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Why would anyone want to mix and match assessments to create a battery of tests?

September 23, 2016

With over thousands of assessment options available in the market, you may wonder, “Why would anyone want to mix and match assessments to create a battery of tests?”  The answer lies in the model of predictive power.  What is predictive power? The concept of predictive power differs from explanatory and descriptive power (where phenomena that are already known are retrospectively explained or described by a given theory) in that it allows a prospective test of theoretical understanding. What does this mean to human resource professionals?

A battery is composed of multiple separate assessments, allowing for a wider range of competencies, personality traits, skills, and aptitudes to be measured, thus giving human resource professionals a more accurate prediction of performance potentialThis means that a combination of multiple assessments can account for a whole person evaluation.   In most cases, assessments designed for the selection space are divvied up almost exclusively into one of the following categories:  personality, cognitive ability, or skills/knowledges.  Each type of assessment provides a certain degree of insight regarding how someone is likely to perform on the job.  Combining multiple assessments together creates a battery with a stronger ability to predict future job performance than does a single assessment.

Imagine that you are scoping out potential assessment tools for a clerical position; you may choose a personality tool that taps into traits such as attention to detail and conscientiousness.   However, you may also be equally interested in understanding how that same individual stacks up when it comes to their skill at entering data or their aptitude to navigate through a software program.  A personality tool would not give you information related to skill or aptitude; rather, you would need to pair the personality tool with a type of skill or aptitude test in order to gather all of the information you hope to attain.

Batteries offer a solution for understanding an individual’s strengths and weaknesses across a variety of constructs that are not normally identified using a single instrument.  However, this is not the only benefit of combining multiple assessments together.  For example, personality assessments are often paired with cognitive ability tools.  Aside from the benefit of tapping into both personality characteristics and cognitive abilities, this combination of tools helps to mitigate the potential of introducing adverse impact.  Adverse impact occurs when a selection method has a discriminatory effect on a protected group.  Cognitive ability is known to be the single best predictor of job performance; however, a tool measuring cognitive ability is also a big culprit when it comes to introducing adverse impact.  One way of alleviating the severity of adverse impact is to complement a cognitive ability tool with another tool that is not prone to introduce adverse impact, such as a personality assessment.

PAN’s catalog of over 500 assessments is one of the various reasons why we stand out in the market. We’re the “one-stop-shop” for assessment needs, and our unique platform enables our clients to mix, match, and even create assessments for a battery designed specifically with their needs in mind.

For more information, please join Rick Tiemann of the Executive Group for his webinar entitled “Demystifying the World of Assessments” to learn more about the usefulness of assessment batteries. The webinar will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 4th at 1:00 EDT.

Register now

Recertification Credit

Viewing this webcast in its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM and PHR/SPHR/GPHR recertification from the HR Certification Institute (general credit).

PAN’s catalog of over 500 assessments is one of the various reasons why we stand out in the market. We’re the “one-stop-shop” for assessment needs, and our unique platform enables our clients to mix and match assessments for a battery designed specifically with their needs in mind. In addition, if they can’t find an existing an existing assessment, we offer the ability to create their own custom assessment with our authoring tool.

Andrew