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How To Determine If Your Employee Assessment Is Effective

February 25, 2020
Effective Hiring Assessment

There are many reasons to use an employee assessment, including legal defensibility for your hiring process, better performing hires, and reduction in turnover. Depending on the industry, there are different ways to measure the success of an employee assessment. Most employee assessments should have some sort of validation evidence to show that the assessment predicts job performance. While this might be enough to prove to the executive board that the investment in assessments is worth it, some executives might want additional evidence that shows direct results based on a local sample.

Types of Measurements to Help Evaluate Employee Assessment Effectiveness

One industry that has several different outcomes to measure for success is manufacturing. Within manufacturing, similar to other industries, there is great importance placed on safety, counter-productive workplace behaviors (CWBs), task performance, contextual performance, global ratings, and overall performance. Below, I have three examples of business outcomes that provide further evidence that these particular assessments are working by showing trends and predicting various outcomes.

Assessment Total CWB1. CWBs

In this study, a shorter fit assessment called SecureFit was analyzed with CWB outcomes and other measures to better understand how to maximize utility, validity, fairness, and efficiency of the assessment. What they found was that, among other good findings, individuals who scored in the bottom 10% had two times more CWBs than those who scored in the top 10%.

2. Safety Incidents

Another great way to measure success of any hiring or development tool is to measure outcomes related to safety incidents. Aside from the fact that no employer wants their employees to get hurt, it is also not a secret that workers compensation claims resulting from safety incidents can take a serious toll on the bottom line. So, using safety incidents as another way to measure the success of your hiring or development assessments is always a good idea. In this study, an assessment called Select Assessment for Manufacturing (SAM) showed its effectiveness by decreasing safety incidents by 33%.

Assessment Safety Incidents 2

3. Job Performance

In any validation study, especially those that are criterion-related validation studies, it’s very common to see similar performance measures as the ones in the graph below. In this study they reviewed the top and bottom scores on the SecureFit assessment to look at the relationship with four different measures of performance.

For this particular study, performance was based on supervisor ratings separated into different questions that were task based, contextual based, or global (impressions from the supervisor). As the 50th percentile is considered average, results showed that top scorers on the fit assessment were above average performers on the job. The bottom scorers proved to be below average performance on the job.

Assessment Job Performance

Based on several different factors such as job level, job industry, location, and/or job type, there might be different ways to investigate the outcomes from an employee assessment. For example, in a sales setting there are often several objective metrics that paint the picture of performance outcomes of a salesperson. Whatever the case, there are many ways outside of a traditional validation study to look at trends and outcomes to understand if your employee assessment is working. Some additional ways to measure assessment success is through candidate/incumbent experiences. Many assessments offer a short questionnaire asking candidates/incumbents to rate the quality of the assessment. These kinds of metrics can help uncover the complete picture of the test value.

As mentioned above, along with all types of measurement evidence above, organizations should also consider conducting a thorough validation study. Not only does a validation study support the types of evidence discussed above by determining the effectiveness of your selection tool, but even more importantly, validation evidence provides the rationale for why individuals were or were not selected for the role, increasing the legal defensibility of your entire hiring process (for additional information on employment tests and selection procedures best practices and guidelines, review this EEOC fact sheet). 

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Trevor McGlochlin Trevor McGlochlin is a Research Consultant at PSI. He leads the Financial and Automotive verticals within R&D. He earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology. His areas of expertise include selection, employee turnover, organizational development, applied research, and statistical analyses. His analysis work is centered around validation, adverse impact, turnover analyses, assessment scoring, and other data analysis.