An evaluation of the effectiveness of the form series test in the selection of semi-skilled labourers
Malekele, Moeketsi Dennis
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The present study evaluates the effectiveness of the Form Series Test as a selection measure for semi-skilled labourers. There are relatively few reported projects on the selection of semi-skilled labourers. The literature review revealed that of these reported projects the majority are job-related selection tests and that very few are of a non-job related nature. This is particularly due to the fact that what one organization regards to be trainable may not be regarded as trainable in another organization. Due to technological advancement job specifications at this occupational spectrum change quite rapidly, too. The present study concentrated on the effectiveness of the Form Series Test (A) - industrial version - in selecting trainable candidates for training in various manual skills at the Northern Free State Training Centre. This test was standardized on coloured and heterogeneous black forestry workers. However, there is no evidence that this test is valid for other manual skills. The methodological approach applied in this study has previously been used by Cascio (1982) and Huysamen (1980) and is useful for purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of a selection instrument. A total number of 281 subjects who opted for training between August 1987 and February 1988 at the Northern Free State Training Centre in Welkom, South Africa were Ulilized for the purpose of this study. The sample consisted of black 245 males and 36 females with either no schooling or up to standard 6 (passed). Subjects were tested with the Form Series Test then allowed into training irrespective of the score obtained on the test. Thirty subjects in each training course were utilized. The training courses utilized being Welding, repairshop assistant, electrical aide, plumbing, security, domestic assistant, fork-lift operator, bricklaying, carpentry, painting and glazing. Evaluations on the outcomes of training were done by the instructors at this centre. Data was analyzed according to the criteria as stated in chapter 5. For each course used in this study data was analyzed independently. Unlike in Huysamen (1980) and Cascio's (1982) studies, scattergrams were not utilized in the analysis as the criterion was not measured numerically, but as a dichotomous variable. The major findings can be summarized as follows: 1. The FST (Form Series Test), as currently utilized at the centres, is ineffective as a selection instrument for prospective trainees. 2. When the criterion is elevated to good pass versus bad pass and failure the Form Series Test becomes effective as a selection instrument for electrical aide, repairshop assistant, v., 1 ding, security and domestic assistant courses. 3. The Form Series Test is not at all effective as a selection instrument for fork-lift operator, bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, painting and glazing. 4. As noted by Huysamen (1980), it was also found that as the base rate devia,..:s from 0,50 it becomes increasingly difficult for a test to improve on the base rate.