Pre-employment tests help evaluate a potential candidate or current employee’s skills to see if they have the needed skills for a specific position. NBS specializes in technical skills assessments—tests designed to measure specific skills in technical positions like maintenance technicians, precision machinists, industrial electricians, robotics operators, and more.
While psychometric properties are just one aspect of the test development process, they are critical in creating an accurate, reliable, and legally defensible skills assessment.
Psychological measurement, or psychometrics, is a branch of psychology specializing in the theory and technique of cognitive measurement. It’s often used when developing, administering, and analyzing assessment instruments like tests or questionnaires. Psychometrics plays an important role in the education and employment sectors because it helps determine the objectivity of assessments used to measure knowledge, personality characteristics, skills, and educational accomplishments.
As a science, psychometrics has two main functions:
- Development of objective measurement tools and methods
- Analysis and revision of measurement tools and methods
A psychometric analysis studies the individual questions on a test as well as the responses to ensure the accuracy of the test. Two psychometric properties—reliability and validity—are critical properties of an assessment.
Reliability measures whether the test produces consistent results. Less concerned with the individual test items, reliability determines if the test results are repeatable under similar circumstances.
Several factors influence test reliability:
- Construction of items/questions
- How the test is administered
- Environmental factors like temperature or audio-visual distractions
- Possible test-taker anxiety, bias, or physical factors like illness or lack of sleep
Validity determines if a test measures what it intends to measure. A test with high validity means every item or question relates to the test’s intended purpose. There are four types of validity:
- Construct validity: how well the test measures the concept it intends to measure
- Content validity: does the test fully represent what it claims to measure
- Face validity: how suitable the test seems to be on the surface
- Criterion validity: do the results correspond to a benchmark test
Psychometrics in Test Development
Together, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Psychological Association (APA), and National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) published Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. This book outlines best practices for every aspect of test development and evaluation, including psychometric properties like reliability and validity.
Our test development process at Nocti Business Solutions adheres to these standards and to the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. We have psychometricians on staff who help ensure the quality of our pre-employment tests and technical skills assessments.
More Accurate Assessments
Business owners and human resource departments rely on pre-employment test results to place the right candidate in the right position. Given the extremely technical nature of the positions we help our clients fill, it’s important that our assessments reliably measure the specific skills needed for a job.
An employer hiring a mechanical maintenance technician needs to have complete confidence that the assessment correctly measures relevant skills like reading schematics, knowledge of hydraulics, and familiarity with specific machines. A bad hire not only means lost time and resources for the company but could also mean an unsafe working environment if an unqualified worker is on the floor.
A test development process that includes psychometrics and follows the highest standards helps achieve the most accurate and reliable results.
Legally Defensible Assessments
Every organization should have a legally defensible way to make employment decisions without bias. An assessment with good psychometric properties helps evaluate candidates based solely on job qualifications and establishes a uniform and consistent method for screening applicants.
Having proof that you hired a qualified candidate with the right skills reduces the risk of legal repercussions. Employers lose around 79% of negligent hiring lawsuits and the average settlement for these cases is $1 million.
Assessments with good psychometric properties help employers:
- Confidently hire based on skills
- Diversify the selection process
- Make unbiased hiring, training, and promotion decisions
- Reduce the risk of employment-related lawsuits
Start Building a Skilled Workforce
Our assessment library has over 170 technical skills assessments in every industry. Our robust development process ensures our assessments are accurate, reliable, and legally defensible.
We’re ready to help you hire and train the most skilled and competent candidates. Browse our list of assessments or contact us with questions. We’ve been helping businesses solve their workforce challenges for over 20 years. Let us know how we can assist you!