.

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Improving Productivity Through HRIS:
Comprehensive Automated Applicant Tracking
and Screening Systems
These systems are an example of technology used in HRM,
that help companies screen applicants in three ways:

Benefits of Applicant
Tracking Systems

Can match
Knock out Allow employers
hidden talents of
applicants who to extensively test
applicants to
do not meet job and screen
requirements applicants online

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Question of The Day

What could be the appropriate types of employee

selection tests that could used for the below job
Math Teacher

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