The Qualitative Evolution Of Assessments

There are over 80,000 occupationally-related assessments in the market. The vast majority are over a half century old, based on long outdated theories and using measurement methods abandoned decades ago by serious psychometric science. However, they come out of a laser printer, looking brand new. They seem to be fairly accurate, and the Websites are filled with wonderful promises and glowing testimonials. The danger is not that they are wrong. It is that using them prevents the discovery of what truly current assessment technology can do.

In 1996, I wrote a book, Right Person – Right Job, Guess or Know, explaining how the data produced by new assessment technology would shatter the existing paradigms of hiring, training and management. In the book, I included a chart of the qualitative evolution of business assessments. This enabled anyone to recognize where any particular assessment type was in comparison to other tools and to see its level of advancement versus other options. The chart did not include every product but the most common ones were there. The chart was updated in 2002, when the revised book was published, and it has been updated several times since then. This is the 2015 version, which has been simplified and is a clearer representation of the current business assessment market. It is intended to show consumers the relative age of the psychometrics and psychological theories behind some common products.

Generations Chart

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