Effective employment test development and validation is a well-documented and scientific process. Validation is hugely important for organizations using pre-employment assessments to strengthen their hiring processes and improve their selection decisions. Tests that aren’t validated can lead to ineffective hires, lower productivity, performance problems — and maybe being on the wrong side of a litigation case in court.
The effective use of pre-employment selection tools requires that one lay the groundwork for understanding the “whys.” To do that, one needs a good picture of how test development and validation occur.
At Biddle, all of our test development projects begin with a job analysis. If the employer doesn’t have a current job analysis that can be relied on for high-quality information about the job, we can assist them. The job analysis outlines the requirements of the job, right down to the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) a prospective employee needs to possess to be successful. Once those requirements have been identified, our team members collect and document data from current employees to see whether they possess — and need — those same skills.
Biddle employs a trademarked Guidelines Oriented Job Analysis (GOJA) process to stay within the legal test development and validation requirements outlined by the federal Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. GOJA offers a solid foundation for developing pre-employment assessments; tests based on the GOJA methodology have never lost a court challenge.
Though we use GOJA as a springboard to develop valid tests for our clients, the test construction process varies depending on a company’s needs. For instance, Biddle may lead the test development and validation process from start to finish. Alternatively, we may base a test on an existing client’s job analysis and move forward from there. A client might also come to us with an existing test that we review and validate for defensibility, essentially working backward.
Using a Job Analysis to Develop a Valid Test
Ultimately, our goal is for pre-employment assessments to meet the criteria for being effective, equitable, unbiased, and cost-effective. Whether the test involves job simulations and a multiple-choice exam or a structured interview in tandem with physical ability tests, we work to ensure that everything is documented clearly and could pass the scrutiny of an audit.Conducting a job analysis to identify training needs, establish job classification schemes, and make salary decisions takes time. A strong job analysis should reflect every KSA a candidate should possess to walk into a role and confidently proceed.
Some companies wonder whether they really need to do a job analysis. If you want to have confidence that you are making good hiring decisions and avoid costly legal bills, the answer is “yes.” Job analyses are integral to understanding the requirements of a job, protecting against discrimination appeals or charges, eliminating adverse impact from current hiring processes, and making more informed hiring decisions. Minimum job qualifications must be established to screen and select hires effectively.
Pinpointing the Difference Between Basic and Preferred Qualifications
But how do you ensure your minimum requirements are truly minimum requirements? Job postings often include “nice to have” and “need to have” qualifications, aka preferred qualifications and basic qualifications. The difference between the two is significant.
After conducting a job analysis or being asked to look at one that’s already complete, Biddle works with a company’s subject matter experts (SMEs) to flesh out the minimum level of competency needed to achieve acceptable job performance. We then run our findings by leadership and sometimes even test employees working in similar positions to see whether our hypotheses hold up. If they do, we know they truly reflect the required, basic qualifications for a position — and we can then use them to develop our tests.
Biddle has developed job analyses and pre-employment assessments for organizations in almost every industry. Our test development and validation processes are tried and true. To learn more about how we can help your organization strengthen its hiring processes, contact us today.