I would like to have an aptitude test for job applicants. Any suggestions?
This is a dream I suspect many of us have had. Unlike some dreams, though, this is a logical one: come up with a test that will assure basic ability before those first payroll dollars are expended.
I think the key thing to remember is that, while you can test for basic aptitude, you can't test for attitude.
Generally, everybody comes into an interview with what seems like a great attitude. Once hired, many maintain that attitude, but some don't, and I think a clear correlation can be drawn between employees' attitudes and their performance.
All of that being the case, I still think it is possible to test for aptitude. What I don't think is possible (or at least realistic) is to completely avoid at least some training of a new hire. At a minimum, they need to learn your equipment, systems and processes, even if they have basic mechanical/craft/construction aptitude.
I think any test, therefore, should remain basic: reading a tape measure or rule (you'll be surprised how many candidates this may eliminate); requiring people to have their own hand tools (yes, this is a test, a measure of one's commitment to the trade); maybe even some basic assembly of machined parts. But beyond that, you risk insurance exposures which could be devastating should something go wrong, so I would advocate against tests on running machine tools, although asking someone to set up a machine (with power at the plug or main switch off) for a particular operation might be useful.
The unfortunate fact is that hiring is essentially a crapshoot. But the good news is that basic testing can tilt the odds in your favor, and if you follow up with clear job descriptions, daily and weekly goals, and (yes) training when necessary, you might spare yourself some bad hires.
Anthony Noel, forum technical advisor
Once hired, he/she would be made aware (in writing) that his/her position was a trial period of 30 days. A review and determination was then made.
I'm also going to make a competency board that charts the various equipment and the regular tasks we do on each machine. Then I will check a machine off every time the employee masters one. I will give them a raise or bonus as they work their way through the equipment. I figure it will foster some competitiveness between the employees as well as help me keep track of those that are performing up to par.