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Question

The company you work for is considering changing its applicant testing process. Your supervisor has asked you to research testing methods and make your recommendation. This proposal will be submitted to the vice president for review and consideration.For the purpose of this assignment, it helps to have a specific type of organization in mind. Provide an opening paragraph stating the nature of the company you are choosing for this assignment (e.g., retail organization, factory, school, police department, etc). You may be creative in what type of organization you choose.Select (at minimum) 3 major types of tests (examples include cognitive abilities, motor and physical abilities, personality and interests, achievement tests, work sampling, etc.).

  • Discuss the legal and ethical implications you see with each test.
  • What specific employment laws will be a factor?
  • What adverse impact (if any) may be created in using each test, and how could that be minimized?

Based on the results of that compare/contrast, which testing method do you believe may be the most appropriate for your organization and why?

  • 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.

Within the proposal, you should also discuss ways in which advancements in technology have helped to make the applicant testing and selection process more efficient and effective.

Answer

The Employment Relationship

For this assignment, Walmart Company will be used. Walmart is a multinational retail corporation headquartered in Arkansas. Walmart comprises of a number of discount stores, grocery stores, and hypermarkets located in various parts of the country, and with international investments. The company was incorporated in 1969, and has remained in operation since. Over the years, the company has spread to foreign markets such as Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Japan, and other places. Walmart employs over 2 million employees globally, and is listed as one of the largest private employer globally. This paper will analyze three major testing methods that can be used in employee selection with regard to Walmart.

Cognitive abilities tests

These tests are conducted to assess thinking capabilities. The specific areas tested include: reasoning, mathematical ability, perception, memory, problem solving, and verbal ability (Leong, 2016). The type of questions included in cognitive tests aim at establishing the employees’ capabilities in use of mental problems to come up with solutions to work-related problems. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits any kind of employment discrimination at the workplace (Capozzi, 2006). Discrimination at the workplace can be perpetrated through various forms such as on the basis of national origin, sex, color, race, or even religion. Nonetheless, the act gives employers the right to use tests in screening employees provided that the tests are not designed to discriminate.

Unethical employers may adjust scoring of the tests based on race, color, or other forms of discrimination. Other forms of unfair testing may involve using different cutoff points based on the various employee groupings. Disparate treatment is also prohibited by the act. This may arise where the employer tests one group while omitting the other. Title VII of the act prohibits such acts since they are discriminatory in nature. For instance, Walmart employs people from different races and place of origin. In administering tests, the company is supposed to give the same tests to all prospective employees and use the same scoring methods.

Motor and physical abilities tests

These tests are designed to evaluate the physical abilities of prospective employees such as stamina, muscular flexibility, and strength (Leong, 2016). There are many form of physical tests which can be conducted such as muscular tension tests, balance tests, muscular endurance tests, muscular power tests, and others. Selection of employees based on motor and physical abilities can lead to litigation. This is because physical abilities tests tend to lock out a great number of women compared to men, and hence termed as discriminatory in terms of gender under Title VII. In addition, physical ability tests calls for the monitoring of the bodily functioning such as heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiovascular endurance. This is the same as conducting a medical examination which is expressly prohibited under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

According to the act, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate job applicants due to a disability (Capozzi, 2006). For instance, it would be illegal for Walmart to deny successful applicants a job opportunity just because they have a heart condition. It is possible to minimize the adverse impact associated with the motor and physical abilities tests. Walmart should prove that the job applicants can be able to do the “essential functions” of the job requirements on their own. The act also mandates companies to provide reasonable accommodation to those with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is that which will enable those with certain disabilities to perform their duties, and that which may not be costly to the company.

Work sampling tests

Achievement tests are used to measure a prospective employee’s current skills or knowledge that is essential to performing a particular job (Marchington & Wilkinson, 2006). Work sampling tests tell how much a prospective employee knows about the job he/she is applying in terms of the task requirements and the specific responsibilities involved. Legal and ethical issues can only apply when the test is used selectively. For instance, when the management decides to give a particular group the test while leaving out another group. In this case, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may be impacted. In using this test, it is important that Walmart uses it fairly to ensure that no groups are discriminated.

When applied properly, a work sampling test would be the least discriminatory. This is because the test is meant to measure the candidates’ knowhow about the current job requirements. Work sampling tests have high validity. Motor and physical abilities test may be discriminatory based on gender. Work sampling tests may also be suitable since they require job applicants to demonstrate their skills by performing the specific job tasks. Achievement tests may not be suitable since they measure general knowledge which may not be related to the specific job skill requirements. Personality and interests tests may not provide accurate results since applicants answer questions with an aim of impressing the employer. Advancements in technology have made easier the application testing the selection process. Today, computer based testing has taken root. Computer based tests are more accurate since they eliminate any bias and discrimination that may occur when tests are conducted manually. This improves the accuracy of tests.

References

Capozzi, I. Y. (2006). The Civil Rights Act: Background,     statutes and primer. New York:         Novinka Books.

Leong, F. T. L. (2016). The ITC international handbook of testing and assessment. New York,     NY: Oxford University Press.

Marchington, M., & Wilkinson, A. (2006). Human resource management at work: People            management and development. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and      Development.

Diversity Training Manual: Part 1

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