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Program helps employers with hiring
by Brant Sappington
Jul 05, 2014 | 340 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Helping employers match applicants to jobs that are right for them is at the heart of a unique program offered by the Northeast Mississippi Community College Division of Workforce Training and Economic Development.

Job PASS (Physical Assessment Skills Simulation) is a comprehensive screening tool for employers to help them determine how a potential employee’s strengths and abilities fit with the position they’re seeking to fill.

“What we want to do is give the employer a way to match the right people to the right job,” explained Greg James with the division.

The assessment is typically used early in the hiring process to give those making hiring decisions a concrete, objective look at a potential candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, explained James. Often employers will have candidates take the test as soon as they apply and use the results as an initial screening tool to filter for applicants who have the ability to perform the required tasks.

James said Job PASS is valuable to employers because it is an objective assessment that provides a clear cut result, eliminating any social other factors. He emphasized the college simply performs the assessment and provides employers with the results, without any consideration of who the particular candidate is. This gives the employer a dependable, unbiased source of information on a potential employee and helps them understand how that employee would perform in their particular environment.

The testing is broken into six separate segments focused on particular abilities directly related to job performance.

The Compass Computer segment uses a computerized test to evaluate a variety of physical and mental skills including color discrimination, short-term memory, vocabulary, language, math, problem solving and more.

The Align and Drive section asks candidates to use a set of tools to move a specially designed bar through a block, testing their ability to follow directions along with their eye-hand coordination, dexterity, speed and accuracy.

The Machine Tending portion focuses on eye-hand coordination, speed, accuracy and following directions.

The Range of Motion segment assesses the candidate’s physical abilities including agility and stamina in performing a variety of movements required in a job.

The Physical Capacity part of the test assess the applicant’s strength and endurance at various paces.

The Warehousing simulation is designed to assess the candidate’s ability to follow directions, along with memory, color coordination, speed, accuracy and more.

James said the details of each segment of the test can be adjusted to match the requirements of the individual job being tested for.

He noted the program was piloted in the state by NEMCC and others in the Mississippi Corridor Consortium, made up of the college along with East Mississippi Community College, Northwest Mississippi Community College Itawamba Community College and Coahoma Community College.

He said the consortium has created opportunities for the college to help lead the state in workforce training and development and they continue to work to develop new and better tools to assist industries and residents in boosting economic development.
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