Assessments in the Workplace


Assessments in the Workplace

On the Importance of Understanding Assessments

My educational background is Organizational Psychology. A large part of my studies included the proper use of assessments.

A documentary released in 2021 by HBOMax has broken the debate wide open about the use of personality assessments in the workplace. On the specifics of the documentary, I align very closely with the official statement released by the Society of Industrial Psychologists.

 The conversation has centered around if assessments should be used in the workplace at all. As a practitioner, I’d like to weigh in both on the consideration of the use of assessments in hiring, development, promotion and beyond.

Any assessment used in consideration of hiring or promotion MUST be validated for your business. 

I don’t often share this publicly, but I once walked away from a fantastic opportunity because I was asked to take an invalidated assessment as a condition of pre-employment. I “passed” the assessment and made it all the way to the last interview and approached the hiring manager about the assessment. 

How did I know it had not been validated? I asked. What did that tell me about that organization? They hadn’t done their homework.

They were trying to quantify me without getting to know me. 

Validating an assessment is an expensive and time consuming process. It takes into account if the assessment can predict success in a role, which means assessing and calibrating incumbents. If done correctly, the results will stand up in court against any unfair hiring claims.

On top of that, your local or state municipality may have special rules around assessments in the workplace. If you are hiring remotely, you have to consider the residence of the candidates you are interviewing.

Not all assessments are created equal. Even Cosmo magazine claims to write valid personality assessments. Do your homework! If you want to use an assessment within your business, make sure you first find one that is built on sound psychological principals. 

Know HOW you are using assessments and ensure that it is validated for the use you have chosen within your business.

I personally like using assessments when I’m working with teams or high potentials (individuals tracking to move into key contributor or manager roles in 6-12 months).  Your business and needs will look different – that’s why you need a customized solution to meet your needs.

Want a partner to walk alongside you in offering assessments to your team?

J Prater Consulting just celebrated 6 years of serving clients just like you through organizational growth and development. Schedule a discovery call with us today. 



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