Reliability or Validity in Assessment Tools – which is better?

by Bluewater Advisory

March 29, 2013

Hi, I’m Mark Debinski Founder and President of Bluewater Advisory & Bluewater Search broadcasting again today from Mobile Baby in beautiful Fairhope, Alabama.

Today’s blog topic answers the question that many of our clients ask and it’s regard to the assessments that we use in our practice.  The question is:  What is better when it comes to assessments, reliability or validity?

If you read about us or if you have worked with us, you’ll know that we use assessments in all of the work that we do in both our organizational development practice, Bluewater Advisory, as well as our award-winning recruitment division, Bluewater Search.  The answer to the question goes like this:  While reliability and validity are similar in concept they are very different when it comes to the validation of assessments.  Reliability refers to how consistent scores are over time, meaning if a candidate or if I took an assessment a year ago and take the same assessment again today, how consistent are those scores.  Validity on the other hand, and in our belief is more important, refers to the evidence based research and statistical validation of the results themselves.  Are the test results actually relevant and again, in our opinion, validity is more important. So if you are looking at an assessment tool and it boasts a high reliability rating, make sure you look at the validation or ask if it has been validated at all – many have not. At our practice, all of the tools we use have both high reliability ratings as well as high validity ratings feeling that we serve best of both words and best in our clients’ interest.

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Thanks and have a great day!