How HR professionals choose the right psychological assessment tools
Previously, we established the importance of quality psychological assessment. We also established that HR specialists might be unfamiliar with established research findings about hiring assessments¹.
To prevent unwanted and costly decisions, we decided to equip our readers with important information to make the right decision for what you and your company need. This time, as a deeper-dive or a refreshment course for HR specialists and organizational psychologists.
What to consider when you’re expecting (to assess)
Put on your green hat and help me think for a second. What kind of information do you need to make an informed decision about a psychological assessment tool you wish to use?
My thinking is going in these directions:
- Does my preferred psychological assessment tool provide me with information I can use to make an effective decision?
- Does it measure something stable and (relatively) unchangeable so that I can expect candidates to be the same if I employ them?
- Does it discriminate against people based on their lawfully protected personal characteristics, making its use illegal?
- Is it backed with proof that the results actually deliver what the assessment tool promises?
- Is it possible to independently verify the information presented by the publisher?
- Is there any proof that the results affect outcomes that are important for my team and my company (e.g., productivity, satisfaction, good coworker relationships)?
Did I cover most of your dilemmas? If not, please, do not hesitate to write to me and help improve this blog.
How will you know (if it suits your needs)
Based on professional and legal standards²˒³, employers should consider these types of information when choosing the suitable psychological assessment tool for themselves:
General description of the assessment tool.
This will allow you to identify what kind of an assessment tool you are dealing with. Information, such as the publication date, authors that developed the tool, the information about the tool’s administration and its cost will allow you to determine if the assessment tool is (still) relevant, professionally developed, and appropriate for the administration you can and are willing to provide.
Background (model/theory/idea) of the assessment tool.
This will allow you to determine the purpose of the assessment tool. Information, such as scientific background and the group of people that the tool and its scoring were developed on, will allow you to determine if the content and purpose of the assessment tool is relevant to your needs and to the group of people (e.g., candidates, employees, top managers) you intend to assess.
Technical information about the assessment tool.
This will allow you to acquire the appropriate assessment tool by legal and professional standards. Information, such as the assessment tool’s reliability, validity, fairness (bias), and potential for adverse impact, will allow you to determine if you can expect the chosen assessment tool to provide you with reliable and valid information needed to make informed decisions in your HR processes.
Other useful information, worthy of consideration, also includes:
On-going research of the assessment tool
This will offer you insight into the care that the tool’s provider puts into improving the assessment tool. Information about the development of the assessment tool and updates to it will allow you to determine if the assessment tool reflects the legal compliance and quality of content needed for tackling modern HR challenges.
Independent reviews of the assessment tool
These will offer you the level of consistency between the provider’s and third party user’s information about the assessment tool. The reviews (together with available literature) can also inform you about specific challenges that the assessment tool might have and about specific problems that it can solve with its use.
Practical information from using the assessment tool.
This will offer all the information you need to understand the challenges that using the specific assessment tool brings in the process. Trying out the assessment tool with your employees will provide insight into administration arrangements needed, interpretational challenges of specific (combinations of) results, and possible reactions and effects the tool can have on the people using it. Furthermore, determining the cost-effectiveness of using a specific assessment tool will allow you to reflect the potential benefits and costs of its use in your processes.
Check the suitability with an evaluation checklist
The information discussed above might be broad, but crucial to consider. Including your HR specialists (or other field-relevant professionals, such as organizational psychologists) in the discussion about your assessment process can alleviate some of the pains in understanding every aspect of the quality of the assessment tools you are interested in and provide you with a necessary insight before making a decision. After all, some of the information discussed is what HR professionals are trained to understand and use, but describing them can help other professionals better understand what determines the quality of psychological assessment tools.
To make the decision-making process easier, we provide you with a tool that will help you check all crucial information about the psychological assessment tools you are interested in. Based on the checklist from O*NET’s Employer’s Guide³, we prepared an evaluation checklist that allows you to compile all of the relevant information about psychological assessment tools. Feel free to download it and use it in your future considerations!
Do note that the checklist is primarily a quality tool for comparing what different providers of psychological assessment tools offer on the market. A lot of the time, providers do not have or offer all information contained in the checklist. What matters is the quality of the information that they do and how often they update the descriptions of their assessment tools with newer information.
Save your time and check out HR Potentials
Determining the quality of the assessment tool is, of course, but one of the parts of the process. Certifications of your HR specialists, ensuring suitable and uniform conditions during the assessment process and other steps are also something you should guarantee to ensure that your HR processes are professional, fair, company-relevant, and efficient.
At HR Potentials, our path is strictly set on following the professional standards of psychological assessment and ensuring that our assessment tools are suitable for your needs. Empowering HR specialists and decision makers with objective, reliable and valid assessment tools for better, data-driven, and bias-free decisions is why we do what we do.
Why not give it a try? Contact our representative and ensure yourself a free assessment of 15 candidates or employees today!
- Martin, W. (2014). The problem with using personality tests for hiring. Harvard Business Review. Received November 16, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2014/08/the-problem-with-using-personality-tests-for-hiring
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. (n.d.). Information to consider when creating or purchasing an employment test. Received November 15, 2022, from https://www.siop.org/Business-Resources/Employment-Testing/Considerations
- Saad, S., Carter, G. W., Rothenberg, M., & Israelson, E. (1999). Testing and assessment: An employer’s guide to good practices. U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. http://wdr.doleta.gov/opr/FULLTEXT/99-testassess.pdf