Barrett & Associates offers a “turn-key” approach to the development of human resource systems. That is, we routinely handle all aspects of the project work, from the initial job analysis, through development of all project materials, and the preparation of reports to document project activities and results. Our staff is available to coordinate and execute all project activities. Our work processes are designed to minimize the time demands on employees in the client’s organization.
Because we are able to handle all aspects of the project work, we can ensure that all project materials are handled in a secure and confidential manner. We take security and confidentiality very seriously and have gone to great lengths to protect our clients’ project materials, including having a state-of-the-art security system installed at our facilities.
Custom Designed Selection Systems
Barrett & Associates’ has extensive experience in the development and validation of selection and promotional instruments for both public and private-sector organizations. Our selection systems are custom designed for individual organizations and are based on the actual requirements of the job. We determine these requirements through a thorough job analysis process. Human resource tools developed by Barrett & Associates are tailored to include materials and terminology familiar to personnel in the specific area under consideration. Our selection systems meet all federal, state, and professional guidelines.
Barrett & Associates has developed paper-and-pencil and computer administered tests, test batteries, structured interviews, and performance exercises for the selection of clerical, technical, managerial, executive, sales, police, firefighter, and other positions. We have the capability of administering selection systems on-site at the client’s location or at our own facilities.
Selection Systems for Safety Forces
Barrett & Associates has extensive experience in the development of civil service examinations for municipal police and fire departments and related transit authority positions. We have custom designed assessment centers and cognitive ability tests for the selection and promotion of safety forces personnel.
A number of studies have shown our tests to be related to fire and police academy performance and actual on the job performance. Principals on our staff recently performed a study which reviewed and summarized the literature on the use of written tests in the selection of firefighters. They found that written and mechanical comprehension tests for firefighters had substantial validity and were able to predict training and job performance.
In the area of civil service testing, Barrett & Associates offers a competitive advantage over other consulting firms. In the civil service arena, litigation is almost inevitable; however, our approach to test development has led to systems which are content valid, well received by candidates as being job relevant, designed to minimize potential adverse impact, and have withstood litigation.
Barrett & Associates is on the leading edge of assessment center development and administration. We incorporate state-of-the-art theory and technology into our assessment center exercises. Our assessment centers are custom designed for individual organizations and are based on the actual requirements of the job identified by a thorough job analysis process. Each exercise is tailored to employ material and terminology familiar to those people who will be tested. As such, our human resource instruments are generally accepted and perceived as job-relevant and fair.
Assessment centers have been developed for jobs at all organizational levels – from first-level supervisors through high-level managers – all with excellent results. Based on our extensive experience, we have created a structured format for developing assessment centers that is cost effective and offers the same reliability and validity as traditional approaches, while tailoring the actual instruments to the realities of organizational life.
Barrett & Associates has also developed a combination assessment approach that uses both written tests and assessment center exercises. We have the capability to administer our assessment center exercises to large groups of candidates. Recently, we administered assessment center exercises to approximately 5000 candidates in a single day. Whatever your assessment needs, Barrett & Associates can perform extensive state-of-the-art analyses on all test and assessment center exercise data in order to provide timely and accurate results, while minimizing potential adverse impact.
Content Valid Written Tests
Selection and promotional tests are developed according to our Eight Stage Model for the Reduction of Potential Adverse Impact. This involves: job analysis, identification of the underlying knowledge, skills, and abilities required for job performance, identification of appropriate construct/content areas for testing, use of professional item-writing guidelines for test development, expert item review, appropriate weighting of test battery components, analysis of test results, and ongoing test revision.
While each test battery is developed to suit the specialized needs of the individual client, we also are able to offer our clients the benefits of many years of experience. Each test battery we develop reflects the most current scientific knowledge in testing and personnel selection and the application of lessons learned over the years from data collected on thousands of applicants.
Computerized Testing, Scoring and Reporting
Barrett & Associates, Inc. can provide quick and accurate test results using our computerized testing, scoring, and reporting process. Custom-developed computerized test response sheets are scanned into a data-base twice. Two independent individuals “clean” the response sheets using a program developed by Barrett & Associates. The cleaning process involves such things as checking to make sure erasure marks are not erroneously picked up as responses. A third individual then compares the two data-bases using a special computerized comparison program. The response sheets are then scored using a computer program. A minimum of 10% of the response sheets are then manually scored and checked against the scores generated by the computer program for further verification of accuracy. Finally, scores reports are generated in a format consistent with the needs of the individual client. For example, Barrett & Associates can provide each candidate his or her own score report with individualized feedback.
