FAQ - Why do most companies use assessments?

"We worked with Selection Resources on Succession Planning and was pleased with their work and the outcome."

Karen Rieck
Vice President, Iowa Bankers Association - Johnston, IA



Why do most companies use assessments? We survived for all these years without them, why add them now?
First of all, the job applicants of today are quite different than they were a generation ago. The advancement of technology is increasing the need for skills that were not required previously. Thus the incompatibility between job and worker has become more pronounced and most organizations now realize that their workforce is extremely valuable "intellectual capital". The penalty for hiring the wrong person, or putting a good person into the wrong job inevitably results in poor productivity and turnover. Both of these come at a very high cost. For instance, the cost of turning over a commissioned sales person, who makes $50K, is somewhere in the vicinity of $10-15k not counting lost sales! A highly paid executive? Twice their annual salary! Even turnover of an hourly employee making minimum wage will cost a minimum of $2,500. Therefore, it has become very important to determine if a particular applicant is well suited for a position and your company's culture. Secondly, it has become perilous to dismiss employees in today's litigious society. The best answer to that problem is to hire the right person for the job in the first place. Finally, assessing all serious applicants will ultimately contribute to higher productivity, lower turnover and improved profitability.
Are your assessments like the Myers Briggs personality tests

No. The Myers Briggs Personality test is designed as a team building exercise. It is not a tool that should be used for employee selection. Our employment testing is ideal for predicting job fit, minimizing employee turnover and helping you hire and promote a more productive workforce.

Is there any advantage to using employment assessment tests in a legal sense?

Sometimes during the interview process, personal observations and feelings come into play. Many hiring discrimination lawsuits have been filed simply because a hiring decision was made on a purely personal level. The business environment values a non-discriminatory, totally unbiased procedure to help remove the threat of discrimination litigation. Using assessments that incorporate a sampling method such as stanine scoring, and comparing your candidates to your existing top performers reduces the subjective approach to hiring, minimizing the threat of litigation. Remember, litigation commonly erupts from hiring the wrong person, putting them into the wrong job, and then treating them differently!

What are some of the other benefits of using an assessment testing system?
Because you have improved your ability to identify the right applicants with validated testing, your overall morale and productivity will grow commensurately. When you are not spending time and money on hiring and training the wrong people, and your productivity improves, there should be a corresponding carry-over to the bottom line. In addition, you can use the assessment results to improve the correct job placement, train the new employee more specifically, and properly identify a potential career path that an individual should pursue.
Can I integrate on-line assessments with our present Internet Recruiting Strategies?

Yes. Seamless integration is built into the Applicant Tracking System that we offer. We have also built interfaces into 3rd party ATS systems so that testing is seamless to the applicant. We have a very talented group of technologists, but contact us on this one because it all depends on the ATS you are using and whether they allow 3rd party integration.

What effect will a consistent assessment testing system have on our turnover?
In most industries there is a standard accepted turnover ratio. For example, in the retailing industry 100% + turnover at the store level is not uncommon. Over the years, our clients from all industries have indicated that a comprehensive hiring process which employs behavioral assessments will inevitably result in a turnover rate lower than their industry average. The assessments, however, have to be utilized in concert with other important parts of the due-diligence hiring process. Interviews, reference and background checks etc. No single instrument is intended to be used as the exclusive decision-maker in the hiring process.
What costs and/or savings will an assessment program like this produce?
When you consider that SR.com has on-line testing capabilities for all levels in the organization from entry level to the Executive suite, the benefit of consistent use of the assessments could substantially impact the bottom line. By utilizing Scientific Selection in your hiring process, more information can be derived from your applicants. This leads to better decisions on who to hire and what job they are best suited for. Better hiring decisions leads to a more productive workforce and improved profits. Simple? Not always. But our assessments have proven his can work.
How can we measure the effectiveness of the assessment testing system?
One way to measure the effectiveness of an assessment is to compare the assessment results with the annual performance reviews of those previously assessed. Usually, if someone is performing below standard, your assessment results could indicate the reason. By comparing an individual's annual review to the original assessment, you can also determine if the users of the system are properly interpreting the assessment when they make their hiring decisions. Remember, it is very possible to hire a good applicant, but not using the training components of the assessment may result in the individual not performing up to their potential.
Can this system be used for post-employment decisions, such as promotions, or is it only used for selection?

