International Journal of Selection and Assessment

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Volume 12 Issue 3 (September 2004), Pages 207-290

The Use of Safety Suitability Tests for The Assessment of Immigrant and Majority Group Job Applicants (pages 230-242)

Safety jobs, meaning jobs where employees are responsible for the safety of customers, other employees and/or public in general are of special importance for our present society and deserve continued attention from I/O psychologists. The central question addressed in this study is whether the scores on safety suitability tests are comparable for immigrants and majority group members. Use was made of test data on first‐generation immigrants (N=786) and majority group members (N=584) who applied for blue collar jobs at the Dutch Railways and at regional bus companies. The tests used measured selective attention, attentional speed, continuous attention, perceptual‐motor ability and general mental ability. Immigrants' mean scores are systematically below the level of the mean scores of the majority group. The tests appear to have a strong dimensional comparability between the different groups. There is very little indication of test bias. The increasing number of immigrants and the increase of safety jobs pose challenges for selection psychologists. It is suggested that continued use of safety suitability tests is needed to keep the number of safety accidents at a minimum.

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