How-to improve hiring outcomes with pre-screening

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Posted by Julie Delazyn

Hiring is a costly and time-consuming process, and one that many organizations struggle with. But new technologies can help to streamline the screening process, improve outcomes, and ensure that experience leaves every candidate with a more positive view of the organization they applied to work for.

In the blog post, Improving Hiring Outcomes with Pre-Screening, Human Resource Systems Group explains that organizations can improve their hiring process by focusing on these three aspects of pre-screening:HRSG

  • Legal defensibility
    • By removing the effects of human bias and focusing on the cognitive skills required for the job, online pre-screening can help your organization filter candidates more fairly and defensibly.
  • Hiring outcomes
    • Resumes, according to the blog post, have one of the weakest correlations with performance, and interviews fare poorly as well. However, cognitive abilities are unambiguously correlated with job performance.
  • Candidate experience
    • A well-conceived, cognitive-based pre-screening test can improve the application experience for the candidate and protect the organization’s brand.

Check out the blog post for the full explanation on how-to improve hiring outcomes as well as some pre-screening best practices.

palm tree emoji 2Would you like to enhance your screening and assessment expertise? Make sure to attend HRSG’s session: Employment, Certification, and Compliance Testing: Creating defensible assessments for a diverse clientele at Questionmark Conference 2016.

Register soon, if you haven’t already done so. We look forward to seeing you in Miami!


Establishing a data-driven assessment strategy – A Q&A with Amazon

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Posted by Julie Delazyn

Jason Sunseri is a senior Program Manager – Learning Technology at Amazon. He will be leading a discussion at Questionmark Conference 2016 in Miami, about Creating a Global Knowledge and Skills Assessment Program for Amazon Sellers.

Jason Sunseri, Program Manager – Learning Technology, Amazon

Jason’s session will look at how Amazon Seller Support and Questionmark OnDemand have partnered to deliver a world-class solution. Jason will illustrate how Amazon has used the OnDemand platform to deliver a robust, data-driven assessment strategy.

I recently asked him about his session:

Tell me about Amazon and its use of assessments:

Amazon Seller Support engages with the 2.5 million+ global sellers represented on the Amazon platform. Due to rapid global expansion across the platform, the Amazon Seller Support needed to find a technology and assessment partner that could support both its knowledge and skill acquisition assessment strategies.

How does Amazon use data to drive strategy?

Assessments play a huge role at Amazon. We have really evolved into a data-driven culture and we use assessments in surveys and inside curriculum to assess training and performance, and to identify early issues and trends in order to tweak training content and fix errors.

What role does Questionmark play in that strategy?

We rely heavily on reports — Survey Matrix, Job Task Analysis and other report functions — to assess performance. We’re able to leverage the tool by having individual training centers analyze learning and training gaps and pass on those results. It allows us to see how and why a site is succeeding; where that behavior stems from — it’s really cool to see.

What are you looking forward to at the conference?

It’s Miami, so…the weather, for sure! In all seriousness, I look forward to learning about how other Questionmark users utilize the same tools and how their approach varies from ours.

Thank you, Jason for taking time out of your busy schedules to discuss your session with us!

10 Actionable Steps for Building a Valid Assessment – Infographic

Using item analysis can greatly improve the validity of your assessments by helping you quickly and easily spot any red flags and weed out unreliable questions that are not performing well. Our infographic highlights 9 additional steps you can take to produce valid assessments. 

View and download the infographic here.

10 steps valid assessments

The Importance of Safety in the Utilities Industry: A Q&A with PG&E

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Posted by Julie Delazyn

Wendy Lau is a Psychometrician at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). She will be leading a discussion at Questionmark Conference 2016 in Miami, about Safety and the Utilities Industry: Why Assessments Matter.


Wendy Lau, Psychometrician, PG&E

Wendy’s session will describe a day in the life of a psychometrician in the utilities industry. It will explore the role assessments play at PG&E, and how Questionmark has helped the company focus on safety and train its employees.

