Conducting personnel testing

Personnel testing

Personnel assessment
Personnel assessment is a systematic approach to gathering information about people. This information is used to make hiring or career decisions regarding candidates and employees.

Evaluation is carried out with a specific purpose. For example, you, as an employer, may conduct staff assessments to select employees for a job. Career consultants can conduct staff assessments to provide career guidance to clients.


  • Personnel assessment tools: tests and procedures
  • Relationship between the personnel assessment process and tests and procedures
  • What do tests measure?
  • Why do organizations evaluate?
  • Some situations in which an organization can benefit from testing
  • The importance of purposeful use of tests
  • Limitations of personnel tests and procedures - the error of test results.
  • Evaluation Principles Discussed: Use evaluation tools purposefully. Use an individual approach to the assessment.

  Any test or procedure used to measure an individual's qualifications and interests related to a job or career can be considered a personnel assessment tool. There are many types of personnel assessment tools. These include traditional knowledge and ability tests, inventories, subjective procedures, and projective tools. In this article, the term "test" will be used as a general term for any tool or procedure that defines behavior or performance.

Personnel assessment tools vary

Purpose, such as selection, employment, promotion, career counseling, or training.
Personnel assessment tools are designed to measure, for example, ability, skill, work style, workers values ​​or professional interests
Personnel assessment tools are designed to predict, for example, labor productivity, managerial potential, career success, job satisfaction or tenure.
Format, for example , paper and pencil, working sample or computer simulation.
The level of standardization, objectivity and quantification of tools and procedures varies greatly depending on these factors. For example, there are subjective resume assessments, highly structured achievement tests, interviews with varying degrees of structure, and personality surveys with no specific right or wrong answers.
All assessment tools used to make hiring decisions, regardless of their format, level standardization or objectivity, subject to professional and legal standards. For example, both resume evaluation and the use of a standardized achievement test must comply with applicable laws. Assessment tools used solely for career research or counseling usually do not meet the same legal standards.

Relationship between the personnel assessment process and tests and procedures

A personal test or procedure gives only part of the picture about a person. On the other hand, the process of personnel assessment integrates and evaluates all the information collected about a person to make decisions related to career or employment. 

What do the tests measure?
People differ in many psychological and physical characteristics. These characteristics are called constructs. For example, people who have verbal and mathematical thinking are considered highly developed. Those with little physical stamina and strength are considered weak in stamina and physical strength. The terms mental ability, endurance, and physical strength are constructs. Constructs are used to identify personality characteristics and sort people according to their degree of presence.
Constructs cannot be seen or heard, but we can observe their effect on other variables. For example, we do not observe physical strength, but we can observe people with great strength lifting heavy objects, and people with limited strength trying, but unsuccessfully, to lift these objects. Such differences in human characteristics have important implications in the context of employment.

Tests, inventories, and procedures are assessment tools that can be used to measure a person's abilities, values, and personality traits. They are part of the evaluation process:

  • observations
  • CV scores
  • application forms/questionnaires
  • biodata inventory
  • interview
  • samples/performance tests
  • achievement tests
  • general ability tests
  • special ability tests
  • physical ability tests
  • personality inventory
  • Integrity/Integrity Inventory
  • interest-bearing reserves
  • labor cost inventory
  • Assessment Centers
  • drug tests
  • medical tests

Evaluation process

A systematic approach to combining and evaluating all the information obtained from testing, and using it to make decisions related to career or employment.

Employees and candidates differ greatly in their knowledge, skills, abilities, interests, work styles and other characteristics. These differences systematically affect how people perform or behave at work.

These differences in characteristics are not necessarily obvious from simply observing the employee or job seeker. Job tests can be used to collect accurate information about job-related characteristics. This information helps to assess the fit between people and positions. For example, an applicant's score on a mechanical test reflects his or her mechanical ability as measured on the test. This score can be used to predict how well a candidate is likely to do a job that requires mechanical ability, as demonstrated through a professionally conducted job analysis. In this way, tests can be used to identify potentially good employees.

