There were recent developments in two cases related to the use of physical abilities tests as part of the pre-employment process.
United States of America v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al.
In August 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to grant a partial summary judgment indicating that the physical abilities test battery used by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) disproportionately screened out female applicants clearing the way for trail against PSP. The DOJ claims the court should conclude that the state’s use of its physical abilities test for screening entry-level state police trooper positions has a disparate impact on women and should therefore allow the parties to proceed to trial to determine whether the test is job-related and consistent with business necessity or whether there is a less discriminatory alternative employment practice that serves the state’s needs. Continue reading →
Traditionally, I have started the New Year with a blog that recaps the past and looks to the future in assessment. This year we say good bye to 2016, and enter 2017. Of course, the big news in the United States was the election of a new President. I am not bold enough to claim I can predict how a new administration will impact public sector human resources. However, I do believe that I can make a prediction regarding the three hot trends for next year, and, they are each a carryover from the past several years.
My habit has been to insert a statement concerning how difficult it is to predict the future. However, this year I was surprised to find that many of the topics I would select for future trends, were actually covered in my blogs over the past year. So, maybe I am getting better at prophecy with advancing age.
My predictions for future trends or hot topics over the coming year include:
In this blog, I will respond to what I see as practical questions that often arise in planning for a panel interview. I do apologize for the delay in the production of this third, and final, blog on the interview. Unfortunately, at times, real life intervenes.
Due to recent updates to the published source material for our series of Police Supervisor (PSUP), Police Lieutenant (PL), Fire Company Officer (FCO), and Police Detective (PDET), we have decided to update several of the test questions that appear in those test forms. In addition, we have updated the reading lists belonging to each test to reflect the most current published source material.
To assist our customers in more easily recognizing which test version they are administering, we have reprinted the new tests under new names. The new tests correspond to the old ones and have undergone changes as follows:
If you’ve already distributed the reading lists for any of the older versions of these tests, then you do not need to take any further action to redistribute a new reading list. When you order your test, just make sure to order the test that matches the reading list you provided to your candidates. We will retain sufficient stock of the existing tests to accommodate those processes that have already begun.
Help IPMA-HR with the criterion-related validation phase of our new public safety telecommunicator (PST) test, and you’ll not only be helping to ensure the continued availability of the most reliable, valid and fair tests in the industry, but you and your department will also receive the following rewards:
30% off your agency’s next test order.
$75 VISA gift card for each participant.
A snack basket for participants to share after the test.
$50 Applebee’s gift card for the test administrator.
Direct evidence supporting the validity of the exam and its use in your agency.
Learn more about the new test, the validation phase and how you can help on our website.
Providing you with tests you can trust is our priority. But we can’t do it without you. Go online today to learn more and fill out a participation form for your agency.
Please Note: Our desired deadline for wrapping up the validation phase of this study is the end of October 2016, so please get in touch soon!
In the last blog, we investigated possible improvements that could be made in the use of individual interviews in pre-employment or promotional screening. This month we expand our discussion to include the panel or board interview, an approach used by many public sector organizations.
As is often the case, once I start on a topic I have trouble controlling myself and my word count quickly gets out of control (my students have learned that if you ask me a simple question it can easily turn into an hour-long response). So, I have divided this blog into a 2a and 2b. In 2a, which you are reading right now, I:
Delineate the major characteristics of the panel interview;
Offer a version of a panel interview checklist;
Discuss the need for structure and training;
Provide an overview of the IPMA-HR Police Structured Interview System (POSIS).
Then, in a soon-to-follow Part 2b, I will answer frequently asked or encountered questions regarding the panel interview. Continue reading →
Are you well-versed in the world of assessment? Need an outlet through which to share your plethora of knowledge? Seeking opportunities to flex your writing muscle? Want your own byline? Look no further! IPMA-HR is looking for paid contributors to the Assessment Services Review: the official blog of the Assessment Services Department. We want to offer our readers fresh perspectives, experienced commentary, and cutting edge news from our world. Your level of commitment is up to you: write one, two … or 12 entries a year — and get paid to do it!
Interested? Please send an email to Andrey Pankov at email@example.com
The Interview. No other selection device is as ubiquitous, while at the same time as misunderstood. Like an A-list celebrity, all you have to say is “the interview” and everyone can tell you stories, generate an opinion regarding love it or hate it, and tell you why it has received too much (or too little) notoriety, press, and attention.
In the next two blogs, I will look at the topic of “Improving the Interview.” This month, we will discuss the Individual selection interview, which is conducted in a one-on-one setting between an interviewer and an interviewee. In the next blog, we will investigate improving the board or panel interview.
If Everyone Uses It, What Could Be Wrong?
Can a technique that every organization uses really be that bad? Well, the problem with the interview is that early studies found that the typical unstructured interview (referred to as “unstructured” because the interviewer was left to conduct and rate the interview as he or she wished) was not very reliable or valid. That is, despite the beliefs of human resource personnel and supervisors, the traditional interview was not a very good indicator of talent, merit, or the best candidate for the job.
The saving grace for the interview was the finding that introducing structure greatly increased the reliability and the validity of the interview. Depending upon the particular study, adding structure to an interview could double its validity as a predictor of job performance, turning it into one of the more valid selection devices.
Structure of Questions and Rating Scales
Structure can be introduced both into the questions asked as well as the way in which interviewee performance is evaluated. In terms of the questions themselves, each candidate should be asked the same questions in the same manner. The questions should present the interviewee with a situation and ask how he or she would respond, or a candidate may be asked to describe how they may have handled a problem situation in a past job. Continue reading →
The Research Department at IPMA-HR is gearing up for a new research study and we need your organization’s help. Participation in the study is free!
The online survey will be conducted with public sector employees from all generations. The study’s main objective is to determine similarities and differences that exist across the generations related to employment values. Most importantly, results from the study will provide for our members information on what is key to recruit and retain different generations of public sector staff.
Our aim is to have participants in this study whose organizations have a workforce comprised of close to 10% millennials (Born 1981-1997; ages 19 to 35) or more.
Your Reward for Participating:
You will receive a free copy of the report of findings.
You will also receive a free copy of your organization’s results
In addition, for free, you can add a custom question to the survey.
Please, contact Melissa Paluch at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 11th if you are interested in participating. Don’t hesitate, as slots are filling up quickly!
Do you want to save money and time administering IPMA-HR’s entry-level and promotional tests?
As the demand for online testing increases, we want to stay ahead of the curve and offer you the most cost and time efficient options available. IPMA-HR is considering the development of consortium testing and would like your feedback on the process.
Consortium testing is, in essence, a centralized test center located within a region that can administer IPMA-HR tests to large groups. The results are then offered to several departments for review. The advantage of a consortium is twofold: candidates only need to take one test, and departments find cost savings while still maintaining high standards in finding the right people for open positions.
Consortium testing . . .
Is an alternative for administrative and budget-conscious departments, gathering together a large group of candidates across multiple departments for testing purposes.
Is done at a local community college or other IPMA-HR approved test site.
Is administered by an approved IPMA-HR representative.
Handles test administration for multiple departments at the same time, saving money and time for candidates and administrators.