How to choose the best test for an employee’s assessment?
Managing human resources is often mentioned as a key to success in modern-age organizations. Economic growth and development, as well as survival in new market conditions, are often based on the use and development of knowledge, abilities, and skills of all employees. In short, the success of the organization depends on the quality of the employees.
Due to the dynamic nature of the labor and the digitalization of society as a whole, the business environment is becoming increasingly complex. Modern organizations adapt to the new environment by employing high-quality, motivated and proactive people who can handle the demands of the job.
Finding the right person for a particular job is a challenging task. The way that a person will perform the duties and responsibilities of the job will depend on his characteristics. Differences in cognitive capacity, personal and work values, motivation, and personality can determine the success of an individual in the business.
Different competencies, different personalities
The quality of performance on a task requires a certain type of behavior. Knowing the tendencies and preferences of a person can help to predict its success on a job assignment.
For example, a typical accountant is usually very different from a typical retailer. Given the different nature of the work in accounting and sales, it is understandable that they need different competencies and different personality traits for success in their business. People who are successful in sales tend to be very communicative and open, able to quickly and easily make contact with others and convince them of the benefits of products they sell. Good sales are usually allied with pro-activity, assertiveness, flexibility, good communication and being approachable to others. On the other hand, for a withdrawn and shy person it is difficult to be successful in this line of work. But, when it comes to accounting, inclination to independence and self-managed work is an advantage.
To do the work carefully it’s often needed committed and focused work that’s done in silence. Individuals who are not accustomed to the silence may have more difficulties adapting to work in the office. Because their skills are best shown in their interaction with others, they generally prefer jobs that involve interaction with people.
For example, occupations in which interpersonal skills are particularly important are management. Good executives and managers can motivate others, organize, coordinate and oversee the work of others. It helps them having developed skills of leadership and dominance. Emphasis is placed on their cognitive skills when it comes to solving problems and making important decisions. Understandably, it is important to have high intellectual development for such a responsibility. For a person in a managerial position to solve problems quickly and effectively, he/she must be able to learn quickly, have analytical thinking, and have effective planning skills. If their cognitive capacities are not at the appropriate level, it’s possible they will not be able to deal with complex problems, in which the whole organization can suffer.
Cognitive abilities and requirements of the job
That is why it’s important to assess whether the cognitive abilities of an individual are by the requirements of the job. Cognitive (intelligence) tests are an essential tool in the organizational context. Organizational psychologist can quickly differentiate job applicants by their cognitive abilities. The „Izbaci uljeza“ test was designed to measure abstract thinking which includes mental rotation and logical reasoning. The final result indicates the overall capacity of the individual in detecting some key features and differences in a task. This characteristic is essential for success in business. People who solve this test well, are usually good in differentiating important from unimportant, and can quickly draw conclusions and make good decisions. Similarly, the result on the „Kognitivne matrice“ test shows whether a person can independently discover and perceive relationships between elements.
If achievement on the test is high, the person will probably be able to accurately perceive relationships between elements and apply his/her knowledge and skills to come up with a solution for an actual problem. But if the person on the test does not see a link between the individual parts and fails to perceive the logic in the elements, it is possible that he/she may have trouble solving problems. Such individuals will need more time to learn something new. While for some jobs it’s acceptable, in others it may be a serious drawback.
Cognitive abilities and „simple tasks“
In general, as the job is more demanding, the role of cognitive ability is gaining in importance. The highly intelligent people are usually looking for a job that matches their cognitive abilities. If they are asked to do tasks that are quite monotonous and where they don’t have to think much, it becomes boring. However, doing a complex task represents a challenge, and its successful resolution has a positive and motivating effect on them.
It has been shown that highly intelligent workers when working on the assembly line, make more mistakes. On the other hand, giving cognitive challenging tasks to less intelligent people who are not up to such challenges leads to dissatisfaction, demotivation, failure, and feeling of inefficiency. Some people simply cope better with ideas and abstract thinking, while others like more specific work. Also, while some prefer setting rules and overseeing others’ work, willingly taking responsibility, others like to follow orders.
When it comes to responsibility in work it has been shown that in almost all types of work, an extremely important role is work conscientiousness. The more a person is conscientious, the greater the likelihood that he/she will perform well. Conscientious people are generally reliable, thorough, and organized. What they start they complete with accuracy and precision.
