Friends don’t let friends use unsubstantiated selection and development methods

Topic(s): assessment

Topic: Assessment, Research Methodology
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Article: HR professionals’ beliefs about, and knowledge of, assessment techniques and psychometric tests.
Blogger: Rob Stilson

Some academics slave over piles of data and spend months of their lives trying to determine the best selection and development methods available for the work place. Makes you wonder; is anybody paying attention? If your life’s work involves developing the absolute, most reliable and valid methods for selection and development, you may want to stop reading now.

For this study, the authors collected survey data from 255 professionals in the personnel selection and development field (mainly in the UK and Europe).  Questions concerned different techniques of selection and development (e.g., interviews, references, peer ratings, cognitive ability tests, personality tests, work samples, job knowledge, educational qualifications, 360s assessment centers, biodata, and personal hunches) and specific questions on personality tests and aptitude tests. The survey inquired about how the participants felt about validity, cost, practicality and the legality of the different methods.

For the personality and aptitude tests, the questions included;

·      have you heard of this test?

·      have you completed this test?

·      does your organization use this test?

·      how valid do you rate this test? 1-10

·      how useful is this test? 1-10

·      how useful is this test for selection? 1-10

·      how useful is this test for development? 1-10

I won’t bore you with how it all shook out, but some of the interesting findings of this survey included the fact that some tests that have very little research behind them or have been bashed psychometrically still remain very popular among practitioners. I encourage you to read this article if you know anybody in the applied world.

Furnham, A. (2008) HR professionals’ beliefs about, and knowledge of, assessment techniques and psychometric tests. International Journal of Selection and Assessment. 16 (3), 300-305.