How Important is Validation in HR Assessments and Tools?

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How Important is Validation in HR Assessments and Tools?

Choosing and implementing an HR assessment tool is an important part of integrating any sort of competency framework or model, and an important step in improving your hiring process.

HR assessments also play valuable roles inside organizations, ensuring that employees are performing well, helping with role validation, and working to ensure that potential leaders are given the training and development to move them up.

If you’re looking for an assessment tool, you’ve likely heard about validation. This is typically criterion-related and content-related validation, showing that the methods, criterion, and algorithms used by the assessment tools have proven results.

At the same time, many tools either don’t offer validation or offer pre-validation, which means the tool isn’t validated for your environment. This can save you money, but you will be losing a great deal by skipping this important step.

Validation Connects Assessment to Performance

Validation is literally in place to use data to prove that criterion and content (such as a competency like agility) actually connect to performance.

Good validation studies the real connection between the factors your tool is looking for and real-world performance inside your organization.

For example, a validation study may review factors shown by top-performing roles and compare those traits to those the tool is looking for. Your validation study will also help you to predict ROI by connecting how well assessment scores correlate to increased performance.

Validation Enables You to Tailor Your Assessment

No assessment tool is ever perfectly suited to an organization. A good validation study will show you how and where to update or tweak assessment scoring, searched-for competencies, and methods to improve before integrating it.

For example, you can tweak test scores to highlight certain competencies or behaviors more, remove those that seem irrelevant, and shorten assessments to focus only on the points that have the most impact.

Validation Reduces Risk

While there are few risks in creating a selection procedure for employees, validating that procedure will reduce those risks and work to protect the company on a legal as well as performance basis.

For example, a validation study showing that selection criterion actually contribute to performance or other desired company traits gives you legal defensibility because it provides a rationale for not choosing certain candidates.

Validation also reduces the risk that searched for criterion do not contribute to performance. For example, if you were to choose a tool that fits poorly, it might have adverse impact.

Validating your process in advance ensures that you hire for the right reasons and can defend those reasons as legitimate and valuable.

Importantly, while some competency frameworks and HR assessment tools claim to be validated, that validation means nothing unless it is validated in your environment.

Validating for both content and criterion, with a sample size of 100 or more, is crucial to creating valuable data that is relevant and meaningful for your company. If an assessment is validated in another environment, that still means nothing for your organization.

A good validation process will ensure the efficacy of your selection procedure, will help you to determine how and where to update your selection procedure for your organization, and will help you to get and retain more value from the assessment.

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