In my most recent HCI blog, I wrote about the fact that good tools tied to poor organizational data will fail to demonstrate value. A recent interaction with a senior HR leader for a Fortune 1000 company leads me to believe she did not read that piece, so it presents an opportunity to go a bit deeper on the topic. Specifically, this executive insisted that any assessment put in place should be able to reduce turnover by 20% in their customer service positions by bringing in better candidates who are more likely to stay put. Evidently, she believed this because she had read about the topic of assessment on various well-known and many respectable sites that insist that the purveyor of the instruments must have documented evidence that it will prove them to reduce turnover and other magical phenomena.
Skilled employees are vital to ensuring total organizational performance. But a growing pre-employment testing trend I have seen is that organizations bet on one style or form of testing or assessment under the assumption that it solves every business challenge. More often than not, that trend seems to be defaulting to personality assessment. Why? It’s an easy argument that everyone has a personality and every job has people, so every job needs an assessment of personality. Now, I am a big fan of scalability to the point that it delivers value and accurate results. I’ve made the case numerous times in my HCI blogs, however, that one test does not solve all problems. Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s right or even good.
The Big Data fad has really caught on as a hot topic in Human Resources analytics, largely due to HR being one of the last corporate functions to really embrace the idea that loads of data can inform strategic decisions. Providers and users of talent assessment and performance management are now jumping at the opportunity to showcase how “big data” can solve big business challenges.