So, conscientious and responsible people do not allow themselves to perform the job poorly , they try to do it the best way they can. Work consciousness can be measured in different personality assessments through dimensions of conscience, and subdimensions such as perfectionism, organization, thoroughness, and perseverance. In contrast, the work of individuals who are not conscious is usually superficial and full of errors. These individuals often focus on the big picture instead of paying attention to details. However, this does not have to be a bad thing. Having slightly lower work conscientiousness with sufficient cognitive capacity and emphasized proactivity and energy can lead to creativity, aspirations for a challenge and pushing boundaries.
Finally, another feature in which employers should pay special attention is when assessing the (future) employee’s resistance to stress. Given the fact that almost all jobs include a certain level of stress, it is important to know how much a worker is subjected to. When evaluating candidates for positions that require teamwork and collaboration with colleagues, it is crucial to assess their stress resistance and emotional control.
Individuals with low emotional control often “break under pressure”. Their tendency to experience negative emotional states such as sadness, anger, anxiety and inability to control their own emotional states often leads to conflicts with others, dissatisfaction at work and consequently, low work efficiency. On the other hand, a calm and relaxed person is often in a good mood and is able to adequately accept and react to stressful working conditions. An emphasis on the resistance to stress can contribute to better communication skills and relationships with others and, through this, greater work efficiency. Therefore, especially in jobs that involve contact and cooperation with other people, it is extremely important to have emotional control. In addition, if a person is not a “team player” and is not willing to cooperate with others, it is good to understand the foundation of teamwork reluctance.
Some people prefer to work independently and they express their full potential easier when they work independently. However, sooner or later at certain positions, teamwork is necessary. If a person avoids any compromises and adjustments at work it can lead to disturbed interpersonal relationships, affecting work efficiency.
Control of others, communication, and interpersonal relations
Some people need to control others. It is difficult for them to have confidence in colleagues and due to their (excessive) mistrust, they do not work well together. In practice, the dimension that assesses the persons’ need to control others in the work consciousness questionnaire has been proved as an indicator of a trait prone to conflict. The people who achieve high scores on this dimension consider that their colleagues use the opportunity for goofing off at work are hostile and exploitative. Since they don’t believe that the work will be done well, they impose their ways of working and control other peoples’ work.
Depending on how other colleagues react to such controlling and mostly hostile behavior towards their work and themselves, there can be communication and interpersonal problems. So, personal characteristics such as the ability to manage stress, positive social interactions and readiness for teamwork can say a lot about the adaptation of the individual at the specific workplace. The combination of very low-stress resistance abilities and high control of others, even with other adequate personal characteristics, abilities and willingness to work, entails risks for employees and serves as a warning for potential conflicts at work on most job positions that include teamwork and contact with people.
Depending on the workplace and the job description for which the assessment is done, some other personal characteristics may play an important role. Knowing the individuals’ motivation is always helpful information. It’s not the same if the person is doing the job because he/she enjoys it if its solely for financial reasons. Of course, the person will be happier, more productive and more willing to invest additional effort if there is internal motivation.
Life values and professional styles
Also, it would be good to know the life values and professional styles of the person you hire. Some jobs require a full commitment. Some jobs require availability from „0-24“. For some, this is acceptable, while others are constantly seeking a balance between work and private life. They tend to separate them by setting their work rhythm, schedule and work habits that do not disturb their private life. People in executive positions should not expect to have exact work hours and assignments. If an urgent problem is not solved quickly, it can cause consequences for the entire organization. Therefore, a person in a work position that requires commitment means being prepared to invest additional effort, energy and availability to work outside their typical work hours. Of course, when it comes to solving a specific problem, it requires special expertise, so if a person is not willing to do additional training they may not be able to handle it. Other problems can be solved creatively.
Some people just need to express and create ideas and products. For other people, creativity at work is harder. Some people prefer more humanistic jobs in which they can accomplish their own needs and goals and serve others. For others, it may be more important to work in a challenging, risky and competitive business.
Depending on these tendencies and characteristics, people at work can have more or less success. When the work is aligned with their preferences and their personality, chances for a successful business are higher. However, if key differences in the characteristics of the person and the requirements of the job cannot align, the work won’t be done efficiently. After all, it is not surprising that modern organizations are investing heavily in human resource management.
The right man in the right job
To avoid unnecessary costs and investment in the wrong man in the wrong place, and to increase operational and organizational success, and to encourage the development of employees in the work position that suits him, it is important to have information on a person’s functioning, thoughts, preferences, interests, and characteristics. Together with the interview, psychological instruments are tools that can provide such information. Interpretation of the data collected over a variety of instruments, and knowing the job requirements will contribute to the quality of employment and making key decisions that determine organizational success.