Certain Assessments Inappropriate for Hiring, Succession Planning, expert says

Posted by Charles Middleton on 02/13/2015

Q: What are the proper situations for use of assessments?

A: Assessments can be used in a wide range of employment applications, including prescreening, job matching, on-boarding, managing performance, leadership development and succession planning. They also can be the basis for team building, conflict resolution, improving communication and customer service training.

Q: What factors should an employer consider when evaluating assessments?

A: The first factor is to determine what the employer is trying to accomplish with the assessment. Is there high turnover, and a related desire to assess applicants in the final stages of interviewing? Are there a high number of retirement age employees, and a need to start promoting younger workers into the “pipeline?” Are there perceived training needs that the employer wants to identify? The second factor the employer wants to determine is what to measure. Does the employer want to assess skills, cognitive abilities, behaviors and/or interests? Thirdly, the employer wants to ensure the instrument has been validated and is reliable for the selected application. Assessment providers should have technical manuals that detail all of the psychometric data to support the validity and reliability of the instrument and its appropriate use.

Q: What circumstances are inappropriate for an employer's use of assessments?

A: The developer of the assessment should provide the appropriate description of the assessment's application and the supporting data and statistics for its use. However, the employer must exercise due diligence in asking good questions, obtaining references, and requesting demonstrations of the assessment. Generally, assessments that are personality-based are not rated for selection or succession planning, but may be suitable for team building or improving communication.

PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER

Published The Oklahoma, February 13, 2015