Career compatibility tests are a form of assessment that an employer can use to pre-screen candidates or current employees. These tests can also identify the best job positions available for candidates based on job compatibility. This may depend on various factors, including an individual’s motivational strengths, personality type, behavioral traits, communication ability, expressiveness, and job skills when compared with criteria identified as compatible with job requirements.
The purpose of job compatibility tests is to identify how compatible a job prospect or employee’s personality and skills are with those required for a person working in a particular job. Career compatibility tests are becoming increasingly popular to find candidates who will stay with the company and work more efficiently. Compatibility tests can help employers determine which candidates are most likely to succeed in a certain job role, and which candidates are less likely to leave a position to pursue other career fields. They may help employees determine who is lying on their job application.
Compatibility Test Design
There are many types of compatibility tests available for employers to select from. Each has unique features and thus are structured slightly differently. Most compatibility tests are designed to provide employers with a compatibility report. This report provides an analysis of the test-takers responses based on a series of questions asked throughout the test. The responses provided by the test-taker rank a candidate with regard to their personality compatibility potential relative to the job. The responses also provide an interpretation of how likely conflict is to exist between a job candidate and a particular job role. The candidate’s answers may offer the employer an idea of how well she may respond to conflict or stress on the job. Most tests are designed to ask specific questions that identify certain behaviors, including how a candidate may respond to pre-identified situations that are relevant to the job. Many have built-in features that will help ascertain whether a candidate is answering questions honestly.
For career compatibility tests to be considered reliable and trustworthy, the U.S. Department of Justice's Equal Employment Opportunity Office states that it must accurately measure traits and a candidate should score relatively the same each time she takes it. Otherwise the score would provide very little value in assessing her real value and offer very little in the way of predicting her future performance on the job. The EEO also states that because career compatibility tests might be challenged in court as discriminatory, they must be managed carefully and administrators must be certain they do not violate any state, local or federal EEO laws.
When an employer chooses a compatibility test, it must go through a rigorous assessment before it can be approved. That means the test must be certified as valid and reliable, providing accurate results repeatedly before it can be utilized within an organization. It must meet all EEO regulations. Tests that ask questions that are too personal in nature or ask questions that are too offensive, even if an employer states that these questions assess whether a candidate is compatible for a job, may be regarded as offensive and discriminatory. The purpose of a compatibility test must remain to determine which candidates are most compatible for a job. Lastly, an employer cannot use career compatibility tests as the sole determining factor for deciding which candidates are best suited for a job. These tools are a vehicle for assisting in screening and selecting the best candidates, or in moving employees into jobs where they are more compatible and may work more efficiently. This can help companies become more productive, decreasing turnover and improving employee morale.
Aanya Rose has been writing since 1998. Her work has appeared in "ADDitude," "Curl," "Diabetes Alternatives," "Fitness," the "Healing Path" and more. She has served as a channel manager for various websites and worked in consultation and training. Rose holds a B.S. and Ph.D.