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FOCUS: Key Question One for Assessment Evaluation

26 Mar 2015

FOCUS

In determining whether an assessment is good for your organization, the first key question to ask during assessment evaluation is whether the assessment is work focused and presented in a manner that builds the confidence of applicants and employees?

Consider how an assessment and the assessment process will impact applicants and/or employees. While this is often ignored when considering assessments, it remains one of the most important issues.

It should be made clear that feedback is something to consider and explore based on others’ perceptions, rather than facts.

For example, it is very popular to use 360 feedback assessments in which employees are rated by their subordinates, boss, peers, and self — according to their fulfillment of different behavioral competencies. Although this can be an effective method to help develop employees, the questions should be clear and job-relevant. It should be indicated how important each question is to the specific job. Avoid too many redundant or overlapping questions that cause rater fatigue and confusion as to how to interpret the results.

Since managers need to make decisions that are not necessarily popular, the questions and subsequent interpretations should avoid undermining management authority. We suggest using questions related to paradoxical behavioral competencies to avoid the confusion of trying to interpret if a competency is “overused.” Paradoxical behavioral competency approach examines the presence of balances and imbalances that leads to strengths or non-strengths for a given attribute. This approach stands in opposition to the possibility of ‘overused’ competencies being open to subjective interpretation by untrained users.

Finally, and most importantly, the results of the 360 survey should be given in a one-to-one setting by a qualified coach. Otherwise, there is a significant risk of creating many unnecessary upsets that could decrease morale and retention.

Using assessments for recruitment also needs careful attention to avoid unintended consequences. For example, some companies require all applicants to go through a long assessment process of one to two hours when they first apply for a job. Applicants are put through mind bending aptitude tests only to find out 2 rounds later that they are unsuitable!

At this point in the hiring process, the applicants have not received any indication as to whether the company has any real interest in them for the job. This is counter-productive because you not only pay for unnecessary assessments but you also may cause the most talented people to look elsewhere for employment.

After all, this group of people will nearly always have several employment opportunities. Even if the most talented applicants do complete such assessments, their first impression is likely to be one in which they perceive your company as being inconsiderate. This bad impression could easily become a factor related to them choosing another company.

If you wish to automate the assessment process, there are much better ways to do it. Assessment technology is currently available for you to ask several targeted questions related to applicants’ core qualifications such as their experience, education and skills when they apply online. The results can be automatically scored and the applicants sorted according to which ones are most qualified. This takes less than five minutes of their time and applicants are happy to provide this information because it enables them to receive quick feedback about the status of their application.

Some systems can even immediately inform applicants that they are being considered for the job and request them to take the next step of the assessment process – all without any human intervention.

This process gives an excellent impression of your company and encourages the best talent to continue the application process. This can also save a great deal of time by allowing you to focus on the most qualified applicants, reduce the number of interviews required, and provide automated response emails to less qualified applicants.

The Harrison Assessment for job success takes all these factors into consideration. It is focused, direct and presented in a manner that builds the confidence of applicants and employees.  Stay tuned for four more key questions to ask in reviewing assessments.



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