Using assessments in your hiring process has the potential to bring on some of the strongest candidates in your applicant pool, identify who will become your hardest working employees, and provide the ability to recognize which candidates may not be a good fit for the job. In order to take advantage of these benefits, however, your assessments need to have a number of different validations within them – from making sure the content is relevant to the position, to understanding how to use the data to make accurate predictions on candidates. Below are different types of validations in your hiring assessments, as well as how they impact the assessment process and why they’re important.
Content Validity: Content validity is ensuring that anything appears on an assessment aligns with the job. For example, in an assessment that examines the skills of a candidate, the questions would be targeting skills that are essential to the success of a job. Content validity is critical to making sure that you’re testing your candidates on aspects of the job – assessments that don’t have content validity are meaningless to the hiring process since they do not evaluate a candidate for the position. If you’re considering the use of assessments for talent acquisition, experts within your company who understand the positions you’re looking to use assessments for are key to ensuring your content will be valid.
Face Validity: Face validity, unlike content validity, is making sure the assessment meets the “eye test,” or that it looks good “at face value.” While content validity focuses on the scientific integrity and content accuracy of an assessment, face validity ensures the test is accessible and looks good. While face validity may not seem as important, having a test that is accessible and easily understood is crucial to ensuring your candidates are able to take the assessments without getting confused or frustrated.
Construct Validity: Construct validity is an assessment construction testing other abilities of a candidate inadvertently. For example, if your assessment is a simulation evaluating a candidate’s ability to handle different types of customers, but the simulation involves a number of difficult vocabulary words, the assessment might also be evaluating a candidate’s understand of vocabulary and linguistics. Construct validity can be a good thing – if the test is designed well. Theoretically, a well-designed test should be constructed so that, if a candidate were to take another assessment testing for the same skills/qualities/characteristics, the candidate would score almost the same on both tests. If, however, the test is poorly constructed, the test could be considered discriminatory.
Predictive Validity: Predictive validity is the ability to evaluate how a candidate will perform as an employee, based on how they performed in their hiring assessments. Predictive validity doesn’t just examine assessment performance of an individual however, it compares performances of current employees with their assessment results to identify trends and patterns that would demonstrate whether or not a candidate was similar to other employees during their candidacy.
There are many different types of validities in the hiring assessment process, but these four are key concepts to understanding how to leveraging your assessment processes to their most effective uses. For more information on the pre-hire assessment process, download FurstPerson's e-book on must ask questions before implimenting an assessment hiring process of your own.