What Is a Job Performance Test?

Osmand Vitez

A job performance test is a form or part of an employee evaluation. These tests may be more prevalent in manufacturing firms or those businesses where employees must complete specific work as part of their duties. For example, an electronics repairman may undergo a job performance test to ensure he or she can properly repair items for a company. Companies may require these tests at specific intervals. Semiannual or annual evaluations may include the test, although companies can issue them as needed.

A job performance test is typically part of an employee evaluation.
A job performance test is typically part of an employee evaluation.

Employee evaluations and any job performance test associated with them must follow specific rules. Local and federal governments often place specific rules or restrictions on employee evaluations. The reason for these restrictions is to prevent discrimination or other improper actions by the company. For example, creating undue stress during evaluations or using a different performance test for different employees is often illegal. A written policy is often a must for conducting these tests.

Employee evaluations must follow specific rules.
Employee evaluations must follow specific rules.

Companies typically design and implement specific employee evaluations for each employee classification. The test will go through a series of common tasks and may require employees to complete them in a specific order or time limit. This job performance test presents a company with the opportunity to assess each employee’s abilities. Employees will often be aware of the performance test so they can understand the requirements. Alterations to the test may be necessary in order to accurately assess new abilities employees need to work on.

Confrontational activity should be avoided in a performance test. Owners or managers will often set aside time to conduct the test. The purpose is to ensure each employee can properly serve a company’s customers. Another goal of the test should be to improve upon an employee’s skills. For example, companies may use job performance tests more frequently when new items or issues arise requiring companies to improve upon each employee’s abilities.

Another use of employee evaluations is the ability for a company to learn about business operations from its employees. Employees may discover new scenarios or issues that a company does not or is not currently addressing with consumers. During the job performance test, a company may learn different actions the company can take in order to improve operations and create more value for stakeholders. In short, the evaluation or test is a two-way street. While employees demonstrate their ability to complete the company’s tasks, companies can learn about issues on the front lines of their operations.

Creating undue stress during evaluations is often illegal.
Creating undue stress during evaluations is often illegal.

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Discussion Comments


@indigomoth - Unfortunately, nepotism is still alive and well.

A lot of people wouldn't even see it as a bad thing, just the way things are.

And often performance tests are quite easy for someone who has been doing the job for a long time. Particularly if it is just a sort of check up, rather than a test of a new skill.

So, if you really wanted to fire someone over the test, you'd need to work pretty hard to do so. I'd imagine there would be easier ways.

Particularly now, when it seems like people are let go at the drop of a hat.


I think it's pretty pathetic that you need a law protecting people from discrimination during these kinds of tests.

Frankly, if a person is good enough to pass the test, why would you want to try to make them fail it? It costs more to hire new people than it does to keep on good employees.

I guess passing a test might mean someone could get a better salary or something like that. It really annoys me, though, that businesses can't just act with integrity without being told they have to by the government.

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