Any experience with pre-employment assessments?

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    I'm studying the hiring practices of hospitals when it comes to R.N. positions. Does your hospital use any on-line screening or assessment tools during the interview process? I'm not talking about knowledge or competency tests, rather more the personality, temperament kinds of assessments. If you've experienced these, I'd love to know your perception of them, how they were conducted and if you received any feedback from the prospective employer after the results were in. Did you have an opportunity to be debriefed on your profile or receive a copy of the results? I appreciate any feedback you can provide. Thanks.
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    I have been involved in employee education/staff development/organizational development for quite a long time.

    I have had some experience with the development & implementation of pre-employment 'temperament' as well as competency assessments in several organizations. None of the temperament assessments involved RNs - but I was very impressed with the outcomes of a process for selection of CNA staff. We decreased job turnover by 50% as a result of using the tool to improve our hiring process. The tool was developed by an O/I psychologist -6 month process with extensive testing & validation prior to implementation.

    Despite a significant amount of O/I education in my doctoral program, I am still not a fan of pre-employment assessment in general, especially those focusing on temperament. I am not knocking the high-end assessments (e.g., Birkman) that are commonly used to select executives. They are very accurate & valuable, but also waaaay too expensive for general hiring or jobs that are not associated with multiples of 6 figure salaries. Simple (one dimensional) assessments are not valuable. For instance, it is pretty well known that everyone lies on "honesty" assessments.

    In my experience, pre-assessment tools are not customized sufficiently to actually reflect the unit/department in which they are used. Instead, they are based upon someone's perception of the 'ideal' candidate - which is usually based upon a synthetic marketing prototype rather than reality. Ex: the 'desired' candidate may be highly empathetic, but the 'real' environment, is much too harsh to support highly empathetic people. My other beef - they consist of 'forced selection' responses (multiple choice, matching, TF, etc) that are more sensitive to the participant's testing skills than their underlying knowledge.

    I do support intensive training of hiring managers so that they actually know how to interview and hire!!!! This is a much better solution than trying to use assessment tools to compensate for manager skill deficits. I also support the use of (reliable and valid) post-hire assessments in order to determine what training/development should be included in orientation. The best nursing assessment instrument that I have found is PBDS because it integrates many important dimensions and rated using a qualitative analysis that takes into account the individual's education and experience.


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