Beware of Self-Assessment Hiring Tools

Sep 24, 2019

eware Self-Assessment Hiring Tools

Using a hiring assessment allows you to narrow down top talent faster and with more accuracy. It is a valuable addition to your hiring process because it removes biases and provides data points that cannot be found on a resume. But the problem with many hiring assessments is that they use "self-analysis" style questions, which are inherently subjective. The most important factor to consider when choosing a hiring assessment is whether it accurately measures the core competencies that have been correlated to success in the roles you are using it for.

Problematic for Two Reasons

A self-analysis assessment is one in which the candidate is asked to rank or rate themselves by selecting words and statements they perceive to be true about themselves. This is problematic for two reasons:

  1. Inaccurate Self-awareness: Self-awareness is defined as conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motivations and desires. Most people have inaccurate self-awareness and lack the ability to clearly exercise sound judgement when it comes to assessing themselves. Also referred to as a blind spot, this is the reason that many people can give accurate advice to their friends about how to handle a tough situation, but do not have the same clarity when the same situation applies to themselves.
  2. If the hiring assessment requires the test taker to answer self-analysis questions, the answers will only be as accurate as their level of self-awareness. Below are some examples of self-analysis questions.

    1. I am the sort of person who:
      1. Has highly original ideas.
      2. Is prepared to tell people if they are mistaken.
      3. Is modest about what I have achieved.
    2. I get nervous talking to people I don't know.
      1. True
      2. False
    3. I like to solve complex problems.
      1. Inaccurate
      2. Neutral
      3. Accurate

  3. Easy to Manipulate: The other major issue with self-analysis style questions are they are very easy for the candidate to manipulate. Based on the how these types of questions are worded, it is easy to decipher the skill the question is assessing. This usually entices the candidate to answer in a way which portrays themselves favorably in regard to job opportunity, no matter if it is accurate.
  4. For example, when hiring for a sales role, the assessment asks the following question:

    1. When playing card games with friends I:
      1. Enjoy the camaraderie
      2. Am neutral
      3. Have to win at all costs

    The candidate will almost always choose "C" to show they are competitive, which is a known competency correlating to sales success. The problem with this answer is that it doesn't mean you will see competitiveness on the job. All this tells you is they understood what the question was measuring and selected the answer that fit the role best - which may or may not be who they actually are in a work environment.

Use Objective Assessments Instead

There are lots of great alternatives to self-analysis style hiring assessments. Look for a system where it is not obvious to the user what is being measured, for example gamification assessments or assessments that remove subjective evaluation such as a task or ranking exercise. These types of assessments are almost impossible to manipulate and do not engage the test taker in self-analysis. Be careful when using personality assessments as those tend to be comprised of self-assessment questions.

ZERORISK HR offers an emotional intelligence assessment that objectively measures eight emotional intelligence competencies. The candidate is asked to rank value statements producing an objective result based on the science of axiology. This unique assessment measures the candidate's ability to exercise clear judgement. Traditional personality tests measure the symptoms of personality while emotional intelligence assessments measure the source of personality. The source of personality does not change because it is based on the individual's unique motivators. Contact us today and let us show you how to use an emotional intelligence assessment to hire your best people.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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