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Was That Really Good Advice?

July 5, 2016

Human Resources leaders are often faced with the challenge of having to quickly acquire extensive knowledge and expertise across a wide array of disciplines.  Given the significant impact of their decisions, HR executives may at times seek information from external consultants in order to get the expertise they need to consistently make the best decisions.  As topics become more technical in nature and the impact of decisions more extensive, reliance on good advice becomes ever more critical.

Talent Assessment and Selection is one such area that requires deep technical expertise, and whose impact can range from enormously favorable to catastrophic.  A good selection process can help your organization hire salespeople who close more business, or customer service representatives who delight your clients.  Whereas, an ineffective selection process can just as easily fill your company with poor performers, wreak havoc on your culture, and reduce your company earnings via the high cost of turnover.

In a very real sense, the quality of the advice you get in designing your assessment and selection processes can mean the difference between growing your business, and irrevocably harming it.  So, how do you know the advice and tools that you’re getting are any good?

Two words – Validity & Reliability.

In their 84-page guide, Testing and Assessment: An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices, the United States Department of Labor outlines the qualities of a good assessment.  At the top of their list?  You guessed it – A VALID & RELIABLE ASSESSMENT.

When a test is valid and reliable, it accurately and consistently measures what it claims to measure.  The greater the validity, the more accurate the assessment.  By using assessments with proven validity, you become better equipped to identify new hires who’ll excel in your organization – new hires who get up to speed faster, perform better, and stay longer – increasing the productivity and operational efficiency needed to drive both top and bottom line growth.

Human Resources leaders face many challenges – designing a good selection process doesn’t need to be one of them.  The next time someone recommends an assessment, just ask them one simple question: What’s the validity and reliability evidence?  Then see how their evidence stacks up to the DOL recommendations for what constitutes adequate, good and excellent levels of reliability and validity.  Now that’s advice you can use.


Brad Schneider, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President of Talent Assessment at PSI. Contact him at bschneider@psionline.com or by phone at 818.847.6180

Click here for more information about PSI’s valid & reliable assessment solutions.