Some information and opinions, with a bit of science and common sense to help you safely through the maze of myths, exaggerations, unintentional misinformation and outright lies that characterize the assessment industry
The Scary Part
There are more myths in the world of assessment products than Edith Hamilton ever imagined among the Greeks and Romans. There are myths about legality; myths about who can use or not use assessments; myths about who and who cannot be assessed; myths about how assessments are regulated; myths about validation.
Accuracy is exaggerated and described by fictitious statistics. Old and outdated methodologies are proclaimed to be new and advanced. A history of testing millions of candidates for jobs that no longer exist is touted as meaningful to jobs of today. Salespeople who only know the product they sell pronounce its superiority in the marketplace and naively parrot the product puffery from their marketing material. A few companies cobble together their product from psychometric discards or patchwork pieces from this and that, wrap in snappy marketing with a professional-looking Web site, and fabricate its pedigree with outright lies.
The tragedy is that good instruments, backed by robust experience, using the latest techniques of psychometric science, which can truly unlock the potential of human beings in every walk of life are lost in the crowd of noise. My intention is not to trash the industry. It has been my passion for over thirty years. My intent is to enable assessment shoppers to filter out the noise, avoid the pitfalls and hopefully identify effective tools that produce real results.
I set out in 1990 to be the leading authority on the business applications of assessment technology. There are extraordinary possibilities for unlocking the unique potential of each person. With new levels of information on the performance capabilities of employees, thought-leading companies are forging sustainable competitive advantages with more effective hiring practices, more effective management practices, and training that targets the needs of each individual. Why is every company and every person not embracing this? Good question! A powerful truth paraphrased from that memorable sage of the diamond, Satchel Paige, is “It’s not what we know that causes us problems, but what we know that just ain’t so.”
On LinkedIn and most formal business discussions, I behave quite well. I am diplomatic in suggesting ideas or in offering an opinion on what some executive is doing. Everyday I read about smart, sincere people making the best decision they know trying to solve serious problems except with woefully outdated and inadequate products. This is not a place for diplomacy. It is not a place for politeness. Here are some facts:
- Our country has 20 million unemployed and another 10 million underemployed.
- 55% of those employed dislike their jobs, even though their income in those jobs has increased.
- College students change their majors 2+ times on average, dramatically increasing the cost of their education.
- After graduation, most have little idea about what they want to do.
Here are some more facts:
- Many career counselors routinely use outmoded methodologies to counsel people with generalized “feel good” information, which offers little in the way of real help.
- Companies are sold assessment products designed in the 40′s and 50′s, that are seen as adequate because the users have no idea of what is available today.
- Elaborate and expensive interview programs are used to hire people who never quite perform as expected, when a simple, inexpensive survey could have screened them out early in the process.
- Test companies use success profiling, benchmarking, and job templates to sell their products, even though those methodologies are far too limited for today’s knowledgework jobs.
These and more quirks and travesties of the assessment world will be explored at this site, along with some fairly spectacular revelations about what is possible with newer generations of assessment technology.