O*NET: What It Can Do For You

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) has earned a reputation as the nation’s primary resource of information on a variety of jobs. Developed under the sponsorship of the US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, the network’s main draw is the O*NET database, which has occupation-specific descriptions for hundreds of job classifications.

O*NET also publishes a number of guides available for free download. Two guides cover best practices in testing and assessment:

Let’s break the guides down, shall we?

An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices aims to show managers and human resources professionals how they can use assessments to help reach their organization’s HR goals.

The guide to good practices for workforce investment professionals provides information about how testing and assessment can be used in such programs as career counseling, career training and career development.

The guides are relatively similar in the sort of material they offer. Both teach their target audiences how to:

  • evaluate assessment tools and procedures and identify those that maximize the chances of finding the right fit between jobs and employees;
  • administer and score assessment tools;
  • interpret test results; and
  • understand the professional and legal standards to be followed when conducting personnel assessments.

The third guide, on using testing to make better career decisions, is geared toward clients of workforce development programs. It teaches them – as well as the career counselors, and employers targeted by the other guides – to understand test-taking strategies by answering test takers questions in easy-to-understand terms.

Together, the three guides serve as an excellent resource from O*NET for HR professionals, managers and workforce development professionals looking to raise their game.

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