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Assessment Services

Table of Contents

·         Purpose

·         What Does Assessment Services Do?

·         General Approach of Assessment

·         Examinations for Positions within the City of Lakeland

·         Completing the Exam

·         Obtaining Your Test Results

·         Tips for Success

·         Interviewing

Purpose

To provide testing and assessment expertise for the City of Lakeland, and use that information to select and promote the most qualified job applicants using legally defensible, reliable, valid, objective, fair and expedient measures in the most cost-effective manner.

Testing and assessment is conducted to support the City of Lakeland City Ordinance Article 1, section 13, “The civil service board shall provide for examinations in accordance with such rules and regulations so adopted, and shall at all times maintain a preferred and regular list of persons eligible for employment under the civil service of said city.”

 

What Does Assessment Services Do?

 

 

Assessment Services uses its combined expertise in Human Resources, Industrial/Organizational Psychology and psychometric theory to select and construct tests (e.g., Knowledge Tests, Performance Tests, Video Simulations, Structured Interviews) that validly measure job knowledge, skills, and abilities.   

Assessment Services provides the City of Lakeland with the following services:

·         Job Analysis

·         Competency Modeling

·         Interviewer training

·         Knowledge and Performance Testing

·         Test Batteries

·         Assessment Centers

·         Employee Developmental Feedback

·         Assessment Consulting

Assessment Services also:

·         assists with the development of testing policies

·         develops all assessment procedures

·         provides city-wide surveys and data analyses

·         facilitates the development and refinement of job descriptions

·         advises managers and supervisors conducting assessment-related activities

·         provides COL hiring authorities with developmental feedback for their internal employees

·         initiates assessment-related research

 

General Approach

 

 

The general approach toward assessment taken by Assessment Services (AS) emphasizes the development of content valid tests.  All AS assessments are based upon the identified knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics required to be successful within each position (e.g., Fire Fighter to Fire Chief, Police Officer to Police Chief, Lineman Apprentice to Lakeland Electric Operations Manager, etc. for 600+ positions).  Assessment Services works hand-in-hand with managers and employees (Subject Matter Experts) to ensure that job relevant information is applied in the development of all employment tests. This forms the basis for the selection of the most qualified job applicants.

 

Examinations

 

for Positions with the City of Lakeland

Many city positions, especially entry-level jobs, require applicants to take written knowledge and/or ability examinations. Knowledge tests are one of the most useful tools for hiring qualified people for public service jobs because they allow candidates to demonstrate their possession of knowledge that relates to the essential functions of the position.  For example, basic or advanced computer skills may be needed for a position, and would therefore be legitimate areas for testing

Ability tests are particularly useful for entry-level positions where the minimum requirements are low and the hiring authority is looking for candidate aptitude for important characteristics of the job.  For example, the ability to listen or communicate effectively might be areas for testing.

Another type of test used for many different jobs is a personality test.  Some jobs, for example Office Administration, require certain personality characteristics that can be best measured with a validated personality test. 

As a result, AS utilizes different types of tests for different types of jobs. The selection of which assessment instruments to use for testing is based on:

The competencies defined in the competency model for the particular job

Hiring authority and subject matter expert requests and feedback

Funds available to the city

The balance between costs and risks for error when filling the position

The availability of prior tests

The number of people applying for the position

The level of the position within the city infrastructure

Issues of public safety

Most entry-level tests are untimed “paper and pencil” examinations.  Entry-level positions typically consist of one round of testing, whereas higher level and supervisory positions typically consist of multiple tests, often utilizing a “multiple hurdle,” approach.  In a multiple hurdle approach, applicants are first evaluated to determine whether they meet the minimum qualifications for the job.  If candidates successfully complete this first hurdle, they are invited back for a second (and sometimes third) round of testing.  Each hurdle that they pass gets them closer to a final interview.

 

Completing

 

the Examinations

Please arrive at the scheduled testing site at least 15 minutes prior to testing.

Bring appropriate photo identification (e.g., driver’s license, state I.D.) to the testing.

Whether the exam is timed or not timed, schedule an appropriate amount of time to complete the examination (most exams are not timed, but anticipate approximately 2 hours to complete).

Read all the instructions and listen carefully to the proctor's instructions to gain understanding on how to take the test. If the instructions are not clear, please ask for clarification

Read each test question carefully. Be sure to understand the question before answering.

Review each test item to ensure the intended answer choice(s) is adequately marked.

Questions that are presented in TRUE/FALSE statements or MULTIPLE CHOICE questions are usually scored electronically.  Consequently, an answer sheet is provided for these types of questions.  Typically, this type of question will involve “filling in bubbles.”

Answers to essay questions, fill in the blank questions, or open-ended questions should be written clearly and appropriately address the question asked.

When responding, budget adequate time to complete the test. Always review the answer sheet prior to handing it in.

Assessment Services will provide all necessary materials for test completion (e.g., pencils, calculators, etc).

PLEASE DO NOT BRING OUTSIDE MATERIALS AS THEY WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.

 

 

Obtaining Your Test Results

 

 

Allow a period of up to two weeks to receive test results (this time period does not apply to the Assessment Center process).

Upon passing the test, a certification list is compiled and sent to hiring departments with vacancies. A decision is then made to interview the best qualified applicants.

Applications remain active for a period of one year. However, test results remain active for a period of up to 18 months. To update an application contact the Civil Service office at 863.834.8790, or visit 500 North Lake Parker Avenue between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm.

 

Tips for Success

 

 

Get a good night’s sleep and eat a good meal prior to the test – this will ensure mental alertness.

Dress comfortably (Bring a sweater or jacket).

During testing, cotton balls or ear plugs may help muffle sounds which may be distracting.

Review the job description to gain a better understanding of the required knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) necessary to perform the job.  The job description provides fairly comprehensive information on the type of work and identifies the KSAs which will form the basis of the test.

Think about what you would want to know about a candidate if you were a hiring authority and prepare accordingly.

Become familiar with terminology that is specific to the job.

Interviewing

 

 

Practice your interview.

Assessment Services provides guidance to hiring authorities in all aspects of interviewing.  As part of our service, Assessment Services creates an interview guide.  The interview guide includes competency-based interview questions and competency-based, behaviorally-anchored, rating scales.  Refresher interviewer training is provided to all potential interviewers to ensure that their focus throughout the interview is on the prediction of Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications (BFOQs) and to minimize the potential for interviewing biases and other errors that might adversely affect decision-making.  The training emphasizes ensuring that all interviewers are aware of the issues regarding bias, both intentional and unintentional, and rating errors.  Interviewers are encouraged to stick as closely to the interview guide as possible.