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Are All Types of Employee Assessments Alike?

September 13, 2011
Are all employee assessments alike?  The short answer is a resounding no.  There are many kinds of assessment tools available for use.  The right assessments can greatly increase the accuracy and efficiency of your hiring decisions but finding the right assessments can be a challenge of its own.  Below are some of the top types of employee assessments used for hiring:

Types of Employee Assessments:

1)       Structured Interviews

2)       Biographical Data

3)       Personality Inventories

4)       Situational Judgment

5)       Simulations

6)       Cognitive Ability

7)       Motivational Fit

8)       Technical Knowledge

But how do you determine which type of employee assessment to use?  Try a few of these tips:

Use multiple assessments: a strong hiring funnel will have multiple steps and will use well-developed assessment tools at each stage.

Match the competency or skill to the assessment: Each  type has its own strengths and weaknesses.  You wouldn’t want to use a personality assessment to measure presentation skills.  If that skill is important, a job simulation would be more appropriate.

Be efficient: Place assessment tools in your hiring funnel where they can add the most value.  The most comprehensive assessments should be placed farther down the funnel where you have fewer candidates.

Use pre-employment assessments: Make sure you use tools developed for selection.  Many assessments available were meant for another purpose – usually clinical or informational.  You want to find one that has clear information about validity and reliability.  Be wary of assessments that are one size fits all or provide a category or ‘label’.

Be consistent and relevant: Whatever assessments you use, use them consistently.  Establish standards and apply them to every candidate the same way.  Make sure the assessments and their measurements are relevant to the target position.  Just because an assessment contains a measurement does not mean that you have to use it in your decision making – do not use it if it is not important to success on the job.

Are All Employee Assessments Alike?

Amie Lawrence, Ph.D. Amie Lawrence, Ph.D. is the Manager of Product Development at PSI. She is an expert in the design, development and validation of psychological assessment tools. An integral member of PSI since 2000, Amie has led the development of numerous competency-based assessments, including online in-baskets, job simulations and motivational fit instruments.