Over the last several years, a number of well-known companies have been in the headlines due to unfair hiring practices.  In the United States, organizations like the Ford Motor Company and Target Corp have been under scrutiny.  In the case of Ford, a class action lawsuit claimed its pre-employment test discriminated against African-American applicants, costing Ford $8.5 million.  For Target Corp., they had to pay $2.8 million to more than 3,000 rejected job applicants who had taken pre-screening tests that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) flagged as potentially unfair.  The issue at hand was an assessment tool they were using through a third party vendor.  The EEOC found that the tool being used was discriminatory on the basis of race, gender and medical condition. 

This recent announcement reminds us that assessment is a tricky business.  Unlike other tools of a potential diagnostic nature (think MRI or a blood test), psychological assessment tools are not 100% objective in the purest sense – there is a degree of subjectivity inherent in many “tests”.  Therefore, if one is not careful in selecting an appropriate tool, one can find themselves in the same troubling spot as Target or Ford. 

The use of assessments in career management, and hiring in particular, is skyrocketing.  As more and more individuals have access to literally thousands of self-help interview preparation materials on the web, candidates are arriving at employer’s doorsteps well-rehearsed and prepared.  For many involved in recruiting, the question that remains for them with respect to candidates is “is this the real person?”.  With the cost of poor hiring decisions so high, no manager wants to be responsible for making the wrong choice. 

Enter the panacea called “candidate assessment”.

It is incredibly seductive to think that there is a quick fix to ensuring appropriate candidate selection.  In fact, a quick google search using the term “new hire assessment” resulted in over 238 million potential results and the term “new hire assessment tools” netted a similar amount.  There are many people and organizations that are more than willing to try to sell you a solution.

At Ahria Consulting, we have been using assessment tools since we opened our doors over 30 years ago.  However, unlike the “one trick pony” solutions that are easily found on the web, we have always focused on using the tools with the best psychometric properties and which have undergone significant scientific rigour and review.  In doing so, we are confident that the attributes purported to be measured through our assessment tools are in fact being measured.  Further, we are confident that the results are reliable. 

But we don’t stop there. 

Our Comprehensive Assessment Services are designed to help organizations with their talent management strategies by enabling the selection of the right person for the job (the first time), and identifying high potential candidates for training and development to assist with succession planning and career pathing.

We build an assessment protocol using several different assessment tools to help paint an overall picture of the candidate in question.  We think of it as building redundancies into the system – just to be safe.  Assessments evaluate an individual’s strengths and weaknesses using various tools and methodologies culminating in an informed decision of the candidate’s suitability for a particular position and/or future growth and developmental needs.  The end result is an assessment which provides our clients with increased confidence and effectiveness in their recruitment, promotion, development and career pathing procedures.  Our extensive experience with both private and public sector enterprises as well as large and small organizations in a broad range of industries has enabled us to provide results that maximize the potential of our clients’ human resources.

What does this mean to you?  With Ahria’s assessment services you will get a much more comprehensive, reliable and valid picture of the candidate(s) in question.  Sure, it will cost a little bit more than a quick assessment readily available on the web but it will be a heck of a lot less than the millions some organizations have had to pay for getting it wrong.