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Assessments that boost HR’s batting average

Assessments are increasingly used by organizations to learn about an individual's fit for a job. On the HR Bartender blog, Julie Moreland, president of PeopleClues, which provides assessment tools, says assessments can bring objective information into the hiring process to make it more legally defensible and efficient.

The assessments also can create a more focused and efficient interview by offering behavioural insights that can be probed during the interview. She stresses that you can't rely only on assessment tests, no matter how valuable they may seem: "For an assessment to be successful and legal, it cannot and should not be the only data point in the people process for a company."

Make sure the assessment is appropriate to the situation. Some are focused on management positions, and are long and expensive, while others are aimed at general applicants and are quick and inexpensive. You may need both, but she notes that often companies don't use good assessments as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

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Determine if it is easily interpretable. Ideally, the assessment will have benchmarks and spit out a job profile that matches your organization's positions.

Make sure it's valid and reliable, asking the provider for the technical manuals that illustrate how legally defensibly and predictive their assessment is. Ideally, it should be certified by the British Psychological Society, which provides the global seal of approval, she says.

Make sure it's easily accessible through your technology and the provider has the technological smarts to deal with problems.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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