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Category Archives: PSI Blog

Was That Really Good Advice?

adviceHuman Resources leaders are often faced with the challenge of having to quickly acquire extensive knowledge and expertise across a wide array of disciplines.  Given the significant impact of their decisions, HR executives may at times seek information from external consultants in order to get the expertise they need to consistently make the best decisions.  As topics become more technical in nature and the impact of decisions more extensive, reliance on good advice becomes ever more critical.

Talent Assessment and Selection is one such area that requires deep technical expertise, and whose impact can range from enormously favorable to catastrophic.  A good selection process can help your organization hire salespeople who close more business, or customer service representatives who delight your clients.  Whereas, an ineffective selection process can just as easily fill your company with poor performers, wreak havoc on your culture, and reduce your company earnings via the high cost of turnover.

In a very real sense, the quality of the advice you get in designing your assessment and selection processes can mean the difference between growing your business, and irrevocably harming it.  So, how do you know the advice and tools that you’re getting are any good?

Two words – Validity & Reliability.

In their 84-page guide, Testing and Assessment: An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices, the United States Department of Labor outlines the qualities of a good assessment.  At the top of their list?  You guessed it – A VALID & RELIABLE ASSESSMENT.

When a test is valid and reliable, it accurately and consistently measures what it claims to measure.  The greater the validity, the more accurate the assessment.  By using assessments with proven validity, you become better equipped to identify new hires who’ll excel in your organization – new hires who get up to speed faster, perform better, and stay longer – increasing the productivity and operational efficiency needed to drive both top and bottom line growth.

Human Resources leaders face many challenges – designing a good selection process doesn’t need to be one of them.  The next time someone recommends an assessment, just ask them one simple question: What’s the validity and reliability evidence?  Then see how their evidence stacks up to the DOL recommendations for what constitutes adequate, good and excellent levels of reliability and validity.  Now that’s advice you can use.


Brad Schneider, Ph.D.
Brad Schneider, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President of Talent Assessment at PSI. Contact him at bschneider@psionline.com or by phone at 818.847.6180

Smaller Than You Think

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Recently, on a flight to Buenos Aires, I was reminded just how small the world really is.  Traveling by night, you close your eyes in Chicago, and when you awake, you’re there.  Even the time zone remains constant.  There are of course a few subtle differences with regard to language, food and culture.  However, the similarities far outweigh them.

Effective customer service, for example, may look a bit different from one country to the next, yet the desire to provide good service is universal.  Leadership approaches may vary from culture to culture, yet the ability to coach and develop others and raise the bar on talent is ubiquitous, and critical.

In a global economy, a core challenge faced by many organizations is the ability to ensure consistent quality across regions.  As companies compete for greater market share by extending their respective brands into less charted waters, maintaining one’s caliber of service becomes ever more challenging.  How can you ensure the quality of your offerings remains true throughout the world, and that the reputation you’ve built in the East unwaveringly transcends to the North, South and West?  The answer is, by ensuring global consistency in your quality of hire.

The approach to getting there is more familiar than you might think.  Identifying the characteristics needed for success in role, applying proven assessments to tap those characteristics, and using those assessment results to identify and train new hires on relevant performance gaps, is a formula for success.  Online testing, in particular, presents a proven and efficient means for ensuring consistent quality of hire throughout the globe.  Time zones even work to your advantage, empowering you to assess candidates continuously, as daylight hits a new country every hour of the day.

Ensuring the same exceptional quality and consistency of your brand throughout the world is a challenge inherent to the global economy.  Yet, by capitalizing on a globally consistent hiring process, you can ensure the same caliber of excellence, whether you’re in The Windy City or the City of Fair Winds.


Brad Schneider, Ph.D.
Brad Schneider, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President of Talent Assessment at PSI. Contact him at bschneider@psionline.com or by phone at 818.847.6180

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