[LTR] Americans are consumed with testing. From earliest childhood, we are subjected to IQ tests, SAT's ACT's, LCAT's, MCAT's...the list goes on and on. For a long time, all this testing was linked to academia, but when the government began using the IQ test for placement in the military during World War I, the face of testing was forever changed. During World War II two women, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, created a personality preference test which was designed to help ease women into the jobs traditionally held by men during peacetime. Myers and Briggs felt that by identifying a woman's personality attributes, employers would have a better chance of placing her into a position where she could succeed.

In the decades that followed the war, Myers and Briggs continued to refine and improve their original test into what has become the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI. Many corporations jumped on the personality test band wagon and began using employee assessment tests constructed specifically for pre employment testing.

Today there are thousands of tests to choose from. Some are more effective than others. There are now tests to determine: personality traits, employee motivation, business values, emotional intelligence, cognitive skills, thinking preferences, and the list goes on. Before administering any test to existing or prospective employees, employers need to determine just what it is they wish to measure, and how they plan to use the results once they have them, because without a strategy for using the results, any test is a waste of time and money.

In this tight economy, employers have found themselves in an unusual position - they suddenly have an over-whelming number of prospective employees applying for a limited number of jobs. Finding the right tools to help process this many highly qualified candidates is more important than it has ever been before. Pre employment testing can be helpful in both placing employees and in helping them succeed once they've been hired. Employee assessments can help identify whether an individual has the aptitude for the job, will be a good fit with the rest of the organization, and what his/her potential is for staying once hired. Determining these factors before hiring can translate to substantial savings in both training and productivity costs. Post-employment testing can increase those savings by providing the catalyst for job coaching, performance planning, and succession strategies for existing employees.

Employers and HR Departments should be doing their homework in order to determine which of the many tests available might help them build the best staff for their organizations. By investing a little time on the internet and doing some honest disclosure about what the company really needs, you should be able to select the tools that will lead to success.

Copyright (c) 2010 Ira Wolfe

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