We all know that assessment instruments are powerful. They are like heavy duty guards who vigilantly protect and safeguard a bank, or a rich family, or a country. Properly made instruments, with a good reliability and validity, and with the help of other assessment methods, can certainly detect various behaviors, which gives rise to a more accurate report and assessment of the individual. But please be on guard.
When we deploy assessment instruments and methods, we detect red flags, behaviors – information, and information, is by all means, that powerful to destroy a soul, a family, a nation.
I remember when I was reading the book “Freakonomics” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, in one of their chapters, they told the tale of the how Kevin Stetson exposed the Ku Klux Klan. to start off, the Klan was founded in 1865 by six former members of the confederate army. Basically Ku Klux Klan is just like a fraternity, a group composed of like-minded individuals and has a major ideal or objective. At the start, they were said to have harmless midnight pranks until they grew to be a multi-state terrorist organization which frightens and kills slaves. They have animosity to former slaves, blacks, and white people who supported the blacks’ rights.
A lot happened during the time, the Klan has been extinguished, lied low, and then reborn in 1915. They have been viewed and praised as the crusaders of the whites, claimed to have 8 million members, lied low during the WWII, then the showed themselves again. The Klan has been thought to infiltrate politics and the law enforcement. A powerful secret society; they exchanged passwords and ploys, and the public fear it created, along with the open secret that the Klan and the law enforcement are hand-in-hand.
Then there came Kennedy Stetson, a writer, folklorist, confederate, and a hater of narrow-mindedness, ignorance, obstructionism, and intimidation – all being exemplified by the Klan, in his view. What he did was he spent years in gathering information about the Klan – interviewing members, leaders, and sympathizers, attending public Klan events, and taking advantage of his lineage (Yes, he is a Klansmen descent).
Using that information, he blew off and handicapped the Klan by exposing their customs and their secrets in a radio program for kids.
So how does all of this relate to assessment?
Oh, my spider senses are tingling! Remember what Spidey said?
“With great power, comes great responsibility”
Be responsible in the information that the assessment instruments provide.
Assessment instruments, combined with the other methods, gives us information which we should utilize properly. As I told in the tale of the Kennedy Stetson, we know what happens when the information is exposed; when the information is not properly taken cared of – the information is prone to misuse . That is why assessment results should be handled with care. We should consider these points:
All of these would boil down to respecting the individual. The information that we are receiving about him or her should always be taken with care and with respect; to use it properly and not to misuse.
Share your thoughts!
“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.” – Aaron Swartz
Originally posted on LinkedIn last November 6, 2015
Image by Todd Lappin
People ask me, “What are assessment instruments?”
“Oh, they measure various aspects of human faculties.”
“Are they important?”
As a sales person in assessment, I encounter people who believe that those tests are a waste of time, that they are just added costs. Of course, there are some people I have met who realize the power of the instruments.
What are those? Let me start on the D-A-I.
In these steps, you will see how the instrument works, and how on each stage benefit the company.
Step 1: Detect
Those can be answered by the assessment instruments, given that you have chosen the right instrument.
Deploy an instrument that would measure skills in coding in a certain difficulty level, you would detect he or she is fit or not;
Or when a candidate scores high on extroversion or let us say, being energetic, you would know that that person is energetic;
Or having an employee answer a sales potential exam would determine if he or she has the potential of doing so.
Having clear cut answers? Well be in caution for we are still in step 1! We need to go to the next steps to utilize the instruments further.
Step 2: Assess
Here we are on step 2! After they detect, those information that they detected would help you to assess the employee or candidate whether they fit to your standards of performance or of culture, along with your other assessment procedures done.
For example, in your interview, you kind of figured out that your candidate has a gloomy personality, basing on how he or she conversed with you, his or her posture, and tone of voice, and that personality is not fit in your organization.
Let us say you gave him an instrument which measures his personality and engagement to people…
If he scored closer to the facet of being timid and “energy-less,” you have confirmed what you have seen in the interview;
But what if he scored otherwise? This in turn prompts you to weigh and investigate further whether his performance in the interview is ‘really’ him or her or it is just a product of something else, for example, a break-up.
Really, this is the challenge for the HR, to identify what each organization, department, and team needs; characterizing them into a job description and recruiting the appropriate individual (Bugg, 2015).
Good thing that the assessment instruments are here to help.
Step 3: Improve
Well, feedback could be the term, but I prefer improvement. After every assessment there would be feedback, and there should be improvement. I am being proactive here because I think companies should never stagnate in their expertise. If an employee stagnates, so is the performance of the company.
Assessment instruments can also help in this step, as Van Der Merwe (2002) exclaimed in his study, assessment instruments are not just used for selection process, but also used for promotions, placements, and training and development.
If the instrument detected low performance, improve! You can train, coach, and mentor employees who are lagging behind in terms of performance.
What if in terms of culture fit? In my opinion, it should have been detected early on and there are interventions made – making the culture known to the candidate, assessing their personalities through instruments and interviews to know their culture fit.
In case you are wondering, with the DAIs in action, if done right, the measuring and detecting power of the assessment instruments bring forth various impacts to your company:
Bugg, K. (2015). Best practices for talent acquisition in 21st-century academic libraries. Library Leadership & Management, 29(4).
Sjoberg, L., Littorin, P., & Engelberg, E. (2005). Personality and emotional intelligence as factors in sales performance. Organisational Theory and practice, 2, 21-37.
Van Der Merwe, RP. (2002). Psychometric testing and human resource management. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 28(2), 77-86.
Yiu, L. & Sanner, R. (2014). Talent attrition and retention: Strategic challenges for Indian industries in the next decade. Elite Research Journal of Accounting and Business Management, 2(1), 1-9.
If you are interested in looking for some assessment services, just email me or send me a message and we can talk about it!
Originally posted on LinkedIn last October 30, 2015
Image by Giulia Forsythe
Small corner of the internet that we have put up for sharing ideas about personality and aptitude assessment. Our articles cover topics as light as personal reflections on the day-to-day experience of an assessment consultant to in-depth discussions on current practices and theories of the current assessment field.