Testing and Selection of Employees


Testing is the assessment of individual competence against predetermined measures to determine job suitability and predict future performance in a given job position. In an organization are used to measure different abilities such as candidates’ personality and aptitude competence. Tests are administered at different stages of staffing such as hiring and recruitment of new employees. The tests are used to screen candidates who fit a certain job requirement identified by management. This essay discusses the role of tests in the selection of employees in an organization.

The role of tests in the selection of employees

Assessing candidates’ qualifications for job positions

Testing enables the management of an organization to fill job positions with the best-suited candidates. The company must first identify a position in the firm and describe the desired skills for the candidate to fill that position. The candidates’ characteristics and their aptitude or ability qualification are put into consideration. The candidate selected for a job position will have the desired knowledge and expertise for the selected position (Gatewood, Feild, & Barrick, 2010). It thus helps to avoid situations where a company hires unskilled and semi-skilled workforce.

It increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the employee- selection process in an organization. It enables the management to choose the most qualified candidates among many. This saves time taken in the testing process and the selection of employees in general. Disqualifying tests, also known as screen-out tests, are used to eliminate the candidates who should not proceed to further testing. The ones that qualify for the next stage are then short-listed and notified through various media (Nicholsen, 2000). It thus eases the recruitment and selection process of a human resource department and organization manager.

Evaluating and monitoring of programs and strategies

Testing is essential in the assessment of the progress achieved in organization programs and strategies. Employees may be tested to show how a training program is fairing and to determine if the set goals and objectives are being accomplished. The results of the test determine the measures to be taken in ensuring the success of these programs and strategies (Gatewood, Feild, & Barrick, 2010). The program may be improved through a change of strategies in case of negative results and reinforced in case of satisfactory performance. Employees considered as being incompetent in implementing programs are trained or replaced.

Employee appraisal

In employee appraisal, tests are used to determine the current competence of the employees. The employees whose performance is satisfactory may be chosen for leadership positions based on their personality and aptitude qualifications. Employees whose competence is not up to standard may be put in training and development programs to improve their competence (White, Young, & Kilcullen, 1995). The employees who need replacement are determined through these tests and candidates are tested to replace them.

Tests are instrumental in the selection of the employees who will be promoted to higher ranks. Employees whose performance is outstanding will then be selected and rewarded to keep the company’s performance optimal. The employees to represent an organization in seminars are chosen through testing. In the awarding of bonuses and benefits, employees are selected based on their improvement, initiative and performance arrived at through testing. The set standards for selection include task proficiency, little supervision requirement, job effort and teamwork, and personal discipline leading to overall job performance (White, Young, & Kilcullen, 1995).

Enhancing law observation in organizations

The law requires that organizations be fair and non-prejudicial in the selection of employees. Testing enhances this because the test to be used must meet the set standards. Candidates are hired on merit irrespective of their gender, race, and marital status. Any candidate discriminated against in job selection may sue the organization leading to losses and damages. Background testing ensures that the candidates are law-abiding and do not have criminal records as this may adversely affect the organization.

In the hiring process, testing makes the selection of employees fair and non-prejudicial (Nicholsen, 2000). Candidates are hired based on merit. Thus, firms will not be sued based on unfair and discriminatory selection.

Reduction of cost

Proper testing reduces the chance of lawsuits caused by negligent hiring in case of the incompetence of employees. It increases the probability of hiring the best-qualified candidate and thus reduces the incidences of incompetence which may lead to losses. The cost of advertising, interviewing and recruiting, is considered to be lower than that of employee turnover (Nicholsen, 2000). Testing ensures that the most qualified and competent candidate is hired thus reducing the cost of on-job training for the organization. Skilled employees are selected due to their chances of improving the organization’s performance and increasing the output at lower input.


Testing is an essential part of employee selection in any organization, and it seeks to find the best-qualified candidate at the lowest cost. The laws and regulations of a state or country should be considered, in the testing and selection of employees, to avoid complications. Testing is not only done during the hiring of new employees but is a process to be carried out on different occasions. Careful and appropriate testing is instrumental in organization cost reduction as it minimizes expenses such as on-job training.


Gatewood, R., Feild, H. S., & Barrick, M. (2010). Human Resource Selection. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Nicholsen, G. (2000). Screen: Good screening and background checks help make the right match for every open position. Workforce, 79 (10), 70-78.

White, L., Young, M. C., & Kilcullen, R. N. (1995). Selecting the best employees for your organization. Business and Economic Review, 42 (1), 9-12.

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