How to Hire & Develop Better with Assessments

With thousands of assessments available from hundreds of publishers, it can be a daunting task to choose the ones that yield the best results for your organization.  Maybe you have made the decision to use pre-employment testing as a part of your hiring practices, or to use assessments to develop your employees (woohoo!).  But now, how do you decide which type of assessment to use?  On your quest to select and develop better talent, understanding different types of assessments can offer insights into which are best suited for specific job roles, levels, and overall business needs and goals.

At PAN, we tend to think that there are nine popular assessment types for selection and development: Cognitive Ability, Skills and Knowledge, Personality, Integrity, Values, Biodata, 360-degree Feedback, Structured Interviews, and Situational Judgment. Let us dive into the foundation of each type:

  • Cognitive Ability
    • Cognitive Ability tests are some of the strongest predictors of job performance. Usually they assess critical thinking abilities, such as verbal and mathematical ability.
  • Skills and Knowledge
    • Skills and Knowledge assessments are also strong predictors of job performance, and they are inherently job-related. These tests essentially measure how much job-relevant knowledge the test taker has at the time of test completion.
  • Personality
    • Personality assessments are extremely popular and are useful in assessing an individual’s motivations, preferences, interests, emotional make-up, and style of interacting with people and situations. These assessments can be either general or job-specific.
  • Integrity
    • Integrity tests assess character such that employers can screen out test takers with “red flag” characteristics (safety infractions, dishonesty, absenteeism, etc.) who may be a liability to the company.
  • Values
    • Values assessments attempt to match individuals to organizations with which they will fit well, based on personality, interests, and organizational culture preference.
  • Biodata
    • Biodata assessments inquire about past events that are telling of an individual’s personality, attitudes, experiences, interests, skills, and abilities. Overall, they rely on the assumption that certain aspects of someone’s past may be some of the best predictors of someone’s future job performance.
  • 360-degree Feedback
    • 360-degree feedback instruments rely on evaluations of an employee from two or more sources, giving a more complete view of the employee’s abilities and predicted performance. 360-degree feedback instruments are designed explicitly for developmental purposes only.
  • Structured Interviews
    • Structured Interviews employ standardized questions to ensure equal opportunity for all candidates, and reduce the possibility of bias that can often creep in during unstructured interviews. Items often include behavioral interview questions which assess a candidate’s communication skills and job-related competencies in real-life situations.
  • Situational Judgment
    • Situational Judgment tests (SJTs) present test takers with a hypothetical (but realistic) workplace scenario and several plausible actions in response to the scenario. Respondents are then prompted to either indicate which actions they would most likely endorse, or to rate the effectiveness of each action.

For more information on assessment types, plan on  How To Hire & Develop Better With Assessment Tools, Kelsey Stephen’s upcoming webinar on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 from 2PM – 3PM EDT.

Attendees of this free webinar will walk away knowing the following details about each assessment type:

  • A clear definition
  • The pros and cons
  • The best use cases

Photo Credit: yatharthmarketing Flickr via Compfight cc