Sales Ability Testing Guidelines

Thinking ManThere is a great deal of information and misinformation on the net regarding sales ability testing and how it should be used. The purpose of this document is to provide practical information on how to use testing in the workplace. We encourage each employer considering this information to seek professional legal counsel, as this document is not meant to express any legal opinion or give legal advice. Rather, it is meant to provide information, which each employer should consider and discuss with their legal counsel and managers.

The purpose of today’s employment laws and EEOC guidelines is to ensure all applicants have equal opportunity in the employment process. To ensure fairness and equality, there are five basic guidelines to consider:

  1. The assessment must be applicable to the job. For example, a sales skills test is applicable for a sales position applicant. It is not applicable for an administrative assistant to the Vice President of Sales.
  2. The assessment should be administered to all applicants at the same point in the selection process. Companies have been sued because they did not standardize their testing procedures. For example, applicant A takes an assessment before his first interview and is not hired. Applicant B takes an assessment after the second interview and gets the job. Could applicant B in the course of his interviews gained information to help him in the answers? Could this information have influenced the scores? Probably. Therefore, applicant A was treated unfairly and the company is open to potential litigation.
  3. Assessments must be professionally developed. For example, our Basic Aptitude, Math, Spelling, Vocabulary, and Computer Knowledge aptitude tests were developed by a Doctor of Education. Employee Selection and Development, Inc. sells only professionally developed assessments.
  4. Make sure the assessment measures what it claims to measure. All reputable testing companies have validation studies to prove what their assessments measure. This is a good starting point, but the results of those studies may not be transferable to your company. The best approach is to validate the assessment in your company. For example, if the test claims to measure sales skills, test your best and worst salespeople. There should be a noticeable difference in the scores.
  5. Test results should not be the sole determinate for hiring. Would you buy a car after only looking at the exterior? Of course not. The same applies for applicants. Verification of their education, references, credit, employment history, etc. should also be considered.

Assessments sold by Employee Selection and Development, Inc. equal or exceed all EEOC and ADA guidelines and are regularly reviewed to ensure compliance. Legal opinion letters are available upon request. If you have questions on the applicable laws regarding of testing job applicants or employees, please read “Is the Use of Employment Testing Legal?” To discuss these guidelines further, please call us at 800-947-5678

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