In small and medium sized law enforcement agencies, opportunities for promotion are periodic at best. Often years will pass before another promotional opportunity is available. It is in our professional best interest as leaders to prepare as many qualified individuals as possible for the next promotional opportunity.
In policing, a promotion is not only a personal and professional accomplishment, but a very public marker of a heathy organization. Promotions are indicative of change and with change can come growth. But there is risk in every promotional process. We select those for promotion through any one of several promotion processes with the singular goal of identifying those best prepared to assume the role and responsibility of the next higher rank.
But a question that must be considered is – and then what? Routinely that individual selected for promotion begins an orientation and onboarding process for his/her new role in the organization. But what about those who are labelled as the ‘not selected’? What is to come for those men and women who are not promoted? Continue reading
Part 1 in the Validity of Public Safety Assessments Series
The idea for this primer series germinated from a simple question – “Could you do an article looking at the validity of tests used in public safety assessment.” As my forgiving readership already knows, I have trouble containing my thoughts to a single entry. So, as I began to frame out how I would respond to the question of the validity of public safety assessments, the amount of material I wanted to cover started to grow exponentially. At some point, I decided it would be best to start from the beginning with a series of primers on topics related to validity, building up to an answer to the question of “what is the validity of public safety assessments.”
So now this blog will be the first in a series looking at this question. Over a series of articles aimed to inform, but also intended to keep things simple, I will cover:
- What are the characteristics of a good test?
- What are some authoritative references human resource and assessment professionals can rely upon in evaluating the worthiness of tests?
- What is validity?
- Are public safety assessments good tests and are they valid?
This first article in the primer series deals with the question of what is a good test. A good test can be defined as one that is:
- Socially Sensitive
- Candidate Friendly.
Briefly and simply, I will review the meaning of each of these characteristics. Continue reading
Has your agency previously administered any of the tests from IPMA-HR’s Entry-Level Firefighter (FF-EL) series?
If you answered ‘yes’ to this question, then we need your help!
IPMA-HR is gathering the test scores received by current firefighters who took the FF-EL test to better understand how the tests are currently performing.
What We’ll Need from You:
- Firefighter’s FF-EL 100-, 200-, and/or 300-series test scores between 1994 and 2016.
- Fire Academy score (if applicable)
- Completion of a 9-question web-based performance evaluation
What You’ll Receive from Us:
- $100 off your agency’s next test order
- Direct evidence supporting the validity of the exam and its use in your agency
- Hire better. High quality tests help you select high-quality candidates, saving your agency the costly expense of turnover.
- And it’s free! A test development and validation project of this scale done internally could cost your agency in excess of $100,000. Participation in our test development projects is free.
Please contact Julia Hind-Smith at email@example.com if you would like to learn more and/or participate in this project.
(Please Note: All information gathered for this study will remain strictly confidential. The data gathered will be combined with data from other departments and only be reported in the form of group statistics.)
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:
- Big Data and Predictive Analytics.
- Emerging Technologies.
- Police Performance.
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.
I started this series by noting that no other selection device is as ubiquitous as the interview, while at the same time as misunderstood. Then, in Part 1, I discussed the individual selection interview. In Part 2, I discussed panel interview, including the availability from IPMA-HR of a product known as the Police Officer Structured Interview System or POSIS.
This month, in the third and final blog, I respond to what I see as some frequently encountered questions regarding the panel interview including:
- Should I train raters?
- Who should be on the panel?
- How should I combine ratings to arrive at a final score?
- What type of records should I keep?
- How long should it take?
As a warning, a lot of my answers will involve a combination of “it depends” and “on your local rules or procedures.”
The Panel Interview
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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The topic of my blog for this month deals with employers providing developmental feedback to candidates based upon the results of employment test or assessment. Although the feedback of results from employment tests is common in many other countries, it is less frequently the case that such feedback is provided in the United States.
My topic this month deals with using assessment or test results in order to provide developmental feedback and suggestions to employees. Although I will be dealing with feedback from tests in general, I will pay special attention to assessments that allow for a more in-depth, comprehensive view of the individuals, such as offered by the use of assessment centers.
[For more information on assessment centers, see Public Safety Assessment Center System (PSACS) and Assessment Center Educational Materials (ACEM)]
Some Findings from a Quick Literature Search
I had a graduate student perform a quick search of the current literature. Our findings regarding policies toward providing developmental feedback by employers in the United States were that it is rare for organizations to provide scores or give feedback to job applicants for pre-employment tests. It is more common for promotional candidates, but even there the exact type of feedback may skew toward simply providing results or scores. Providing expansive or detailed feedback is most likely to occur where the tests are used specifically for training or developmental purposes.
As for assessments centers, The International Congress on Assessment Center Methods has a document entitled The 2014 Guidelines and Ethical Considerations for Assessment Center Operations (6th Edition). According to their guidelines, feedback should be provided and if the assesses are members of the organization than the employee has the right to “read any formal, summary, written reports concerning their own performance and recommendations that are prepared and made available to management.” Continue reading