TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Part of the reason that many businesses struggle with talent measurement is because they do not know what measurement methods and tools are at their disposal. Considering the following eight measurement methods:
1. Tools for sifting candidates. Sifting tools are a common component of many firms’ hiring processes. Typically, sifting tools are used in the early stages of the hiring process as they allow a business to narrow down a large pool of applicants. These tools can be preprogrammed algorithms or scoring systems that select the best résumés from the pile.
2. Interviews. Research shows that well-conducted interviews lead to accurate hiring judgments. While interviews do not measure a person’s competencies, they are shown to successfully gauge their social skills and experience. For interviews to be effective, businesses must ensure that they have structure. The biggest problem with interviews is that they are subject to interviewers’ biases.
3. Psychometric tests. Psychometric tests are questionnaire-based tests that evaluate factors like intelligence, personality, and integrity. When crafted well, these tests have been proven to be quick, cheap, and accurate. The most common problem with psychometric tests is that many do not have enough research to back up their accuracy.
4. Assessment centers. Traditionally, assessment centers are composed of multiple assessors who observe a group of participants over a series of exercises and tests while rating their competences. They offer a rigorous process that involves multiple perspectives. The limitations of assessment centers include the decline in their validity and the travel costs of sending candidates.
5. Situational judgment tests. Also known as “low-fidelity simulations,” situational judgment tests (SJTs) present people with realistic work scenarios before asking questions about them. SJTs can test people’s behavioral tendencies or their knowledge. Although they are easy to run, SJTs need to be well designed to deliver good levels of validity.
6. Individual psychological assessment. There is a lack of evidence to prove the benefits of individual psychological assessments. However, many organizations like to use this talent measurement process to determine if mid-level to senior executives are ready for promotions. It is an excellent way to evaluate an individual’s “fit.”
7. 360-degree feedback. This measurement method evaluates a person by asking a range of their colleagues to answer questions about them. The questions are designed to measure people’s competencies or their performance levels. The feedback received from the people questioned is generally regarded as fair and valid. However, the method usually fails to distinguish high performers from poor performers and is inefficient in that many participants interpret their ratings of a person as how much they like them.
8. Work sample tests, simulations, and games. Along with simulations and games, work sample tests have been found to be fair and capable of predicting performance. It is best to use this method in the recruitment process, particularly for skilled or semiskilled roles. The main limitation to this method is that if the design of the work sample is poor it is rendered ineffective.