How to choose the right testing vendor
How to choose the right testing vendor?
When choosing a personal profile provider, it’s crucial that you make an informed decision.
Personal profiles play an important role in both the recruitment process and the development of a manager or employee and can provide insight into the skills and potential of a candidate or employee. But with so many providers on the market, it can be a bit of a jungle to navigate. Therefore, it’s crucial to know what to look out for to secure the right provider.
In this article, we’ll explain the simple – but important – considerations you should keep in mind when choosing a provider. If you have any doubts or questions, you are always welcome to contact us for a chat about how PeopleTools tools can help you in a recruitment or development process.
4 things to consider when choosing a test provider
1) Does the test provider match your requirements and needs
Before choosing a test provider, it’s important to understand what your expectations, requirements and needs are for the person profile and the test provider. It’s important to find a provider that can deliver on these. This is to ensure that you get tools that are in line with the purpose you want to use them for.
For example, it may be relevant whether you are using the tool for recruitment, development, team building or perhaps a combination of all three, and if so, what this means for the knowledge you want to gain from the profiles. Perhaps you need a very precise profiling tool that can uncover many nuances about the person, but can also be quite comprehensive. Or you may need a less comprehensive tool that’s easier to use and good for creating insightful dialog.
Similarly, you should also consider what your consumption looks like both in terms of the number of profiles and certifications. Consider whether you need subscription solutions, click systems or piece price agreements. In addition, you should also consider how often you need certifications, how much they cost and how comprehensive they are.
A final thing that may be relevant to consider is what service and support the test provider offers. If you need a lot of support, a lot of help tools or perhaps the ability to answer the profile questionnaire in multiple languages, you should also consider this before choosing a test provider.
2) Quality of the profiling tool
When choosing a test provider, it’s not enough that the provider matches your requirements and needs.
If you need to gain valuable insights into a candidate or employee’s personal profile, it’s also crucial that the quality of the tool is high.
Two of the most important measures of this are whether the tool has high validity and reliability.
Validity refers to whether the tool actually measures what it claims to measure.
For example, if you If you want to know something about a person’s level of extroversion, it’s important that the questions related to measuring this trait are also about the person’s level of extroversion, and not really about the person’s level of conscientiousness.
Therefore, the profile tool needs to be valid if it is to tell us something about the person’s actual behavior, skills or personal characteristics. However, if the profile tool is not valid, it can lead to false or misleading information about the person.
When you want to examine the validity of a profiling tool, one of the things you can look at is whether it is based on solid research and theory. The Big Five theory or Hexaco are two examples of recognized personality theories in this area.
You can also examine the validity of a profiling tool by comparing it to other existing and valid personal profiling tools. There should be a high correlation between these different tools if they claim to measure the same phenomenon.
A valid person profile is essential for making informed decisions and asking the right questions in the dialog with the candidate or employee. Therefore, you should always ask your test provider how they have validated their questionnaire and what results they have achieved.
Reliability is another important measure of the quality of a person profile.
Reliability refers to the trustworthiness of a profiling tool and can indicate how stable the tool’s results are over time and under different circumstances. A reliable personal profile will be able to show largely similar results with a high degree of comparability across repeated responses, as long as there have been no major changes in the person’s life.
There are different ways to assess the reliability of a person profile.
A very common measure of this is the so-called test-retest reliability. This involves asking a group of people to take the profile questionnaire at one point in time and again at a later date, e.g. 4 months after the first time. Here, the two responses should be as similar as possible and have as high a correlation as possible. A rule of thumb for this measure is that a test should have a correlation coefficient of 0.8 when measured over 3 months.
Another form of reliability is internal reliability, which can be measured by Cronbach’s alpha. This type of reliability deals with whether there is consistency between the different questions and measures how well each part of the questionnaire measures the same trait. If a person profile has high internal reliability, it means that if a person scores high on a certain trait in one part of a questionnaire, they should also tend to score high on other questions that measure the same trait. As mentioned, this type of reliability is measured with Cronbach’s alpha. As a rule of thumb, this should be around 0.7 for the profile to be considered to have high internal reliability.
A reliable personal profile can give you more confidence in the information and insights it provides. It is therefore important to choose a provider that offers high reliability profiling tools to ensure you get reliable and consistent results
3) What is the purpose of the profile?
When choosing a test provider, it’s also important to consider whether the person profile is ipsative or normative. This affects how the information from the profile questionnaire is analyzed and interpreted, and thus the type of insights the profile tool can provide.
Ipsative personality test
An ipsative personal profile compares the profile response to the person themselves, and therefore the results of the profile can only be interpreted from the person. Such a personal profile will therefore only be able to tell you where the person is strongest or which preferences are most prominent compared to their other strengths or preferences.
For example, such a personal profile could tell you that a person is more structured and analytical than relational. However, it cannot say that the person is more structured than the norm, as this requires a norm-referenced test.
Normative personality test
A norm-based personal profile compares the person’s response to a norm group, also called a reference group. This will provide information on whether a person is more or less extroverted compared to the reference group.
In a norm-referenced test, it is important to be aware of what such a reference group looks like and whether the characteristics of the group match the characteristics of the test subject. This can be based on age, gender, nationality, culture, work experience and position. For example, a high score on the trait extroversion will be expressed differently if the person is from China than if they are from the US.
Similarly, there may be a difference between what a reference group based on managers will look like compared to a reference group consisting of recent graduates. Your norm group and its characteristics will therefore affect how the test results will be interpreted.
It’s important to choose the right type of person profile based on your specific needs and purpose. Consider whether you need a profile that focuses on the person’s internal differences (ipsative) or whether you need to compare data between different individuals and a reference group (normative). Both approaches can provide valuable insights, but it’s crucial to choose the one that best suits your specific goals and scope.
4) Is the test provider GDPR compliant?
When choosing a test provider, it’s important that their handling of the personal data they receive is secure and GDPR compliant.
When working with personal profiles, sensitive and confidential information about individuals may be collected. It is therefore essential that a provider has appropriate measures in place to protect the confidentiality and security of the personal data collected and processed as part of profiling.
Among other things, you should be aware of the following:
- Examine the provider’s data protection policy to ensure they comply with applicable data protection legislation and have clear guidelines on how personal information is processed and protected
- Investigate whether the provider offers the possibility to process and report the personal profiles in an anonymous way so that individual data is kept confidential and cannot be traced back to individuals
- Choose a provider that only collects and processes the necessary information for the purpose of personal profiling and avoids unnecessary collection of personal data
- Ask the test provider about their methods for storing and securing data. They should have appropriate technical and organizational measures in place to protect against unauthorized access, loss or misuse of personal information.
- Make sure you enter into a written agreement with the provider that clearly defines their obligations and responsibilities as a data processor, including the protection of personal information and compliance with relevant data protection regulations
By choosing a provider that prioritizes personal data protection, you can be sure that the necessary measures are in place to ensure the confidentiality and security of personal profiles.
Your provider’s compliance with applicable data protection legislation is essential to maintain the trust of the individuals who need to be personally profiled.
How to move forward with your test vendor selection
The choice of test provider when using personal profiles is an important decision that can have a significant impact, whether you want to use them for recruitment, development or something else. Hopefully, you’re now a little better prepared to make this choice.
As always before making an important decision, remember to research the field thoroughly and compare multiple providers before making your final choice, so you get a provider that can deliver high-quality people profiles and add real value to your business.