[IPAC-List] How significant is significant enough?

Jason Bowling jbowling at ssvec.com
Wed Apr 8 19:18:16 EDT 2009

Hi all,

I recently joined this list-serv and greatly enjoyed the conversations
thus far.

So, I have a question and would appreciate any thoughts.

I am considering administering a test of basic math skills to candidates
for apprentice electrical lineman. Actually, prior to my starting with
the company, a math test was SOP for candidates to these jobs, but no
one ever asked if the test was a valid predictor. Furthermore, the
weight placed on test results was always ambiguous. We seemed to be
taking a pragmatic approach to our employment processes... that is, it
always seemed to work in the past.

Our apprenticeship does include testing components, and math does play a
large role in those tests. Furthermore, the job description does
describe math skills to be an essential competency, and we have had to
let apprentices go for failing these apprenticeship tests.

So, I gave the test to our current apprentices and recent graduates
(N=30), and compared their test results to their average apprenticeship
test results (r=.36, and p=.02). The correlation seems weak to me, but I
have no basis of comparison.

I could probably get more subjects to bolster the significance, but
again, I'm not sure at what point I should feel satisfied.

Any help?

Thanking you I am,

Jason Bowling, PHR

Human Resources Manager


Ofc: 520.515.3480

Cel: 520.220.6563

More information about the IPAC-List mailing list