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Strategy Design Services

OPM measurement specialists and trained HR specialists can assist agencies in developing valid, fair, and effective assessment strategies that meet specific hiring needs.  OPM psychologists are available to assist agencies with assessment development on a reimbursable basis.

Agencies should consider many factors when selecting or developing an assessment tool and an overall selection strategy.  The appropriate assessment(s) depends on variables such as the number and level of vacant positions, the applicant pool, and the anticipated number of applicants based on recent experience when announcing similar positions.  Other key factors that should be considered in selecting or developing an assessment strategy include:

  • Critical competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to be assessed.
  • Number of positions to be filled in relation to the number of applicants anticipated.
  • Reliability and validity evidence associated with the assessment tool.
  • Potential for adverse impact against race, gender, national origin, or other subgroups in the applicant population.
  • Cost, time, and expertise needed to develop the assessment tool.
  • Cost and feasibility of implementing the tool.
  • Costs or consequences of a bad hiring decision.
  • Acceptability of assessment process and tools to applicants.

One or more assessment options may be used to determine an applicant's ability to successfully perform a job.  Agencies must determine (1) the number of competencies to measure, (2) which competencies to measure, (3) how to measure the given competencies, (4) when in the selection process to measure given competencies, and (5) how to combine scores with other components of the assessment process.  Identifying the most appropriate assessment tool requires careful consideration of the costs and benefits associated with each option in relation to the needs and priorities of the user.

Getting Expert Help

The issues to consider when selecting or developing an assessment strategy or specific assessment tool are complex.  There are many vendors offering assessments.  It is the agency's responsibility to ensure assessments meet all regulatory and legal criteria.  Agencies should ensure they receive appropriate documentation to support the selection process.  OPM psychologists can assist agencies in ensuring that assessments used for personnel decisions are valid and legally defensible.

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