ERIC Number: ED317709
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Preemployment Testing and Employee Productivity. Background Paper No. 40.
Rudner, Lawrence M.
Although frequently attacked as invalid, demeaning, biased, illegal, and irrelevant, preemployment testing procedures appear to be increasing in popularity. Many prominent companies and organizations are making extensive use of tests. Part of the resurgence of testing is attributable to clearer definitions of acceptable practice. Legal precedents and federal and professional guidelines help both the test developer and its users. Under the right conditions, preemployment testing can vastly improve corporate productivity, but there is little evidence to indicate that companies can properly implement a testing program or evaluate its effectiveness. Tests should only be used to enhance an employment decision, not to replace professional judgment in making decisions. The utility of a testing program can be estimated as a function of three factors: (1) the predictive validity of the test; (2) the selection ratio; and (3) the base rate. Issues in testing include bias, legal rulings, validity generalization, exaggerated expectations, test quality, misuse of tests, publishers' claims, alternative assessment techniques, and the use of honesty tests. The paper concludes with recommendations to business and to the Department of Labor. A 50-item reference list is included. (CML)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Labor, Washington, DC. Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency.
Authoring Institution: N/A