[IPAC-List] IPAC-List Digest, Vol 15, Issue 29

J Gicking gick47 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 23 11:33:46 EDT 2016

Hi KevinWe developed and implemented a variety of cognitive test fro promotion into trades positions in the natural gas industry (e.g., equipment operator, , individuals who operate large engines, electronics techs, & others). It worked well and the individuals were successful in the jobs. The assessments had two components. One was a hands on assessment (e.g., balance and engine). The other component was a knowledge test (e.g., questions related engine balancing--top dead center). We recently developed a test for entry into a journeyman level position. Just because they have a journeyman card does not mean they are qualified for your jobs because their experience might not meet the requirements needed for e.g., lineman position such as electrical knowledge, ability to climb to poles and towers to 65-100 feet etc. 
Use of basic ability tests (e.g., EEI) would probably depend upon your approach as to hiring them and requiring remedial training to PG&E requirements (e.g., apprentice school).
We also have clients who requiring certain tech training certifications prior to entry to the job (e.g., lineman school). But they will accept them from only certain schools in some cases.Debby Gebhardt


    On Thursday, March 17, 2016 1:32 AM, "ipac-list-request at ipacweb.org" <ipac-list-request at ipacweb.org> wrote:

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Today's Topics:

  1. Re: Value of cognitive ability testing for Journey-Level
      skilled trade jobs (Ann M. Nakamura)
Hi, Kevin. 

We have a test battery that we give to our craft positions. Within a specific craft all candidates take the same battery; however, cut scores are dependent on the position level the candidate has applied for. For example, a candidate who has taking the test for a mechanic position needs to achieve higher scores on the test than a candidate who is testing for the apprentice mechanic position.

Our internal customers strongly feel that our battery test does a good job assessing candidates' KSAAs. They also like the fact that the test is administered to candidates who have craft knowledge and may have already completed some type of apprenticeship. I get the impression from our departments that there is not always a strong degree of confidence in the certificates and licenses that the candidates obtained prior to their employment at UP. I'm not close to that side of the house, but I speculate that the lack of confidence could be due to different requirements for journeyman licenses, time between when the license was obtained and when we hired the candidate, etc. Administering the test to more experienced craft workers gives the hiring managers in our departments the assurance that the candidate does possess the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully perform the job duties.

Hopefully my ramblings are helpful. My only thought would be to examine your test cut score and see you should require candidates with more experience to obtain a higher score than entry-level candidates. By going this route you would get to keep the test that you've validated and have shown is a predictor of success, and you are showing your organization that you are requiring a higher level of performance on the test from your more experienced candidates.

Best regards, 

Ann Nakamura-Konecky, Manager - Selection & Assessment
Union Pacific Center | 1400 Douglas Street, STOP 0340 | Omaha, NE 68179 USA
(: 402.544.3356 | *: amnakamu at up.com

I build the foundation. What will you build?
Visit UP.jobs for career opportunities.

Build with us:    
"Reindl, Kevin" ---03/15/2016 04:50:44 PM---This email originated from outside of the company.  Please use discretion if opening attachments or

From: "Reindl, Kevin" <K1RQ at pge.com>
To: "'IPAC-List' (ipac-list at ipacweb.org)" <ipac-list at ipacweb.org>
Date: 03/15/2016 04:50 PM
Subject: [IPAC-List] Value of cognitive ability testing for Journey-Level skilled trade jobs
Sent by: "IPAC-List" <ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org>

This email originated from outside of the company. Please use discretion if opening attachments or clicking on links. 
Hi all,
I wanted to get others’ opinions/experiences on a question that our company is grappling with (if you can point to specific research that helps shed light on this, even better):
Here’s the situation: We typically hire employees into entry-level training or apprentice-level jobs for our skilled trades (electrical, mechanical maintenance, etc.). When we hire entry level employees, we use an array of basic aptitude, cognitive and personality-based assessments in the selection process (e.g., mechanical aptitude, numerical reasoning, spatial skills, conscientiousness, etc.).
However, because of recent gaps in our journey-level workforce (e.g., due to retirements, etc.), we have been recruiting and hiring experienced journey-level employees…i.e., those who have been performing the same work at other companies or have already completed apprenticeships elsewhere. For these jobs we have been using the same set of aptitude/cognitive and personality assessments, PLUS a test of technical knowledge required in the trade. There is also a behavior-based interview and technical interview to round out the selection process.
There is debate in our company regarding whether there is value in continuing the use of broad-based aptitude/cognitive tests for these journey level hires.    
1.       On one side of the argument, the cognitive tests are well-validated assessments that have shown to be predictive of success in a wide range of similar jobs, and since we “require” candidates to take them for the entry level jobs, why wouldn’t we require them for higher level jobs?
2.       On the other side of the argument, why would we need to assess general cognitive ability for experienced journey-level candidates, since they have presumably been performing similar work at other companies. Also, since we also assess their technical knowledge in other tests, require X years of experience, and in many cases require them to have completed a certified apprenticeship…then what added value is measuring their basic aptitude to do this kind of work? 
I know that internal local research/a validity study might provide some answers, but before we initiate that level of research, I’d be interested in thoughts from the IPAC group…   
·         Which side do you lean toward #1 or #2 above, and why?
·         What do you do for similar situations in your organization?
·         Do you know of any research (single study or meta-analysis) that may shed some light on the matter? 
As always, I look forward to your thoughts!
Kevin Reindl
Pacific Gas & Electric
Human Resources
Assessments and Organizational Insights
245 Market Street, N2J
San Francisco, CA 94105
Office: 415-973-7013
Mobile: 619-322-3368
k1rq at pge.com or kevin.reindl at pge.com
 This email originated from outside of the company.  Please use discretion if opening attachments or clicking on links.

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