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How to Choose the Right Assessment

assessments hiring people analytics personality assessments roi Jan 13, 2021
A child confused at all of the options when selecting a psychological assessment
There are over 800 psychological assessments available.
It's difficult to tell them apart, let alone choose the right one. It's not surprising, then, that many companies are not getting the results they want from the assessment they're using.
Whether you're shopping for the first time or unhappy with your current tool...

Ask these 3 questions to determine the right assessment for your needs:


1: What does it measure?

All assessments measure one of three things: cognition, affect or conation. In layman's terms, those categories are WHAT you know, WHY you do things, and HOW you do them.
Why is it important to understand what an assessment measures? Because it's fundamental to choosing the right tool for the job. Most likely, you are using the assessment to solve a particular problem or achieve a specific business outcome.
Your tool should match your needs. For example, if a team is struggling with interpersonal conflict, then a cognitive assessment is probably not the best tool to resolve that situation.

2: How stable are the results?

Stability, or the consistency of results over time, is measured through test-retest reliability. Most assessment companies publish this information in their statistical handbook.
Important note: pay attention to the time frame the company uses to measure reliability. Some companies tout the reliability of their assessment, but only test across a 2-week span. Look for testing over a 2-year+ span.
Why does reliability matter?
The reliability of the instrument determines your ROI. If you only receive 2 weeks' worth of insight, you get much less value than if you receive 2 years' worth of insight. Remember this: the time frame of the tool limits the time frame of your decision making.
As the saying goes, time is money (or in this case, value).

3: Does this assessment predict the future?

The technical term for this is predictive validity. If you're using the assessment to make a decision about the future, like who will be a long-term high performer in a job role, then the assessment must be an accurate predictor of those things.
For example, the financial services industry is notorious for having one of the highest turnover rates. Yet, most of those who leave or fail out of the industry passed rigorous licensing exams. So being an expert in finances doesn't guarantee success in a finance career. Knowledge is simply not the only, or even chief, indicator of success in that industry.
Similarly, many medical schools now require applicants to take an affective (personality-type) instrument. The schools realize that good grades alone don't guarantee success in a medical career.
Clearly, the smartest person is not always the most successful. So be careful not to overweight cognitive tests in predicting future performance. Likewise, affective and conative assessments have their own levels of predictive validity. Make sure an assessment is accurate in predicting future success in the area of your decision making.

We are here to help.

Still not sure which assessment is best? We are happy to help. We know how to choose the right assessment for your needs.

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