Training and Management Development Programs
Barrett & Associates has extensive experience in the development and administration of training and management development programs. All of our programs are designed according to good professional practice and are based on the latest research.
Barrett & Associates’ management development programs focus on developing skills and abilities among first level, middle, and upper level managers in both public and private organizations. Examples of training programs developed by Barrett & Associates include: Decision Making Strategies, Survey Feedback, Attitudes and Motivation, Participative Management, Job Analysis and Critical Incident Training, Item Writing, Accurate Performance Evaluation, Sexual Harassment, and Interviewer Training Workshops.
Specialized training has also been provided to organizations in the administration of selection systems and the application of rating scales and dimensions. Our programs have included surveys, lectures, discussion, individual and group exercises, role plays, custom videotape presentations, and feedback.
Job Evaluation and Compensation Systems
Barrett & Associates has completed a number of large scale job evaluation studies involving public sector agencies, financial institutions, and manufacturing organizations. We use a number of copyrighted job evaluation instruments including the Comprehensive Job Evaluation System (CJES) and the Comprehensive Job Evaluation Technique (CJET), which were developed by principals of the firm. Recently, we completed a major job evaluation project in a public sector setting which included a pilot study to reduce sex bias in the final instrument. This analysis was based on the methodology for assessing sex bias in job evaluation instruments developed by Barrett & Associates.
Barrett & Associates has extensive experience with job evaluation, and has published articles on the topic in professional journals. One recent article provides a defense of the use of job evaluation in modern, changing organizations. Our staff has published extensively on perceptions of salary and equity, including cross-national comparisons. We have also researched and published articles regarding the uses and abuses of regression analysis for making salary comparisons.
Recently our staff conducted a major research study that compares the measurement properties of different job evaluation instruments. We have also conducted a simulation study on a regression technique approach to investigating sex bias.
Performance Evaluation and Assessment
Barrett & Associates has extensive experience in the development of objective, customized performance evaluation and assessment systems. All of our clients are trained in the proper administration of such systems in order to reduce the possibility of bias in the rating process. Barrett & Associates can provide computerized performance evaluation response sheets that can be completed by the rater(s) and then scanned into a data-base for analysis. Inter-rater agreement can be assessed and individual performance evaluation feedback reports can be generated for each employee to allow for personalized feedback.
Compliance With the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which went into effect on July 26, 1992, presents important considerations to be followed by all employers in human resource management. The issue of reasonable accommodation is a difficult one that requires the high level of technical expertise available from Barrett & Associates.
The ADA identifies several factors for determining whether a job function should be classified as essential (EEOC, 1991). In response to this legislation, we have developed a Six-Factor Approach to Determining Essential and Marginal Functions. Our standardized process has recently been reviewed by the OFCCP and was accepted as supporting the validity of a physical abilities employment test. Our documentation procedures include detailed descriptions of the background, major responsibilities, major work behaviors, functional job requirements, work environment factors, and essential/marginal function classifications for jobs.
Methods to Reduce Adverse Impact
Barrett & Associates has developed standard procedures to reduce the potential for adverse impact in selection instruments. We have refined the specific principles, procedures, and extensive analyses that we use through on-going research and professional application in both public and private organizations since 1973.
This expertise has been recognized by a prominent plaintiff’s counsel in Title VII litigation (Seymour, 1988), and in a law review article noting Barrett & Associates’ successful selection programs (Canton, 1987). All of our selection programs and instruments are designed to conform to requirements set forth under all relevant legislation, such as Title VII. A paper authored by Dr. Barrett and his associates was cited by the U. S. Supreme Court in Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust (1988).
Analysis of Lending Practices
Barrett & Associates has recently worked with several large banks in examining their loan policies for potential discrimination against minority borrowers. Specifically, we have conducted statistical analyses to identify disparities in overage amounts charged to mortgage loan applicants.
In one such project, our analyses contributed to the Bank’s ability to successfully respond to inquiries by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC). Furthermore, we have developed statistical models which allow banks to continuously monitor (e.g., quarterly, annually), loan outcomes to detect statistically significant deviations.
Cognitive Job Analysis
Our staff has developed a method for job analysis that overcomes weaknesses inherent in traditional job analysis methods.
