Why Reliability and Validity Are So Important for Behavioural Assessments

by Chris Parker on 13 October 2021

Adding behavioural assessment tests to your company’s hiring process is a powerful way to ensure that you find the candidates with the best JobFit—or suitability—for your open positions.

Skills tests give you a way to compare candidates based on their demonstrated skills, rather than relying solely on their resumes, which may not always be an accurate reflection of a person’s abilities. The results of a Gallup poll showed companies that use skills testing average of 33% higher revenue per employee and saw a 17% increase in productivity.

However, skills tests do not tell you whether a candidate is a good fit for the job or your corporate culture. You also need to include behavioural assessments in your hiring process because they measure attributes that are difficult to quantify. It is important to ensure that behavioural assessments are both reliable and valid. This will make them effective as evaluation tools and will help you comply with employment laws and regulations.

What Do Reliability and Validity Mean When It Comes to Behavioral Assessments?

Reliability: A behavioural assessment’s reliability refers to how consistently it produces the same results. In other words, if someone were to take the same assessment several times, they should achieve roughly the same score. There may be some differences, but the overall results should look similar.

Validity: On the other hand, an assessment’s validity depends on whether it measures what it purports to measure. If you are producing a behavioural assessment for a specific job, you want to make sure that the assessment is focused on characteristics needed for the job rather than unrelated ones.

While this may sound obvious, you would be surprised at how easy it is to miss the mark when it comes to validity.

It helps to think of reliability and validity in terms of a bullseye target. If you have a bunch of similar results in a tight group, but that group is off to the side of your mark, the result is reliable but not valid—you missed the mark. The assessment score is more valid but still unreliable if the results are scattered widely but roughly centred on the target. What you are shooting for is a tight group of results as close to the centre as possible. In other words, you want a bullseye.

Why Reliability and Validity Are Important

Ensuring your behavioural assessments are both reliable and valid is a critical part of making these tools effective. If your assessments are not reliable, it is difficult to interpret your data with any confidence. The data is essentially useless if you cannot connect the assessment to a predictable or repeatable result.

The same is true with validity, with an added warning: questions lacking in a behavioural assessment can potentially introduce unwanted bias into the results. Say, for instance, you are hiring an accountant, and your behavioural assessment was looking at skills like Spatial Reasoning and Customer Service.

Neither of these abilities is critical to succeeding as an accountant, so including them in a behavioural assessment may create a bias against one candidate based on factors that will not affect their job performance.

Reliability, Validity, and Employment Regulations

All assessments should be validated before being administered to avoid bias. If this does not happen, the company can be left exposed to lawsuits, which can have a long-lasting impact on your bottom line—and your reputation.

Partnering with eSkill is a good way to avoid this exposure. Our company has a perfect track record of compliance. We also have assessment experts available to help ensure that your assessments are fully validated, so you can avoid introducing bias into your hiring process.

Getting It Right with eSkill

With eSkill, you can access validated behavioural assessments and a wide range of and skills tests, including more than 800 standard skills tests organized by job and subject. You can use these skills tests as they are, or you can create customized assessment tools by choosing validated questions based on the job, subject, or skill.

With eSkill’s well-designed dashboard, you have talent assessment data from every applicant right at your fingertips. You can quickly sort candidates based on their scores from each assessment, which means you can avoid sifting through resume after resume.

Instead, you can focus on the candidates with the best potential JobFit, or job compatibility, making the entire hiring process faster and more accurate.

Add Reliable, Valid Behavioural Assessments to Your Hiring Process

Find out how eSkill’s behavioural assessments can give you a leg up when it comes to making your next hire. Request a demo today.

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Registered in England 11368755. UK strategic partner of eSkill LLP
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