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Three of the Most Common Employee Assessment Myths

July 18, 2017

Working as a consultant for Select International for four years now, I’ve come to learn some of the most common myths about assessments and their capabilities. The myths I hear repeatedly tend to center around ability, candidate experience, and candid responses. Below, I will break down each of these areas and bust these myths!

employee assessment myths

Myth 1: Assessments don’t work.

Contrary to this thought, Select International has TONS of evidence to support that each of our assessments DO predict job performance (a.k.a. – work as they should). When our Research Consultants look at our data, time and time again, we see variance on our test items and measurements. When we say “variance,” what we mean is people respond differently to our items. So, if we asked job candidates to respond to the item: “I enjoy solving challenging problems,” one candidate might choose "Strongly Agree," whereas another candidate might choose "Somewhat Disagree." When we have variance in our items, we can examine how well each of these items predicts how well someone is going to do on-the-job.

Taking this a step further, Select International has completed hundreds of validation studies, finding strong validity coefficients between assessment results and on-the-job performance. Thus, people who score well on our assessments are performing well on the job, and people who do not do well on the assessments have not been performing well on the job.

Myth 2: No one likes to complete assessments.

Select International makes an effort to ensure that candidates appreciate and enjoy their assessment experience. This is important from a candidate and client/organizational perspective. Once candidates have completed an online assessment, we provide candidates with an optional survey regarding their experience taking the assessment. Most of these questions revolve around the relevancy and fairness of the assessment. Additionally, we ask questions about how completing the assessment affects candidates’ views of the organization to which they are applying.

Our research consistently shows that candidates enjoy their testing experience and actually value the time that organizations spend learning more about their abilities through tools like an assessment.

Myth 3: People lie on assessments.

There is some truth to this myth – some people do lie on assessments. However, we have found that people are not the best in terms of lying about their capabilities through assessment. Additionally, we have implemented several methods into assessments that help detect fake responding patterns such as bogus items, scales, and multiple modes of measurement.

It’s important to remember that an assessment is one point of measurement in a hiring process. We know assessments are the most predictive piece(s) of a hiring process and are critical to accuracy. On top of the assessment piece, using other methods such as a follow-up behavioral interview will only help you identify someone whose capabilities might differ from what they lead you to believe.

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Lindsey Burke Lindsey Burke is a Consultant based in the Pittsburgh office of PSI. She is largely responsible for client support and managing clients in industries including manufacturing, sales, and healthcare. Lindsey completed her M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Xavier University and earned a B.A. and B.S. in Psychology from Kent State University.