Organizations will sometimes use validity studies for EEOC purposes. Sarah Mulvey explains.
By the way, this is something that has been done in the real-world time and again. Here at PI, we've conducted nearly 500 validity studies that examine all kinds of performance data from a wide variety of clients across ten different industries. 127 of these studies were on sales roles—such roles are popular for validity studies because of the clear financial impact that they can have on a business, not to mention the fact that sales performance is an objective measure that is often readily available. Findings from such studies tend to vary, even within the same role, due to the fact that each company is unique in what it takes to be successful there. At PI, we do tend to see some trends between our sales studies – for instance, sales employees who are Dominant and/or Extraverted tend to have higher sales numbers, but this is by no means the rule. There are even a handful of sales roles for which studies found that lower Dominance and lower Extraversion leads to better performance.
How to Use the Results
It's important to remember that validity studies are not the end-all solution to hiring (as much as we'd like them to be!) What if you hired only people who were Dominant because higher Dominance correlated with higher sales, and all of your uber-dominant salespeople started butting heads and arguing with each other in front of customers? This hasn't happened in the real world (that I know of) but it's an example of how other factors that may impact job performance (such as getting along with your peers) should always be taken into account, regardless of the study results. The best way to use the study results is as a single data point among others, such as match to a job assessment, background, experience, cognitive ability, etc.
Finally, today's car sales example was just that—an example. While PI has conducted 11 validity studies on automotive salespeople, these studies were each conducted for a unique client and had unique findings. There are other reasons for conducting validity studies and other methods that can be used to examine and analyze the data. Beyond figuring out the right stuff for making hires, validity studies can help you to have a more legally-defensible hiring process, because you have established the job relevancy of an assessment. Also, they can be a powerful tool for getting stakeholder buy-in because you can show others how hiring the right people will impact your sales (or other important metrics).
For this post, we focused on studies that include the PI Behavioral Assessment, but PI also conducts validity studies on its Cognitive Assessment to show the relationship between cognitive ability and job performance. So, whether you use the PI Behavioral Assessment, the Cognitive Assessment, or both, rest assured that you are interacting with a tool that is backed by strong validation research.