Choosing the Right Assessment Vendor
In an article in Workforce Management entitled Choosing the Right Assessment Vendor, respected experts in the consulting industry addressed the steps necessary in finding the right vendor. In the article, they outlined 10 questions businesses can use to evaluate an assessment provider and their ability to meet specific needs. TTI takes pride in offering leading-edge assessment solutions through a global network of Value Added Associates. Our history of accomplishments marks the first for several advancements in the assessment industry. Our strong focus on maintaining that competitive advantage contributes to continued growth and our ability to provide research-based, reliable assessment solutions.
1. What assessment techniques do you provide?
It is important to understand the types of assessments offered by a vendor. Do they sell primarily qualifications screens, knowledge tests, talent measures, or background checks? Explore which assessments reflect their core capabilities and which ones they offer through partnerships or outsourcing. Ensure that the assessments offered by the vendor align with your business objectives. TTI specializes in assessments that measure talent itself. It has been found that talent measurements predict performance in more areas than any other assessment tool, including structured interviews, knowledge tests and job simulation. With five different assessments that measure a specific component of personal talent, we can guarantee our talent measurements will accurately measure behaviors, motivators, task quotient, potential skills and demonstrated skills. TTI is the only assessment vendor that offers the ability to look at talent from this many perspectives.
2. How do you determine what are the most critical aspects of job performance?
To provide effective and legally sound assessment tools, a vendor must be able to clearly define the critical factors that influence job success. This process of defining job performance is commonly known as job analysis. Many vendors will cut corners in this up-front work, so it is important that they clearly demonstrate the processes they use to develop links between their assessment tools and job performance.
TTI’s patented job benchmarking process not only includes a job assessment designed to eliminate bias and let the job talk, but it also includes a detailed process of defining the job’s key accountabilities. Together, the job benchmarking process ensures that the job is sufficiently analyzed and all parties involved have a clear understanding of the key focus of the job. After several people have taken the job assessment based on the key accountabilities, results are combined into one job report, which defines the behaviors, motivators and personal skills required for superior performance.
3. What validity data can you provide for this product?
Validity data provides the proof that an assessment tool actually predicts job performance. All assessment vendors should have summaries of validity data that are readily available to prospective clients. This data should provide evidence of the tool’s performance on jobs similar to those for which you plan to use it. Look for “hard numbers” linked to well-defined measures of performance (e.g., supervisor ratings, tenure). Avoid vendors that rely heavily on vague anecdotal statements about their tool’s perceived effectiveness and impact. Ask for references from specific clients that you can contact to learn more about the effectiveness of their assessments. TTI strongly believes in validity and is constantly doing research to ensure that we have the most valid assessment products in the marketplace. Our validity studies are all completed by third party statisticians, and we are proud to let the numbers speak for themselves, making our validity statements readily available online. Our validity studies will prove that we do not just measure face validity, which means the assessment looks like it will measure what it claims. We go beyond that to provide proof of construct validity, which is based on correlations and statistical analysis.
4. Do you have evidence regarding the legal defensibility of this tool?
You have a right to know if a vendor’s product has ever been challenged in court. It is also important to determine if the tool displays adverse impact (i.e.,members of certain protected classes do not perform as well on it as members of the majority group). TTI’s assessment tools have never been challenged in court. TTI takes pride in intellectual property and research and its products meet the validity and legal standards of the marketplace. Unlike many competitors, TTI’s products can also be legally used in the selection process when the assessment results do not account for more than 1/3 of the final hiring decision. TTI assessments do not include any questions that eliminate or alienate a protected class, having no adverse impact on minorities or members of a protected class.
5. How much consulting and customization is required to get your system configured for our organization, and how much time will this take?
Some systems are built so that they can be used “off the shelf” with very little customization, while others require more time and effort to configure. In most cases, taking time to create a customized system offers advantages in accuracy of prediction and higher levels of legal defensibility. However, it also increases development costs. TTI’s assessment tools offer a wide range of options that focus on specific occupational areas. With report versions including executive, customer service, sales, team building, leadership/management, and many more, you can get specific, applicable results without the expense and time of a customized assessment process.
