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Testing

Testing

In Soviet times, it was understood that all employees and applicants are equally equal, but now, when the success of a business directly depends on personnel, HR specialists use many tools to determine the best qualities of applicants.

The very specialization of HR is not just the personnel department, but also the assessment of specialists, their selection. Let's consider the main myths about this method of HR managers.

An experienced HR manager does not need tests. Or, on the contrary, any HR specialist needs testing. Some managers believe that a high-quality interview and familiarization with a resume is quite enough for the selection of personnel, and the test will not give complete information about a person's skills, since a person's behavior in artificial and natural conditions is different. Opponents, on the contrary, see testing as the simplest and most informative way to get data about a candidate in the required area. And the truth, as always, lies in the middle. Of course, a competent HR specialist should be able to use tests, but he should not focus solely on them, since there are no less interesting and useful techniques - a personal interview as an option. Do not forget that a large organization may have several HR specialists of various specializations. Therefore, the manager may well not use tests, for example, if they have already been conducted by his colleague in the department.

Tests are usually subjective, there is a certain dependence on the personality of the examiner. Based on this statement, tests should not be trusted at all. There are achievement tests close to qualification tests, there are tests for solving certain problems. The answers to such questions are assessed completely objectively. Although non-standard methods are often used in testing, for example, projective ones. And you can spoil any test, even the most objective, if it is used incorrectly.

Well-designed tests provide reliable results that you need to trust. Highly reliable and valid tests really allow you to get information about the staff in the shortest possible time. The reliability of the test lies in the fact that its results should not depend on random factors, season, weather, lighting, etc. But it should be borne in mind that when testing, especially with the use of personality questions, a person can start from a not always adequate opinion about himself. It is also impossible to check how truthfully the subject answered the questions. His answers may well be influenced by various factors - anxiety, suspicion, social desirability, the need for approval, negativism towards tests in general and towards the examiner in particular. Therefore, it is worth accompanying this method with other means. So the professionalism of the tests lies precisely in the fact that they do not give an unambiguous verdict, they only provide an approximate forecast of activity, that is, with a forecast with a certain probabilistic accuracy. Only quack research provides an absolute guarantee. Experts say that even according to the results of the most objective tests, one should not judge the subject unambiguously, since the results should not be unconditionally trusted.

The test instructions are optional and can be changed depending on the situation. Applying this view can lead to incorrect results. Research has confirmed that changing the test conditions specified in the conditions can actually change the end results. Therefore, follow the instructions carefully. If the manual says that the test taker must trust and open up to the examiner before the test, then we must try to do this.

It is very successful to use projective methods to obtain truthful information (tests "non-existent animal", "house, person, tree", etc.). This will help the subject to open up, since he will not suspect about the true purpose of the test. The fact is that the informativeness of such methods, on the one hand, faces the difficulty of analysis on the other, since they do not have objective norms and only a professional can understand what the test results mean. Even the description of possible answers with their explanation in the instructions does not exempt from the involvement of an experienced psychologist in the assessment of the results. And the very personality of a person who analyzes the results of projective methods is capable of influencing the result. After all, a psychologist may have a limited set of knowledge, his own prejudices, attitudes.

Any diagnosis can be carried out with the help of tests, as they are better than any other means of psychological research. No one denies the effectiveness of tests, but there are other effective methods. Many HR specialists work with questionnaires, some prefer personal conversations, structured interviews are often used, and human activities are analyzed. A professional in personnel work will use the method that will be most suitable for the task at hand, without limiting himself to tests alone.

Western tests can be applied in our environment without waiting for their adaptation. Some HR professionals like to keep pace with the times, applying the latest tests developed in the West. The results are accordingly assessed according to the Western scale, based on this, certain conclusions are drawn. This approach is wrong. The fact is that when a test is created, it is standardized on a specific group, a sample of subjects. Accordingly, its use is justified only on a similar sample. In the case of using unadapted tests, the results cannot be correlated with the given indicators.

Testing is costly and time consuming, and the result is not worth it. Indeed, there are very difficult and time-consuming tests with the terrible abbreviations MMPI, WAIS, 16PF, CPI. To conduct them, some training is required for those who conduct the tests, since it is necessary to prepare forms, the necessary materials, and they take a lot of time. But it's worth it, because the results usually pay off with interest. To speed up the collection of information, you can use short forms, as well as group tests. It will not be superfluous to use tests adapted to passing on a computer.

You don't need to be a professional to apply standardized methods, just follow the instructions. It would be wrong to believe that conducting psychological tests is an occupation available to an untrained person. Any psychodiagnostic technique, including testing, can be effectively carried out only by a specialist with the appropriate qualifications. It is he who will be able to competently conduct testing, evaluate the results, interpreting them in the right way. Otherwise, the test is no longer valid, its adequacy cannot be accepted. When tested by a third party, the test takers' scores may in fact relate to completely different characteristics, not reflecting what the test was originally intended for.

Instead of using ready-made methods, it is better to create your own tests focused on the specifics of the enterprise and the requirements for personnel. The requirements of the enterprise do not always coincide with the possible set of tests, because it is difficult to unify all professional activities. Therefore, the test results in such situations may not correspond to the specified norms, which leads to the desire of personnel services to create their own methodology. But it's worth remembering that creating a test is painstaking and complex work, and a real, valid test must be standardized and verified. Consistency in test conditions should be respected, as well as reproducibility of results when the test is performed by different testers or by the same person at intervals. The test must be valid, that is, measure exactly what it is intended for. If the HR service has highly qualified specialists in psychodiagnostics, then they can draw up such tests, otherwise it is better to choose a ready-made option from the available variety.

Computer variants of tests are similar to the standard pencil-paper type. The use of a computer greatly facilitates data processing and storage, and the testing process itself is easier. The software analysis of the results is free from errors and makes it possible to maintain a database of results. Today almost all tests are adapted to be carried out on a computer. However, there are psychodiagnostic specialists who believe that when using a computer, the testing conditions change, which means that the test itself changes. Hence the requirement for a new standardization of tests on a computer, since the former was designed for forms, and can only be trusted with some assumptions.


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