section one


So people ask me all the time, what steps should I take when deciding to use an assessment in recruitment? Like, how do I decide that this is right for my organisation? And it's an important question because lots of people get this wrong.

They don't do their due diligence and as a result they use assessments which are unproven, unhelpful, potentially harmful.

And I tell people there are generally four steps you have to take and you have to go through each one sequentially before you decide, okay, I want to use this for recruitment in my company.

section two

Step 1: Validity

The first, and perhaps most fundamental thing that people need to do, you need to decide and find out whether or not the construct that the assessment measures, could be cognitive ability, could be a personality trait, could be a specific skill, could be knowledge, could be attitude, could be motivation, could be anything, you need to determine whether the academic research supports the idea that that construct itself predicts performance in the workplace.

The reason we do that first is because if it does not do that, then you can more or less finish the conversation. And you can save yourself the effort of speaking to any other publisher that offers those assessments, because they're useless.

section three

Step 2: Reliability

Next, does this assessment method actually measure that construct?

Whatever the format may be, you need to prove that it can be measured with that type of instrument, okay? And there's two components there. One is what we would call construct validity, i. e. this particular assessment indeed does measure that psychological construct, which we know is important based on step one.

Whatever the format may be, you need to prove that it can be measured with that type of instrument.

And second, it does it with a sufficient degree of reliability. Again, because if not, or it can't do it with sufficient reliability, sufficient precision and accuracy, uh, then again, you can stop the conversation, and then you don't need to speak to anyone else. Because you know the whole methodology is flawed.

4 steps to choose your recruitment test
section four

Step 3: Quality

Next, does this assessment method actually measure that construct?

Step three, okay, we assume that step two has been passed, and that there is good evidence out there that these assessments do indeed measure this construct well enough. Does this specific questionnaire, the one that you're looking at right now, measure the intended psychological construct and with a sufficient level of reliability?

Demand to see evidence of validity and reliability in the local setting.

For this specific assessment. Any good publisher will provide a technical manual or some sort of fact sheet outlining the research that they've done to, to prove this, to show this to you. And if they can't show it, if they haven't done the research needed to express these characteristics, again, you can finish the conversation. But then it's still warranted that you speak to other providers, because the methodology is sound.

It's just this particular provider has not done the legwork. The construct matters in job performance. It can be measured with questionnaires, and this specific questionnaire measures it well.

section five

Step 4: Utility

The final and most tricky stage is deciding whether or not you should use it, given the peripheral factors. Is it cost effective?

Is it going to offer a good candidate experience? Is the provider going to give you good support? That is the fourth and final stage. You know, the economic, practical factors which determine successful onboarding. And if you logically go through each of the four stages, and you are able to tick each one, it's related to performance, it's valid and reliable, they're showing evidence that this is the case for this particular tool, and we think it's going to be cost effective, and it's going to be useful, and people are going to actually complete it.

You've answered your question, and you have a useful assessment you can use in recruitment.