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One of the common debates in the assessment field revolves around the accuracy of psychometric tests. Do they measure the right constructs in the right way?
The short answer is yes.
People are complicated and the areas assessments seek to measure are also complicated. This amount of complexity gives rise to one of the most commonly held misconceptions about psychometric assessments – that they are inaccurate or unfair.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the primary reasons why psychometric assessments can be trusted to provide scientific, valuable and objective information:
When assessing an individual’s underlying potential, the primary construct that we at HFMtalentindex focus on is personality. This construct has been the subject of much research over the past century, and has been found to be stable over time. This means that our predictions of future performance are based on a stable, unchanging source of information.
Another important aspect to consider about personality-based assessments is that the individual provides insight into him/herself. It is not a maximal performance test whereby there are right or wrong answers. An individual simply provides a reflection of how he/she is likely to behave in different situations. Questions are designed to be neutral in tone to allow the individual to respond as honestly as possible.
While we rely on an individual to provide the most accurate information into elements that we cannot observe directly, there are sometimes cases where an individual exaggerates his/her responses. These exaggerations can be conscious (demonstrating impression management in order to appear more suitable for a role) or unconscious (not being aware of one’s own behaviours). Both of these are measured and managed within the HFMtalentindex personality measure.
Typically, personality assessments provide the test administrator with a lengthy report reflecting all aspects of an individual’s traits and behaviours. While this is a detailed source of information, it does not always provide clarity or business-relevant insights. In fact, the line manager may be side-tracked by irrelevant details.
It is important to only consider those personality results relevant to the role and the company’s culture. That is why we profile a job role in terms of the 6-8 competencies essential for future performance and provide results based on these competencies. This has a great number of benefits, including:
Participants are often concerned that their results are taken out of context. This is why it is always crucial to compare an individual’s raw scores to those of his/her peers. The HFMtalentindex norm groups, against which raw results are interpreted, reflect the demographic breakdown of the South African general population, ensuring a fair and unbiased comparison.
All tests need to undergo statistical analysis in order to prove that they are reliable (consistent over time) and valid (measuring the correct constructs in the correct manner). There are a wealth of established methodologies that are utilised in order to validate an assessment, and provide a strong, rigorous measure of its statistical performance. Based on these results, improvements are made to the test itself during the development process until it is satisfactory and able to be used. Analyses are performed on an on-going basis and additional changes made (if necessary) to continuously measure and monitor the accuracy of the assessment data.