Using Assessments To Predict Future Job Performance

Research shows that a person can fake any relationship for up to 13 months. Quantifiably, almost every assessment used to predict new hire performance is fake able. So if a candidate applying for a job in your company can fake who they are and an assessment can’t accurately determine their necessary performance behaviors, how do you go about using an assessment to accurately predict the performance of that candidate should they be hired?

Assessment data reliability is the most impactful contributor to predicting a candidate’s future performance. You want to know if the assessment data you are looking at is accurate or not so you can make informed decisions. Normative assessments report with higher data reliability, and ipsative assessments report with lower data reliability. That is why so many ipsative assessment providers clearly state on their website that their assessment cannot be used for hiring. Ipsative assessments are very fake able and can get you into legal trouble when used for hiring. The candidate can easily put an inaccurate spin on their answers depending on what they want to communicate to get the job.

Without doing hours of exhaustive research, just know that any assessment that reports with a 4 quadrant system is an ipsative assessment, and the data accuracy is going to be marginal, usually around a .50 – .60 whereas a normative assessment has a data reliability factor of .82. Ipsative assessments best apply as teambuilding tools, or fun “get to know each other” tools but that is not good enough for hiring. The reason ipsative assessments report with lower data accuracy is that they ask the assessment taker who they think they are, so they are only as good as the candidate knows themselves and often that is not very good. Take for example the question “are you assertive”? If the candidate is the most assertive person on a team of very low assertive people, then comparatively they may describe themselves as very assertive. Now you hire them, and put them in a group of truly assertive people and they fail miserably. Why, because who they are and who they thought they were are polar opposite people. A person’s opinion of themselves can change over time or with significant life changing events and you can’t predict a person’s future performance if their opinion of themselves changes.

A normative assessment asks behavioral “what would you do in this situation” type questions, and then compares the answers to millions of other assessment users. The comparative reference point is fixed, it’s not a group of changing self-opinions. It doesn’t ask the user who they think they are. As a result, the data is considerably more accurate and that allows you to better predict future performance and make better hiring decisions.