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Posts Tagged ‘validity of assessments’

Judge Things and People on Content rather than Looks

This week I have had several conversations regarding the old cliche:

“Don’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover.”

And, it appears that this simple phrase is more important than ever. Let me give you a few examples from my recent conversations with people.

How to Choose the Right Assessment for Your Company

How do you choose the right assessment from so many choices? That is a question that shows up every day. Some people have the answer and others just keep using the one that was introduced to them while in school. Others use the ones recommended by their boss or someone they trust or respect.

The above methods are subjective at best. So how do you choose the right one for you or your organization? There are seven factors to review, so let’s get started:

  1. Price – Some choices are made only based upon price. Price per assessment, per project or per group. Price is a consideration, yet, it should not be the only issue to review for using assessments. There are other more important considerations.
  2. Validation – Now this is another important area, yet it can be overused. Validation of personal assessments should be validated in several areas – accuracy, relationship, construct, and consistency. However, not ALL assessment are in need of validation. There are numerous situations that call for job related accuracy only. In fact, we see this element being a key factor in several assessment processes – are there job related benchmarks being used in the interpretation?
  3. Legal – Are the legal requirements of the assessments being met? In the 50’s and 60’s some assessments were used in an illegal manner to eliminate certain classes of people from employment opportunities. And, laws were passed to stop this practice. However, today, several people still have a misunderstanding of what is legal and what is illegal in the use of assessments – particularly in the hiring and selection of people. While you will want to check with your legal advisers – the EEOC and the Department of Labor are very clear on the use of assessments. It is perfectly fine to use assessments – especially if they are focused upon the needs of a job or position rather than an individual. Benchmarking that is job specific is good for legal requirements.
  4. Norms – What norms are being used by the assessment provider? If the provider cannot “show” you when and where the norms for their assessments were established, then decline to use them. There are many “copy cats” in the marketplace that have not done any research and development to keep their assessments current. Most behavioral assessments were normed on the baby boomers population. Therefore, the X and Y Generation individuals do not get accurate results. Thus a disconnect between the report generated and the belief that the information is accurate. Your norms should be set from the 21st century not the early 20th century.
  5. Easy of Use – The assessment process should be difficult for the user or the benefactor of the results. The instructions and deliverable should be easy to understand and implement. Simple and clear is the key.
  6. Support – Do you have a provider that has experienced and certified individuals to support the debrief of information provided from the assessments. To often, you will have a “certified” individual that has no practical experience. Therefore, the insight into how certain factors or combinations impact an individual or organization could be missing. This lack of insight will hurt you in the long run.
  7. Language – During the 20th century one language was okay. However, today with the global presence and multi-cultures in the marketplace the question of “What languages are available for this assessment?” is key. A quality assessment should be available in multiple languages over the same system that everyone uses. By the way, our experience is the base language spoken by participants is important for taking assessments. To much time is wasted trying to interpret the definitions of words used in the assessment with misunderstanding and inaccurate results commonplace. However, when people use their primary language while taking the assessment – the accuracy is improved.

Review these points before making your decision as to how to which assessment or combination of assessments you should be using to get the results you want. If you need samples of assessment reports, then go to our assessment only site – use the Individual Focus or Corporate Focus tab to find the specific report you want. Call us if you want to get an assessment – 901-757-4434.

DISC validity – Do You Know its Importance?

People have a tendency to treat assessments as a commodity item. They feel that all DISC reports are equal and there is no difference between the different vendors of DISC. Well, this is not an accurate statement or belief.

Let me explain the differences based upon validity factors.

Since most DISC assessments come from similar origins of research they appear at first glance to be the same and therefore the results are the same. Yet, when you truly look under the hood of the assessment – you can find major differences.

Our Strategic Partner for assessments (TTI Performance Systems) takes great pride in their commitment to research, study and validate their assessments to a very high standard. Due to their high standards, they continuously update and check their validity of their assessments. Several years ago they discovered that some of the constructive language used in the assessments were no longer valid at their standards.

After two years of hard research and testing, a new standard was placed in effect that actually increased the validity percentages in all elements of DISC. This created a higher acceptance and accuracy level for our clients.

So what is the secret? It’s due to the shift in culture and demographics. The x and y generations have had an effect upon the validity scores. Since the vast majority of DISC assessments are based on older norms (mid to late 20th century) the boomers influenced the validity standards. Therefore, unless your workforce is all boomer aged – there are probabilities that some of the assessments are lacking in accuracy for the younger people in your organization.

What we recommend is to ask about the norms of the assessment. You can even ask for a validity statement or report. When reviewing this information, check the following: Is it from an independent source or inhouse? Do they provide the statistical results of the studies? What year did the studies occur? (Anything before 2000 maybe loaded with Boomer Bias)

Remember that many assessments used in the field have no validation or research to back up their accuracy. Beware of the cheap “knock offs” that have “borrowed” the research of others and have little investment in the accuracy of their assessments. This is a major problem in the world of assessments and many people are fooled or influenced by the low prices offered.

If you would like to see a validation report on our DISC assessment, please contact us at 901-757-4434. We look forward to serving you with up-to-date, state of the art assessment reports.