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Human Resource: Discuss ethics and technology in pre-employment testing

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The company you work for is considering changing its applicant testing process. Your supervisor has asked you to address the following in a document that will be sent to other managers within the organization.

1- Write a short essay discussing some of the legal and ethical considerations of major types of tests: cognitive abilities, motor and physical abilities, personality & interests, and achievement tests. Given these considerations, which testing system do you believe may be the most legitimate? Remember to compare and contrast testing methods specifically to demonstrate how the methodologies you have not selected may have more negative ethical and legal consequences than the one you have selected.

2- In your answer also discuss ways in which advancements in technology have helped to make the applicant testing and selection process more efficient and effective.

Comments:
This essay focuses on how to select employees using pre-employment testing, and the importance of ethics in using tests. In additional to the legal issues, you must identify discuss the ethical issues. Discussion of the ethical issues is required for this assignment. I recommend that you separate the legal issues from the ethical issues in your discussion. Make use that you compare and contrast different types of testing in both your legal and ethical analyses.

This assignment also requires that you discuss the ways in which technology has made increased the efficiency and effectiveness in testing. This issue is addressed throughout Chapter 6. You can add more depth to your paper by using evidence from additional outside sources.

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Solution Preview

Many employers like to use pre-employment tests as a way to screen out applicants who are not suitable for the job. These tests include skills tests, aptitude tests, psychological tests, personality tests, honesty tests, medical tests, and drug tests.

Although you are allowed to do some testing of applicants, both state law and federal law impose numerous restrictions on what you can do. These restrictions are often vague and open to contradictory interpretations. As a result, you should only use tests that are absolutely necessary and, unless the test is as basic as a typing test, you should consider consulting with a lawyer before administering the test to make sure that it will pass legal muster in your state.

For all tests, you must take care to avoid discriminating against applicants who are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. To ensure that people with disabilities are not unfairly screened out by your test, the test must accurately measure people's skills, not their disabilities. Ways to do this include the following:

Â? Avoid tests that reflect impaired mental, sensory, manual, or speaking skills unless those are job-related skills that the test is trying to measure. For example, even though a typing test is a manual test that will screen out people who cannot use their hands, it is acceptable in cases where the job you are filling is for a typist.
Â? Accommodate people with disabilities by giving them a test that is neutral as to their disability whenever possible. For example, if you are giving a written test to applicants for a sales position to test their knowledge of sales techniques, you can offer to read the test to a blind applicant. This is a reasonable accommodation because sight is not required for the job, but it is required to take the test.

Skills tests range from something as simple as a typing test to something as complicated as an architectural drafting test. Generally speaking, these tests are legal, as long as they genuinely test a skill necessary for the performance of a job.

Some employers use written tests -- usually in a multiple choice format -- to gain insight into applicant's general abilities, personality, and/or psyche. These tests are only rarely appropriate, and the use of them leaves you vulnerable to various types of lawsuits. For example:

Â? A multiple choice aptitude test may discriminate against minority applicants or female applicants because it really reflects test-taking ability rather than actual job skills.
Â? A personality test can be even riskier. Besides its potential for illegal discrimination, such a test may invade a person's privacy by inquiring into topics that are personal in nature, such as religious beliefs or sexual practices.
Â? In addition to issues of discrimination and privacy, psychological tests are treated like medical ...

Solution Summary

The 1850 word, well-cited solution presents a thorough review of the subject matter with emphasis on the requirements and limitations of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

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