Yes. The assessment has the capability of being used whenever an objective measure is needed. We have developed a specific version of the assessment that is ideal for:

  • Succession Planning and Internal Promotions
  • Training & Development
  • Outplacement



What are the options available to us if we want to implement assessment testing?
  1. Testing as a service. For Exempt level positions, contact us when you have narrowed your field of candidates. We will assess the candidates and return the results with our summary.
  2. For Non-Exempt positions, a minimum number is required to purchase. You are provided a secure administrative login to retrieve results.
  3. Larger organizations typically purchase an inventory of assessments. They then administer the assessments to their own candidates. We provide all the support and training.
  4. Utilize our Applicant Management System that includes testing.
  5. We custom program to integrate testing into your existing Applicant Tracking System.
In what languages are the assessments published?
The on-line assessment can be taken in English and Spanish. Assessments are scored on-line in English only. We have unique instances where the assessment is available in a paper format in several other languages. Contact us for further information about other languages.
Are there any options in the purchase price?

Yes. Quantity discounts are applicable. When utilized as a fully self-service assessment, the price is lower than when we score, analyze and assist you in making a selection decision. However, the advantage of asking questions of our trained personnel often makes up for any cost savings, and allows for a consistent, professional analysis of an individual's strengths and weaknesses.

What technology would we need to utilize on-line testing?
In order to execute any of Selection Resources assessments, Internet access is needed with current browser software.
What job testing is available for different job levels?

Options extend from top executives to entry level employees.

The Best Hire: For non-exempt/hourly positions. 6 personality variable that measure customer service orientation and dependability/reliability. Also can include an admissions survey on theft and the use of alcohol/drugs on the job. This product is the leader in customer service testing. Custom integration into your career portal or applicant management system is available.

The Achiever: The perfect pre employment test or exempt level positions including full time staff, management, professional, engineering or other technical jobs. 5 intelligence measures, 10 personality variables. validity scales, management comparisons. Determines whether the applicant has the aptitudes and behaviors required to successfully perform in the job.

The Sales Achiever: For sales and sales management positions. 5 intelligence measures, 10 personality variables, sales comparisons, validity scales, sales comparisons. Ascertains whether the applicant has the aptitudes and behaviors required to successfully perform in a sales environment.

The Answer: For development purposes of all internal staff. 5 intelligence measures,10 personality variables, validity scales.

The Executive Achiever: The perfect leadership assessment for executive and senior level decision makers. 5 intelligence measures, 10 personality variables, validity scales, 7 management competencies and an aptitude assessment test of leadership in 7 key areas. Interview questions plus development suggestions. Determines whether the individual has the leadership ability to be successful in the job. Also ideal for leadership succession planning.


At what point in the normal hiring process should employment testing be given?
This depends on the level of the job you are assessing. With the non exempt applicant our assessment is used as an inexpensive screening tool before the invitation to interview. This saves huge amounts of time and insures that the managers are only interviewing the best qualified applicants. For exempt level candidates, we recommend you assess the finalist candidates after the first interview. This will help you select who makes the cut to the second interview while improving the quality of the next interview by helping the interviewer probe into areas of concern identified by the assessment. In some cases, assessment testing may indicate that the candidate is not a good fit and should not be interviewed. You are not obligated to evaluate every applicant that applies, but you must equally evaluate those who are seriously in contention for the job. Finally, pre-testing individuals who would otherwise incur travel related recruiting costs is usually a cost effective technique.
For what job levels should we use assessments?

Our system can accommodate any level job from entry-level/hourly rate to professional, technical, sales, management and senior executives. Most organizations we work with assess all final job applicants at all job levels.

How many people should be assessed for each job opening?
We recommend the top three candidates be assessed. If only one applicant is assessed and otherwise evaluated, and something unfavorable is found, your second choice candidate may have moved on and is no longer available.
How does the company know what traits are important in a particular job?
Each individual job has specific requirements and skills that are needed for success. We will establish Core Competency Benchmark hiring patterns based on two options. First, a rating questionnaire can create a success pattern based on the job description. The Manager, or group of key Managers, can develop the particular aptitudes and behavioral traits required for success in the position. The other option is Concurrent Validation. The most accurate benchmark is to assess 10 or more of the best performers in any given job plus complete the ratings questionnaire. This will thereby establish a hiring pattern, which not only reflects the needs of that job based on your own successful people, but also reflects the corporate culture and work environment of the company.
How long do the assessments take, and what is the best way to administer them?
Our assessment testing varies in length from 10 to 75 minutes. Once you provide your candidates with the instructions, there is no further administration required.
How will you help us to understand the assessment results?
We retrieve the candidate's answers for scoring, match them with your custom benchmark, then email the final reports with an analysis of the candidate's strengths and weaknesses. If you are scoring the assessments yourselves, we will provide training in interpretation and reference material containing all you need to fully understand the results. We are also available for interpretation assistance.
How can we be sure if the applicant's responses are honest and valid?
The mental aptitudes are considered valid because they are timed accurately and the answers are finite. There are two built-in scales in all of our instruments to determine the consistency of the personality portion. One validity scale deals with 'distortion' and 'exaggeration', which measures the candidness of the applicant's responses. The other scale addresses 'equivocation', wherein the applicant may select too many indecisive or neutral answers, thus 'diluting' the results. These validity factors are included in each report and are very valuable in the reliability of the employment assessment tests.