Some tests can be used to predict employee and candidate performance. In testing terms, whatever the test is intended to predict is called a criterion. The criterion can be any indicator of work behavior or any result that can be used as a standard for the successful completion of a job. Some commonly used criteria are performance, performance benchmarks, academic achievement, tenure, and absenteeism. For example, when measuring labor productivity, the rating of executives may be a criterion predicted by a test of mechanical ability. How well a test predicts a criterion is one measure of the usefulness of a test.
Why do organizations conduct assessments?
Organizations use assessment tools and procedures to help them perform the following human resource functions:

  • Selection. Organizations want to be able to find and hire the best people for the job and the organization in a fair and efficient manner. A well-designed evaluation tool can make it possible to select successful salespeople, engaged customer service representatives, and effective employees in many other professions.
  • Placement. Organizations also want to be able to assign people to the appropriate job level. For example, an organization may have several management positions, each with a different level of responsibility. Assessment can provide information that helps organizations achieve the best match between employees and positions.
  • Training and development. With the help of tests, you can find out whether employees have mastered the training materials. They can help identify candidates and staff who may benefit from remedial or advanced training. Information obtained from testing can be used to develop or modify training programs. Test scores also help people identify areas where self-development activities would be beneficial.
  • Promotion. Organizations can use tests to identify employees who have higher levels of managerial potential or ability so that those employees can be promoted to greater duties and responsibilities.
  • Career research and guidance. Sometimes tests are used to help people make educational and career choices. Tests can provide information that will help people choose a profession in which they will be successful and satisfied.
  • Program evaluation. Tests can provide information that an organization can use to determine if employees are benefiting from training and development programs.

Some situations in which an organization can benefit from testing
Some situations include the following:

  • Current selection or hiring procedures lead to bad hiring decisions.
  • Employee productivity is low.
  • Employee errors have serious financial, health, or safety implications.
  • There is high turnover or absenteeism.
  • The current assessment procedures do not comply with current legal and professional standards.

Important There is purposeful use of tests
Evaluation principle: Uses assessment tools purposefully. It is very important to have a clear idea of ​​what needs to be measured and for what purpose.
Assessment tools, like other tools, can be extremely useful when used correctly, but ineffective when used inappropriately. Often misuse comes from not having a clear understanding of what you want to measure and why you want to measure it. A clear understanding of the purpose of your assessment system is important in selecting the appropriate assessment tools to achieve this purpose. This brings us to an important assessment principle.
Assessment strategies should be designed with a clear understanding of the knowledge, skills, abilities, characteristics or personal qualities that you want to measure. It's also important to be clear about what each assessment tool you plan to use is for.

Limitations of HR tests and procedures - test bias
Professionally designed tests and procedures that are used as part of a planned assessment program can help you select and hire more qualified and productive employees. However, it is important to realize that all assessment tools are subject to error both in measuring a characteristic such as verbal ability and in predicting performance measures such as job success. This is true of all tests and procedures, no matter how objective or standardized they may be.
Don't expect any test or procedure to measure any individual's personality or ability with absolute accuracy.
Don't expect any test or procedure to be completely accurate in predicting performance.
Evaluation Principle: Don't rely too heavily on any one test when making decisions. Use an individual approach to evaluation.
There are times when a test result or procedure predicts that someone will be a good employee, when in fact they are not. There will also be instances where a low score person who would actually be a capable and good worker will be rejected. Such errors in the context of evaluation are called selection errors. Selection errors cannot be completely avoided in any assessment program.

Why do organizations test despite these errors? The answer is that the proper use of professionally designed assessment tools, on average, allows organizations to make better hiring decisions than simple observations or random decision making.

Using a single test or procedure will give you a limited indication of a person's employment or professional qualifications. Moreover, you can draw the wrong conclusion by giving too much weight to one test result. On the other hand, the use of various assessment tools allows you to get a more complete picture of a person. The practice of using various tests and procedures to more fully assess people is called the individual approach to personnel assessment. This will help reduce selection errors and improve decision-making efficiency. This leads to an important evaluation principle.


Development and implementation of intelligent systems for assessing personnel, employees, managers and other employees when hiring and existing employees.

The implementation of the innovative project is carried out with financial support of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Fund for assistance development of small enterprises in the scientific and technical field"


The project is a resident of the Skolkovo Innovation Center

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