<i>Dear Workforce</i> What Are Some Good Tests for Accounting and Maintenance Jobs

May 21, 2004
Dear Early Stages:

There are a wide variety of options available for using assessments to help make hiring decisions for the positions you mention. Answer the following questions to select the best assessments for your situation:
Why do you need to make changes to your hiring process?
What is going on with these positions that leads you to think about using assessments? Are you having issues with absenteeism, theft, low performance or turnover? Or are you trying to raise the bar for the basic skill levels of your employees? Perhaps you're interested in developing a competency-based selection and performance-management system. The reasons for your need to use assessments are a big factor in deciding which type of tool to use.
What are the key requirements for job performance?
Before looking at specific assessments, make sure you completely understand the performance requirements for the jobs. Figuring out the basic performance requirements of a job is known as job analysis. Even if you don't have the resources for in-depth job analysis, spend some time documenting exactly what high and low performance looks like for those jobs. This information then serves as a blueprint for selecting the proper assessment tools. Failure to match assessment tools with specific job requirements has a serious impact on the effectiveness of your assessment process.
What does your hiring process look like?
Clearly understand each of the steps in your hiring process, and make sure the assessments you choose are appropriate. If other parts of your hiring process are not set up well for the requirements of the jobs you're hiring for, one assessment may not make as much of a difference. Hiring processes should involve a carefully chosen set of steps, all oriented toward providing information about an applicant's ability to perform critical job requirements. An assessment may be helpful, but is even more so if used with other tools such as structured interviews. Your budget--and the latitude you have to change your hiring process--will help determine how many assessment tools to use.
Once you have answered these questions, here are some types of assessments that may be useful for accounting and building-maintenance jobs. These are basic recommendations made without knowing the specifics of your situation. You may need to make variations.
  • Knowledge/skills assessment, which measures specific aspects of accounting knowledge
  • Cognitive-ability assessment, which measures basic math skills and ability to interpret data
  • Background check and integrity/conscientiousness assessments to help you avoid hiring dishonest persons
  • For a job that requires supervisory or managerial responsibilities, an assessment of leadership and decision-making abilities
Building Maintenance:
  • Background check and integrity/conscientiousness assessments to help avoid hiring personnel who are apt to steal or be absent
  • Interpersonal-skills assessment to ensure that people interact effectively with building occupants
  • Situational-judgment assessment to help find people who make good decisions on the job
  • Mechanical-aptitude assessment to ensure that you are hiring people who can perform the technical aspects of the job
SOURCE: Charles A. Handler, Ph.D., PHR, Rocket-Hire, New Orleans, June 19, 2003.
LEARN MORE: ReadPicking the Right Assessment Tools.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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