New Tests to Help Manufacturing Companies Hire More Productive Workers And Reduce Turnover

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A new testing system to assist manufacturing firms in hiring production workers who will be more productive on the job has been introduced by Employers Association (EA), Inc.

EA, the human resources and management training organization, worked with Discovery Enterprises, a Minneapolis consulting firm, to achieve its goal of developing a comprehensive battery of tests that measures basic skills and traits of job candidates. This new employment testing process is called MAPS (Manufacturing Applicant Profile System). Visit:

"We believe companies using MAPS as part of a thorough employee selection program will see their hiring results improve and substantially reduce costs related to poor employee selection," said Joe Spartz, the EA senior manager who oversaw the test development process. "The average cost for a manufacturing company to replace a production worker is between $5,000 and $10,000, so the potential savings for such companies is enormous."

During three years of research in developing MAPS, Employers Association and Discovery Enterprises surveyed human resources professionals and observed production workers performing their jobs at 31 manufacturing firms in order to identify the key competencies that contribute to effective production worker job performance.

The battery of skill and ability tests was administered to 949 production workers at nine manufacturing organizations in Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan.

The statistical results of this empirical study indicated that the assessment devices were effective in predicting job performance.

Medtronic is implementing MAPS at its facility in Brooklyn Center, Minn., its largest manufacturing plant. "Our main motivations for using the MAPS instrument are to decrease employee turnover and the resulting high costs of finding and training new employees and to increase the quality of new hires which will lead to greater worker productivity," said Dave Mentz, Medtronic's human resources director.

In addition to test batteries for machine operators and assemblers, Employers Association said it will also make available a third group of tests for product and material handlers. EA reported the battery of assessment devices will soon be available in software format so that companies can administer the tests to job applicants on computers.

"Given the current tight economy, more than ever manufacturing firms want to employ workers who perform successfully on the job and to decrease costly employee turnover," Spartz said. "MAPS was developed to help manufacturing companies achieve these important employment goals."

For further information on MAPS, visit or contact Spartz (763-253-9139) at EA's corporate headquarters in Plymouth, Minn.

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