IN A WORD
One word answers the question "Is Employment Testing
Legal?", that word is "YES". However, the
"yes" must be qualified as long as a Professionally
Developed employment test is administered according to the test
developer's intended use. For example, it is legal to test
accounting applicants with a math test, however, it could be
considered a discriminatory practice to screen custodial employees
with the same math test as the math competency for an accountant is
very different than a custodian. It isn't the test that is
"legal" or "illegal", it is the APPLICATION of
the test that makes the difference!
- One type of
employment test is the Aptitude Test. Some employers want to
test an applicant's knowledge of a particular subject that pertains
to the job for which they are being considered. This is
perfectly legal, and when applied properly, can be a valuable
tool. Be sure and consider the following, however, before
administering any Aptitude or I.Q. test:
- Be sure the test is "Professionally"
developed. You can read more in the links below about a
Supreme Court decision that requires Aptitude and I.Q. tests to
be "professionally" developed. (See Griggs vs. Duke Power.)
HIRE SUCCESS™ On-line Aptitude Tests
have been professionally developed by one of our consultants
with a Doctorate Degree in Education. If you are
considering other tests, ask for the credentials of who
developed the test. If you find that a computer programmer
or sales manager developed the Math, Spelling and Vocabulary
tests, for example, be very cautious before using such a test.
- Make sure that ALL the questions
on the test are APPLICABLE to the job for which you are
considering hiring the candidate. If some questions are
NOT applicable, be sure to eliminate those questions from the
scoring and DO NOT base a hiring decision on the results of any
non-applicable question(s). For example, if a "Sales
Aptitude Test" combines questions about "retail"
sales and "outside" sales, and assuming your hiring
someone for an outside sales position, you should not base your
decision on the outcome of the "retail" questions
unless they are applicable to this outside sales position.
Otherwise, a candidate who did not get the position could have a
legal basis on which to sue for discrimination. Seek the
advise of your legal counsel before administering this type of
- Do not discriminate regarding
which applicants or employees you test. All applicants for
a job should be tested in order to give all an equal opportunity
to demonstrate their abilities. Testing only the few you
have selected for final interviews could be considered
discriminatory. If your reason for testing only the final
few is to save money, the HIRE SUCCESS™ System is extremely
low cost making it AFFORDABLE to test all applicants.
- BEWARE OF I.Q. TESTS.
Many companies are relying on I.Q. tests that are not
professionally developed, and have not demonstrated that only
people with an I.Q. over a certain level can be successful in
the job. Before administering ANY I.Q. test, you should
make sure your legal counsel reviews the test, who developed it,
how it is being applied in your company and how the results will
be used to screen candidates, before you administer even one
test to an employee or applicant!
Regarding the HIRE SUCCESS™ Personality Profile: "The report seemed uncanny in its description of me. There were points presented
which made me take a second look, and when analyzed I could see they were right-on. I was also very impressed with the timeliness, as well as accuracy, of the report."
PERSONALITY TESTING -
Personality tests, like all employment testing, can be an
essential tool in the process of employee selection and employee
development. It is truly a DECISION SUPPORT tool that is as
essential as the resume. While the resume tells you about an
applicant's work history and accomplishments, the personality test
will help put this information in perspective!
essential factor in applying a personality test is knowing the
various personality traits that are both applicable to the job and
can be demonstrated to make a difference in the particular job for
which the applicant or employee is being considered.
Discovering the "success" traits is a process we call
Developing a Baseline.
Developing a Baseline is not complicated, you simply need to
administer the same personality test to all of your employees in a
particular job and evaluate which traits distinguish the best
performers from the lowest performers in that particular job.
Once identified, seeking new applicants, or employees being
considered for promotion, who possess these key success factors can
make a significant difference in how the employee performs in the
experience and other factors are equally important, but you wouldn't
consider hiring an applicant without knowing anything about their
education and experience, why would you want to hire someone without
knowing just as much about their personality and if they possess the
traits you know will contribute to their success with your
use the information you obtain from a personality test will
generally determine if you are Applying this in a legal
manner. Similar to the example used earlier, if you use traits
like "Persuasiveness" to screen both sales and custodial
candidates (using extreme examples for illustration), it is obvious
that a sales professional must be persuasive, but it is unlikely
that the custodian has anyone to persuade in order to be a good
Our advise: conduct
your own Baseline studies for various jobs in your company before
hiring or promoting employees into those jobs, use commons sense in
how you apply any personality or other employment testing
information, and discuss the applications with your legal counsel
before using any testing. Here are some helpful links you'll
want to follow that will help you better prepare to ask the right
questions of your legal counsel.
TESTS - The EEOC as well
as the parallel state human rights agencies have determined that
integrity tests DO NOT have a discriminatory impact on applicants.
However, it is important that employers equally test each applicant
who might have unsupervised access to cash, inventory or trade
secrets once hired. It is strongly recommended that you do not
rely exclusively on just one measure or test in order to make your
hiring decision. You should also check with every past
employer, every educational institution listed on the resumé and do
a criminal background check. Studies estimate that somewhere between
30-80% of the resumés and applications you receive will contain
lies and exaggerations. Aptitude tests that measure an
applicant's knowledge of the job, and personality tests that
indicate an applicant's suitability should also be considered as
screening tools to help give you a more accurate picture of your
candidate's potential for success.
HELPFUL LINKS - Here are
some other pages we've put together that will help you prepare to
discuss HIRE SUCCESS™, or any other test, with your legal
Information, Please Contact:
in the Indianapolis area: