Hiring for Mechanical Comprehension in the 21st Century

By Heather Ishikawa on

As discussed in our white paper (“Hiring Manufacturing Staff in the 21st Century: A Fundamental Shift in Skills”), modern manufacturing requires a unique mix of mechanical comprehension, adaptability to new technology, and the ability to work in a team environment. With 280,000 job openings in the manufacturing industry and an unemployment rate of 5.2%, it’s clear that employers are struggling to find the right mix of skills to fill the positions. The newly revised Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test® (BMCT®-II) can help clarify the mechanical comprehension of your candidates and improve your selection process.

What is mechanical comprehension?

Mechanical comprehension refers to an individual’s understanding of basic mechanical principles and the individual’s ability to apply this knowledge when working with devices such as gears, pulleys and levers.

How can mechanical comprehension be assessed?

The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test® (BMCT®-II) is an assessment tool designed for measuring a candidate’s aptitude and ability to perceive and understand the relationship of physical forces and mechanical principles in practical situations. In other words, does this individual grasp the basic principles underlying the operation and repair of some complex devices or are they going to be a danger to themselves and others in roles that require proficient mechanical aptitude?

mechanical aptitudeWhat are the primary uses for measuring mechanical aptitude for selection?

  • Does the candidate have working knowledge of basic mechanical operations and physical laws? Does this candidate understand how mechanical gears and pulleys work together?
  • Does the candidate have an aptitude for learning mechanical processes and tasks? Will this be someone who will learn quickly and hit the ground running?

What do high scores on the BMCT-II suggest?

Applicants who score higher on the BMCT-II tend to display a higher level of competence and can effectively demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of physical principles and laws
  • Knowledge of machines and tools and/or mechanical knowledge and expertise

Applicants with high scores also may effectively demonstrate the ability to:

  • Diagnose complex problems, involving machinery or equipment
  • Install equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications
  • Imagine how something will look after it is has been moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged
  • Develop new ideas to address work-related problems
  • Readily understand the implications of new information
  • Discern subtle interrelationships among seemingly disparate pieces of information 

Mechanical Comprehension Tests are used for positions such as:

  • Installation/Maintenance/Repair: Facility maintenance, HVAC technician, equipment installation technician
  • Skilled Trades: Electrician, welder, plumber, carpenter
  • Machine Operator/Machinist
  • General Labor: Laborer, material mover/handler, groundskeeper)
  • Vocational/Technical Student: Vocational/technical programs requiring mechanical aptitude
  • Mechanic: Automotive, aircraft, motorcycle, diesel
  • Engineer: Mechanical, electrical, civil, aerospace
  • Industrial/Technical Sales
  • Transportation Trades/Equipment Operators: Truck drivers, Heavy Equipment Operators 

To learn more about the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test® (BMCT®-II), contact the TalentLens team here.

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