Assessment techniques in the third millenium

By Bibiana Crocitta

Nowadays there exist several techniques which allow to explore different abilities and competences, and to examine the psychological profile of an applicant to a job.
However, their use is not easy when evaluating the personality of an individual, and it becomes more difficult when, beyond the standard level of each test, individuality as a variable element is to be taken into account. The task becomes even more ambitious if, in addition, the key point is to analyze the history of each person.
In principle, it is necessary to choose and plan ahead an adequate set of tests if the purpose is to compile adequate information.
To use just one test is not advisable, as the results will not be reliable and valid, and it would be risky to diagnose a certain pattern of personality based on a single test. The same would be equally unsuitable in case of applying a number of tests when little is known about their use, or when their scope were unknown.
In other words, it is possible to ascertain that the application of one single test, or many wrongly used, may have important limitations. It is not a question of either shortening or extending the process of evaluation , but rather allocating to these tests the necessary time and resources.

Observation and understanding
This is why a set of tests gives the possibility of comparing the results obtained from different sources in order to confront these results against the hypothesis. In addition, a well organized interview should be held to confirm the data obtained.
First of all, one should know what has to be assessed, what for and which techniques will enable a satisfactory, reliable and successful result.
The evaluation of the personality itself, oriented to the working environment, requires from the consultant a high level of observation and understanding, both of them necessary to analyze all the information obtained within the framework of a defined dynamics.
In other words, it is not a question of applying techniques and drawing up reports. It is important to have an in-depth knowledge of what is really to be achieved, the scope of the conclusion and how these elements may be evidenced in practice.
On the other hand, the consultant should have an objective and autonomous position of his/her own patterns. Only by putting aside the knowledge of the personality and of the history of an individual, could the research go further on, and thus improve the evaluation of the personality of an individual.

The evaluator´s task implies enquiring into the individual differences by means of techniques and of an adequate interview. In this sense, the challenge of the third millennium is to sift, through these individual differences, the added value that an individual could further provide to the new employer.
The third millennium opens up a new chapter, proposing the re-interpretation of the techniques of psychological exploration of the personality, and it requires a wide-opened view from the evaluator in order to know what is really evaluated when a set of tests and an interview are held.
This opening will provide his/her task with a genuine identity, which will consist of classifying the subjective reality of each applicant within the framework of the results achieved from the evaluations and the interviews held.

The author is the managing director of the SelectionDivision of “BC & Asociados”