Just how effective is pre-employment testing?

McQuaig Report-Vol 3-Just How Effective is Pre-Employment Testing

Approximately 40-50% of North American companies use some form of pre-employment testing. Larger companies are more likely to use a pre-employment test than smaller ones and according to The HR Scorecard: Linking People, Strategy and Performance (Harvard Business School Press), topperforming companies are four times more likely to use these tests than poor performing companies.

But just how effective is pre-employment testing – more specifically, how effective are personalitybased assessments? And what can companies do to increase the effectiveness of these tests? improving effectiveness threefold: the evidence A study out of the University of Waterloo, Personality Predictors as a Measure of Job Performance, provides a meta-analysis of 13,521 job applicants covered in 494 studies who were assessed using personality-based assessments.

A key finding showed that the way the instrument was used made a huge difference in its ability to predict performance. Here is a summary of the findings:

  1. If the personality measure was used in an “exploratory” way – for example, you assess the candidate’s personality to better understand him or her – the validity coefficient was .12, about as effective as an unstructured interview.
  2. If the personality measure was used in a “confirmatory” way– for example, you believe that yoursales people should be persistent, you find an assessment that measures persistence and hire candidates who are persistent – the validity coefficient jumps .29, more than twice as effective.
  3. If the personality measure included a job analysis tool that objectively determined the personality measures deemed for success, the validity coefficient increased significantly again to .38, a level that is considered very respectable by most professionals.

Keep in mind that these studies measure the personality assessment in a vacuum and not combined with other methods, such as behavioural interviewing. the bottom line From our experience we know that a significant portion of the 40-50% of companies using assessments use them in an exploratory way and as a result, reap only a portion of the benefits. Why do they skip the job analysis process at the front end? Lack of time is the most common response. In the end they spend a much greater amount of time dealing with performance issues and rehiring for the position.

If you would like to review a case study of an organization that successfully integrated job analysis into their assessment process with a measurable impact on retention and employee satisfaction, please call Contact Us and ask for the AEGON case study.