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Paper 4: Short and Valid!

The final paper of the symposium explored the trade-off between the length of a personality assessment and its validity. It aimed to answer the question: How can we develop a behavioral assessment that is both short and valid?

A longstanding aim of behavioral psychometric assessment is to provide reliable, valid and fair measures of personality. The findings discussed in the first paper of this symposium supported that an assessment’s validity remains of high importance not only to recruiters but also to candidates. The research data also informs us that the time taken to assess an individual is a key consideration; shorter assessments are more likely to maintain engagement throughout a recruitment process and reduce candidate drop-out.

However, shorter behavioral assessments typically encounter several issues in terms of the quality of measurement provided. Obtaining enough variance in scores can be difficult where scales are based on shorter assessments containing fewer items. It also becomes challenging to reach acceptable levels of reliability and validity where fewer responses are obtained from candidates due to the reduced number of items.

Empirical research data were presented demonstrating scientifically rigorous technical attributes for a new short behavioral assessment named Match 6.5. Match 6.5 is a self-report questionnaire that takes just six and a half minutes to complete. The results discussed provided strong evidence for the validity of Match 6.5, indicating that it can successfully forecast work performance across specific, matched competencies, as well as at an overall level of ‘Demonstrating Potential’. The research data provided a clear demonstration that it is possible to create behavioral assessments that are both short and highly valid.

How Match 6.5 can be used effectively to screen candidates was discussed. Match 6.5 scales can be flexibly combined to create different role fit algorithms. Once an algorithm has been created for a specific role, it produces an overall behavioral screening score to assess each applicant’s fit to that role. Other practical benefits of the Match 6.5 assessment were highlighted, including how it can be used in cases where recruiters are looking to combine multiple assessments in a screening process. As well as achieving the goal of keeping the overall assessment time to a minimum, it can be used to successfully reduce the adverse impact found against minority groups when using aptitude tests alone in screening.

The paper concluded by noting that where length of time is not an issue, longer tools from the Wave suite of questionnaires have even higher validities, alongside offering the benefit of richer and more in-depth outputs. However, our survey research has indicated time is often a precious commodity; where this is the case, an assessment such as Match 6.5 has a place in providing validity at speed.