I recently asked her about her session:

Tell me about PG&E and its use of assessments:

PG&E is a utilities company that provides natural gas and electricity to most of the northern two-thirds of California. Over the years, we have evolved into a more data-driven company, and Questionmark has been a part of that for the past 7 years. Having assessments readily available and secured within a platform that we can trust is very important to PG&E. We are also glad to have found a testing tool that offers such a wide variety of question types.

Why is safety important in the utilities industry?

Depending on the activity that our employees perform, most of the work has serious safety implications — whether it is a lineman climbing up a  pole to perform liveline work or a utility worker digging near a major gas pipeline. Our technical training must have safety in mind and, more importantly, it must ensure that after going through training, employees are competent to perform their tasks safely and proficiently. In order to ensure workforce capability, we rely heavily on testing to prove that our workforce is in fact safe and proficient and that the community we serve and our employees are safe and receiving reliable services.

What role does Questionmark play in ensuring that safety?

Questionmark helps us focus on safety-related questions by allowing special assessment strategies such as identifying critical versus coachable assessment items and identifying cutscores for each accordingly. Questionmark also allows a secured platform so that we can ensure our test items are never compromised and that our employees are truly being assessed under fair circumstances.

To find out more about the role of Questionmark plays in ensuring safety, you’ll just have to attend my session at Questionmark Conference 2016 in Miami!

What are you looking forward to at the conference?

I am very much looking forward to ‘talking shop’ with other Psychometricians and sharing best practices with others in the utilities industry and other companies alike!

Thank you, Wendy for taking time out of your busy schedules to discuss your session with us!

palm tree emoji 2If you have not already done so, you still have a chance to attend this important learning event. Click here to register.


Eight reasons to welcome an audit of your assessments

John Kleeman HeadshotPosted by John Kleeman

Have you just heard that your assessment programme is to be audited? Does this make you want to run out of the building never to return? Or is this something you welcome, confident that your assessment will withstand scrutiny?

Whether the audit is formal or informal, aimed at your program or at an individual assessment, public or internal, one time or on-going, against a specific standard or against best practice, there are many reasons to welcome an assessment audit.Cartoon showing some office workers climbing out of a window and going down to the street ona rope with a caption "Faster! The auditors are half way down the hall!"

Here are the top 8 reasons to welcome an audit of your assessments:

1. A good auditor will focus on risk and look for areas in your programme where there is risk. It’s much better for you if the auditor finds risks or vulnerabilities, and you can mitigate them, rather than leaving them present and your programme vulnerable.

2. Passing an audit adds to the credibility and defensibility of your assessment or programme. If someone questions the validity or some other aspect of the assessment, or objects to their failure of the assessment, an audit can be useful evidence in your defence.

3. The audit may also serve as evidence that your assessment is valid, reliable and fair. If shared with participants, this can help reduce their rationalization to cheat. As I explained in my earlier post What is the best way to reduce cheating?, the more participants believe in the integrity of the assessment, the less likely they are to think it’s right to cheat.

4. Passing an audit can also be great justification to stakeholders that you are meeting the objectives that they have set and can justify continued funding or expansion.

5. One of the biggest risks of long term continuance of an assessment program is that too much information may be tied up in the heads of one or a few key individuals. If a key individual leaves the organization, the programme would suffer. An audit forces you to document the programme properly, which will help the organization in the event of employee turnover.

6. No programme is ever perfect. And peer review is one of the strongest ways of getting better. Independent checking and constructive criticism of your assessment programme will improve it.

7. Auditors are typically very smart people and they will have seen how many others do assessments. Feel free to joke with them that “Those who can, do; those who can’t audit!”, but in truth an audit is a great opportunity for you to learn.

8. Once you pass the audit, you can take personal pride and satisfaction from it having been completed. Ultimately, passing an audit is the most significant sign that your processes and documents are in order. Keeping everything in order is not a one-time event: It takes consistent and professional behaviors over time. You can be proud and your colleagues and superiors will also be pleased.

I hope this blog post helps you feel positive about the idea of being audited.

Want to learn more about preparing for an assessment audit? I will be presenting a session on audit-proofing your assessments helping you put things in place to prepare for an assessment audit at the 2016 Questionmark Conference in Miami April 12-15. You can register here.