[IPAC-List] When does a test become a test...

Mike mpaudelo at gmail.com
Thu Feb 17 14:43:28 EST 2011

I am stepping in-line with Dennis & Mark. In my training and consulting work I always use the term "CYA" and then explain that this is "Cover Your Agency". And, the best way to do that is to document, document, document. Your applicant intake systems whether they be online or paper should contain your job analysis info, exam plans, interview questions, etc., that document and defend the process. If a hire or selection process goes bad, it is not the Dept Head that will stand tall in front of the judge, it will be HR. I also agree that any process that will evaluate someone's fitness for a position is a test. We must ensure that all the processes are fair and job related.

So, take that little extra time to review and validate the process. Your agency and applicants will always benefit.

Michael Audelo
Principal Consultant
Michael Audelo & Associates

-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Mark Hammer
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 12:15 PM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] When does a test become a test...

I think there are several levels to respond to this on.

"Validation" implies being defensible. But of course, we want tools,
no matter how simple they are (like a half dozen interview questions) to
not only hold up in court or under appeal, but to actually do a **good
job** for the client, and end up placing people in jobs they are
well-suited for and can love.

So, I concur with Dennis. If the client wants a good outcome, they are
best off running *everything* by someone who understands tools. That
review could be as simple as 30 minutes to address what sort of problems
one might conceivably run into with those questions or that tool, and
what to keep an eye out for. Managers may like to THINK of some tools
as being like "chicken soup" (i.e., it couldn't hurt), but that doesn't
mean their judgment about such matters is spot on. And of course,
managers always want something that offers simplicity of application,
and can be blinded by that. But that might not get them exactly what
they want and need. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have someone
who is easy to work with but a pain in the ass to land, than someone who
was easy to land but a pain in the ass to work with.

I get to read thousands of survey comments from candidates about the
testing and interviews they have gone through, and it ain't pretty, even
when the manager thinks "What could go wrong?". As for "red tape", what
I'm suggesting is not that much different than checking the weather
channel before you head off for the day, and figuring out whether to
bring a hat or a jacket. You can pitch it to your managers like that,
or you can also find a couple of high-profile cases that involved
something where the manager figured "What could go wrong?", and show
them what DID go wrong.

Mark Hammer


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