6. What delivery methods are available?
Paper and pencil, telephone, and the Internet are the three main ways to deliver assessment tools to applicants. Many companies offer all three options, but differ widely in their level of expertise with each method. The technology around telephone and Internet screening can be a major source of problems, but it can also offer significant benefits in comparison to paper-and-pencil delivery methods. It is a good idea to ask vendors for specific examples of using similar technology to deliver their assessment tools. TTI’s Internet Delivery Service (IDS)® is a patented system that allows assessments to be created, unique response links to be generated, and assessments to be taken online at any time. Once an assessment is complete, the IDS system can immediately deliver the results via email. This provides a fast, turn-key assessment solution that meets the ideal assessment delivery standards with little cause for problems. An internal team of professionals ensure that the right technology is in place for IDS to continuously provide online assessment solutions. In addition, TTI suggests that our paper questionnaires are used when respondents do not have Internet access.
7. How easy will the results be for recruiters and HR personnel to interpret?
You want a system that provides high-level results that are easy for non-experts to understand but also allow in-depth information for the purposes of documentation and more detailed investigation. Some assessments can even be used for both candidate evaluation and development of newly hired employees. TTI’s assessments immediately generate reports that are designed to provide useful, easily interpreted information that initiates personal and/or professional growth. Descriptive statements and paragraphs explain the results, which are broken down into several key areas. The reports also include graphs that are easy to understand and help individuals visualize the results of their behaviors, motivators and/or personal skills assessment. The assessment results are also provided in statistical fashion that gives more information to trained experts. This analysis in relation to the situation at hand will allow for more in-depth review.
8. Does the system consider the needs and feelings of the test taker?
The experience of applicants is a critical factor in defining the success of an assessment tool. Upsetting applicants is bad recruiting and can lead to legal action. What steps has the vendor taken to ensure that candidates will perceive its tools to be job relevant and culturally unbiased? TTI assessments are built upon theory that has been around since as early as 1928 and has been re-confirmed by industry experts. To bring this theory to the workplace, Bill J. Bonnstetter, co-founder of TTI, developed questionnaires that deliver an unbiased assessment of an individual. The same assessment tools that measure talent are complemented with job questionnaires that assess a real, unique position in the same areas for a relevant comparison between a job and talent. In addition, our assessments all have a ninth-grade reading level, making it applicable to a wide-range audience.
9. How is the system priced?
It is important to clearly understand the fee schedule as it relates to the manner in which you plan to use the test. Ask vendors to outline up-front fees for system design and configuration, as well as ongoing usage fees. TTI assessment products are delivered solely by a network of Value Added Associates, and we do not engage in direct sales. To protect the value of the assessment results, we do not commoditize our products and, instead, suggest that they are used as a tool to deliver a more complete solution. Due to a strong belief in this strategy, we do not publish a retail or wholesale price associated with our assessment products. Up-front fees and ongoing usage should be determined by the distributor of TTI’s assessment products.
10. What ongoing support will you receive?
What services does the vendor provide to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of its assessment tools? Does it provide quarterly or semi-annual reviews of the performance of its assessment tools, including EEOC summaries? What sort of ongoing customer and help-desk support is offered? You want to look for vendors that will provide active ongoing support and will not simply disappear after you have bought their tools. TTI takes pride in knowing that our assessment tools are constantly validated, meet EEOC guidelines and have proven to be successful in the workplace. Our patented, Internet Delivery Service (IDS)® is supported by an internal team of professionals and many initiatives have been taken to ensure it constantly provides a seamless method of delivering assessments and analyzing the results to provide personal data. The customer support TTI provides to its network of Value Added Associates is said to be the best in the business. Due to this commitment, we do not sell direct and, therefore, do not support clients of our Value Added Associates directly. We do, however, provide our network with many forms of educational material they can utilize in their customer support efforts. TTI employs several staff members and is available five days a week to meet the needs of our Value Added Associates, who, intern, supports our products in the marketplace.
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