Has this assessment been validated?
The Achiever family of tests has been validated in accordance with standard psychological procedures. The collective assessments, then known as the Achievement Tec Assessment System (ATAS), have been validated in accordance with the construct validation process, which is considered to be the superior method of validation. This means that the ATAS assessments have been administered to people, along with other standardized assessments, such as the 16PF, MMPI, Wonderlic, Stanford Binet and other well-known instruments, and through comparison, have determined that this assessment system does measures what it professes to measure. Since 1968, the assessments have been maintained with an ongoing procedure of concurrent validation for individual job categories within industries and specific companies. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance reviewed these assessments, and stated that they found nothing discriminatory about the usage of this system, nor is there a need for any individual company to separately validate for a job category. The reason behind this statement is that the reports do not offer a "hire / no-hire" decision, and we consistently suggest that the test results should be taken into consideration along with other hiring factors, such as interviews, experience, references, background checks, etc., before making the final hiring decision.
Has your assessment system ever been challenged?

Yes, in Federal court in Tyler, Texas in the late 1970's. Said challenge was administratively dismissed, however, based on the evidence and data submitted by the court on behalf of Fikes Chemical Company. On occasions when complaints have been filed and the company was under investigation by the EEOC, the assessments provided the respective construct and concurrent validation study data to establish that the assessments were not discriminatory in the hiring process. This data has been accepted by the EEOC repeatedly, with never an adverse finding or an out-of-court settlement against any employer for the proper use of the assessment systems. If there were to be legal challenge, the test publisher will involve itself directly in presenting the appropriate evidence of validation.

How does this system compare with evaluations done by Industrial Psychologists?

In the first twenty years the system was used by Industrial Psychologists who administered standardized assessments such as the MMPI, Wonderlic, Stanford Binet, The Thurstone, Strong Campbell, etc. The Psychologists administered the assessments, scored them, often interviewed the candidates, and then dictated their reports in a similar fashion as Industrial Psychologists do today. Many clients felt they needed something quicker and more economical, but with the same accuracy and professionalism. As a result, the publisher created, validated and copyrighted assessments to be job-related instruments. During that era, most assessments available were either educationally oriented or clinically oriented. In fact, we initiated and brought into the American marketplace the first assessment that combined mental aptitudes and personality dimensions, written specifically for use in the business environment. With our years of experience, and the breadth of information for which we assess, our assessments are considered to be one of the most professional business-environment assessments on the market today. Our client quality surveys have graded us to be 90% + accurate.

How many years has the employment testing been in existence?

For 40 + years, operating the first twenty as Industrial Psychologists using standardized tests. And since the late 1990’s, Selection Resources has harnessed the depth of 40+ years of use with the efficiencies of the Internet to become a leading on-line employment testing company.

How many people, over the years, have been assessed on your system, and how many are currently being assessed on a monthly basis?
Since we have been using automated computer scoring over the last twenty years, we have assessed millions of candidates. Currently the assessment is given to thousands of candidates per month, depending on the time of year and hiring mode.
How can I tell for myself that your results are accurate?
We suggest you assess a person whom you know well. Allow us to review the results with you and compare your knowledge of the individual with what we determine to be their personality.
Has this system ever been used by the federal government or in public or private schools?

Yes: Employment assessment tests ave been used by the US Naval Weapons Control Centers for downsizing career personnel back into the public workplace. We have also provided assessment technology to state governments for welfare-to-work programs. Recently the publisher began providing assessment testing to trade and vocational schools for their use in determining what courses of study their students should pursue and, subsequently, choosing a career path for which they are best suited. Through this technology, they are compared to proven successful people in the same job types. Most recently, they have begun to install an aptitude assessment test into the Dayton, Ohio public schools, to assist the counselors in determining more reliable college and career choices for graduates. A Texas independent school system has used the Assessment in their hiring process for senior level educators.


About Us

Selection Resources is a leading provider of employee selection tools and expertise that helps our clients connect employment decisions to business results. Our advanced assessment testing, background checking and applicant management software help drive a company's financial performance by streamlining hiring processes, improving employee selection and reducing employee turnover. Selection Resources has been part of the Hamilton Group since 1999, and we serve hundreds of clients nationwide from small entrepreneurial organizations to multi-location fortune 500 businesses.

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