Using pre-employment assessments in your hiring process can generate real business results. This includes reducing turnover, improving new hire performance and developing a better understanding of your hiring process.
While some companies consider assessments too costly, every $1 investment in pre-employment assessments can yield $5 or more in return. Three terms your team needs to know to build a solid foundation for pre-employment assessment success: job analysis, validation, and reliability.
A job analysis is a process of systematically collecting information about a job that specifies what it takes to perform that job well. This involves observing employees on the job, understanding the tasks that allow someone to complete the job, and how those tasks relate to successful performance.
A job analysis helps you understand job competencies – the abilities, skills, and behaviors – needed to perform a job successfully. Every job is made up of a combination of competencies. For example, competencies for a customer service representative job would include computer skills, multi-tasking, stress tolerance, dependability, oral communication, etc. Breaking a job down by well-defined competencies helps you describe and measure it.
Based on a statistical process, validation is the extent to which an assessment measures what it is intended to measure. It’s directly derived from identifying how scores on an assessment link to job performance.
Understanding the relationships between assessment scores and job performance is important for compliance. If you face a challenge – from a government entity or a legal proceeding with an employee – you need to be able to show that you defined the job through job analysis. You also need to demonstrate that your hiring process relates to actual job performance.
An offshoot of validation, reliability is how consistently a test measures a characteristic. You want to ensure your assessments generate reliable results over and over.
From a compliance standpoint, you need to ensure your assessments reliably measure characteristics that link to successful job performance.
It is possible to come across assessment tools that do not provide the same results when measuring candidates. Be sure to test for reliability when evaluating and developing assessment tools.
As the use of analytics becomes more popular, there is growing trend towards using only statistical analysis to create a hiring process. Purely looking at the intersection of two data points to create an assessment may not be enough. You need to understand the full story of why someone will be successful and demonstrate the reliability of your assessments in your hiring process.