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Consistent Scoring and Accurate Employment Decisions… Through an Assessment?

27 Mar 2015

Consistent ScoringThere are a lot of assessments available today. So how do you choose which one is right for you? Start with what you want to accomplish by giving the assessment.

Skills assessments help answer the question, “Can the person do their specific job effectively?”

Cognitive assessments evaluate a person’s mental ability and aptitude in relationship to a job. Does the person have the intellectual “horsepower” required for the job?

Behavioral assessments answer the question “Will the person behave in ways that generate success in their specific job?” Does the person have the willingness to perform the tasks required to be successful in their specific job.

Multi-rater or 360 assessments gather information about how others perceive an individual’s capabilities and competencies.

It is Ability vs Passion. While all of these assessments can be useful and often should be used in combination, behavioral assessment can have the greatest impact on attracting, developing and retaining talent.

It is essential that the test developer produces an overall score related to likelihood of success for your specific job so that recruiters or line managers can accurately interpret the results.

In order to be effective, behavioral assessments must be job focused and measure job or performance related factors.

Multi-rater 360’s often are over generalized. Furthermore, each factor measured in multi-rater 360’s are not impact weighted to job specific performance.

Assessments that provide only a series of scores without an overall score have little value and lead to poor hiring decisions.

For example, if an applicant scores reasonably well on all of the assessed factors but one, should the recruiter eliminate the applicant or consider it to be only a minor hindrance? If this is not provided by the test developer, recruiters and line managers can only guess. This is often the case with behavioral assessments.

An overall score also enables others to determine the accuracy of the test. The overall score related to specific jobs is also critical to enable test developers to effectively weight and configure the assessment to predict job success.

Consider an actual case example:

A large retail chain used a cognitive assessment as part of their overall assessment for hiring branch managers. They naturally decided to give preference to applicants with the highest scores. However, after a period of time, they discovered that many of the people hired were not successful. An analysis of the data showed that, in fact, employees with very high scores were unlikely to succeed and that employees with moderate scores were the most likely to succeed.

The assessment was then calibrated to interpret the likelihood of success for that specific job. Only then was it able to be useful in the assessment process. Because the assessment provider did not calibrate its assessment for the specific job or even suggest that it needed to be done, the company suffered significant losses, at least hundreds of thousand dollars if not millions. This amount of loss would have dwarfed the cost of the assessment itself and the company would have been far better off to find a test developer who understood the importance of calibrating assessments for specific jobs, especially when hiring in such large quantities.

Even Organizational Psychologists are unable to effectively interpret such tests without analyzing a significant sample of test results in relationship to performance for a specific job. In order to clearly understand how to interpret reports for specific jobs, a large amount of data is required.

However, recruiters and line managers generally don’t have access to a sufficient amount of data, and even if they did, few would have the ability to effectively analyze the data.

Unfortunately most off-the-shelf assessments do not provide job-specific scores related to predicted job performance because it is expensive to develop. Any assessment without such features should be avoided.

The Harrison JobFit Assessments takes all of these factors and considerations into account.



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