Episode 10 - Adjective Checklist…Really??
Should We Keep the Blackberries
Last week I had two experiences that exemplify how the assessment market is both blind and hopelessly out of date when compared to most other industries. A leading accounting firm recently moved into larger offices, leaving the one they had occupied for years. Of course, they purchased new servers with the latest technology, leaving the old ones behind in the old offices. My son was tasked with removing them, and among the many things left behind, he discovered a drawer full of the original Blackberries. Imagine for a second…these were the state of the art in cell phones just a few years ago. Now they were junk in a drawer.
The same day he found the Blackberries, I received a call from the vice president of human resources in a large company. She had talked to someone with BestWork DATA at a trade show, and she now had some doubts about her current assessment program. She described the product as being really easy to use (a prime buying point). It was an adjective checklist, which the candidates used to check the words that “best described” them. They then repeated the exercise, checking the words that “friends would use to describe them.” This is a First Generation format in a world of 7 Generations, being one of the earliest attempts at assessing individuals. It was originally intended for use in personal counseling, but it “became” a hiring tool and was then sold as such to thousands of companies. In the psychometric world, it has long been outdated for almost any use, as it soon became apparent that the participants often chose the description they wanted to have rather than the ones that were accurate. This presents a challenge in the counseling world; it can be disastrous in the hiring world.
Blackberries are discarded but outmoded tests live on. The purpose of this series and of www.aboutassessments.com is to inform and educate people on how to take advantage of the extraordinary potential offered by new generations of assessment technology and how to avoid the many dinosaur assessments that continue to lumber around in the marketplace. This is the concluding episode of this series. Next week, I will begin a new one on the specific applications of assessments with sales teams
Written by Chuck Russell, CEO