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Nik Kinley and Shlomo Ben-Hur

Nik Kinley is a London-based independent consultant who has specialized in talent measurement and behavior change for more than 20 years. He was the global head of assessment for the BP Group, head of learning for Barclays GRBF, and a senior consultant with YSC, the leading European assessment firm. Shlomo Ben-Hur is an organizational psychologist and professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the IMD business school in Switzerland. He has more than 20 years' experience in senior executive positions, including vice president of leadership development and learning for the BP Group and chief learning officer for DaimlerChrysler Services.

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How Valid Is This Test?

by Jul 16, 2013, 6:45 am ET

9781118531181_cover.inddNo business wants to spend time and money on a measurement method that does not work. This is why most businesses know to ask this basic question: “How valid is this method or test?” The challenge only begins here, though, because you then need to be able to understand and evaluate the answer. To help you, try following these seven tactics.

(Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Wiley, from Talent Intelligence: What You Need to Know to Identify and Measure Talent by Nik Kinley and Shlomo Ben-Hur. Copyright © 2013.)

Ask for Evidence. We were recently looking at the validity of a popular U.S. interviewing system that described itself as being accurate and valid. On a Web page entitled “Validity,” the vendor described a wide variety of research showing that interviews can be valid predictors of success. Yet there was not a single mention of any research that the vendor had conducted into the validity of its own system. So rule No, 1 is that you need to get specific and ask vendors for the evidence that their particular method or tool is valid. And beware of statements such as, “The test is predictive,” but do not come with any specific validity figures or evidence.

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