The Cognitive Job Analysis Technique focuses on obtaining an understanding of complex job requirements and the type and level of cognitive processing required to complete work tasks. This method of job analysis allows analysts to obtain results superior to any other job analysis method. The Cognitive Job Analysis Technique fosters efficient and accurate job analysis, the most basic and crucial element of valid human resource instruments.
Barrett & Associates has also developed specialized instruments to facilitate data collection in the job analysis process. For example, our structured Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) has been used in analyzing managerial, sales, clerical, manufacturing, and safety forces positions.
Job Family Categorization
We have developed standardized procedures for analyzing jobs and identifying commonalities among jobs. Our procedures enable us to develop selection tools which apply to the broad range of jobs in a job family. The Barrett & Associates Job Family Categorization Methodology consists of four criteria for grouping jobs. These criteria were derived from the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978) and are consistent with the goal of developing a valid selection procedure that conforms with legal guidelines and professional practice.
Strategic Skill Assessment and Skill Based Management Systems
Barrett & Associates has worked with clients to develop strategic skill assessment and skill-based management systems.
In rapidly changing business environments, we understand that a thorough assessment of organizational resources is crucial to managing and driving change.
We have experience in developing assessment instruments that provide organizations with the information they need to make important strategic decisions. Our approach applies psychometrics to the identification and management of critical knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) that people must possess and/or develop for planned change to occur.
Because the organization is changing, people may not have, or be aware of, the nature of the new skill requirements for the roles they must play in the change process. Strategic skill assessment and development can help identify and define important KSAs that people must possess to move the organization into the future. The information obtained from strategic skill assessment can serve as the basis for employee development plans, work team assignments and skill-based pay systems as well as many other interventions.
Barrett & Associates has over thirty years of experience developing survey instruments to collect information and provide feedback on opinions, attitudes and values, and consumer preferences. Barrett & Associates has conducted numerous survey studies for major utility companies, the U.S. government, hospitals, banks, retail, and private sector organizations.
In one such study, the survey instruments were developed and distributed, and information was retrieved, analyzed, and stored for over 100,000 cases from industrialized countries around the world. This study involved examining similarities and differences in attitudes, values, and beliefs of managers, how managers cope with the same organizational problems, and how these problems relate to manager’s career advancement. We have also developed a number of structured and semi-structured interview forms that make our firm uniquely capable of handling large-scale survey and interview projects. In addition to interview forms, we can also survey employees using focus groups. Over the years, we have developed several job analysis interview forms and focus group protocols to meet the needs of various projects.
Expert Witness Services
Barrett & Associates provides expert witness services, including extensive experience in various aspects of Equal Employment Opportunity cases. Expert witness testimony is available for litigation in all areas of employment law, including Title VII, Age Discrimination and Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and statistical analyses for EEOC compliance.
Barrett & Associates has served as an expert witness in over 100 cases, and has negotiated settlement agreements for several organizations.
Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Barrett & Associates has been involved in cases in which there has been alleged discrimination against the disabled. Recently, our staff has been a plaintiff’s expert where the defense argued that validity generalization results can be applied to the disabled. In addition, Dr. Barrett was a member of the American Psychological Association
Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessments where policy issues were formulated involving the use of psychological tests for selecting disabled applicants.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA)
Barrett & Associates has been involved in over thirty cases where there has been alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These cases have usually involved allegations of discrimination based upon race. The cases generally revolved around issues of personnel selection, promotion, or performance appraisal that may have led to termination or failure to be promoted or selected for a position. Our staff has written extensively on these issues, integrating the legal and the psychological perspectives.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
Barrett & Associates has been involved in over twenty cases involving alleged violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). These cases have often involved statistical analyses to determine if the older employee has suffered adverse impact. The analyses often are based on terminations or promotions and comparisons with expected personnel decisions. The analyses may also involve issues revolving around a reduction in force (RIF).
Other issues have involved bona fide occupational qualifications (BFOQ) as a prerequisite for hiring and mandatory retirement. Specific activities have included job analysis, review of performance appraisals, review of selection procedures, and detailed review of opposing experts analysis and testimony.
Our staff has authored a number of papers specifically dealing with legal issues important to age discrimination cases, and has also been actively involved in research which deals with the older employee.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
Barrett & Associates has been extensively involved in the practical applications of the Equal Pay Act and research in both legal issues and issues dealing with job evaluation and gender. Our staff has authored or co-authored a number of papers which directly analyze the legal issues dealing with alleged discrimination in pay based upon gender. In addition, our staff has been very active in research that analyzes job evaluation systems, gender effects in pay, and other issues that are related to compensation.
We have completed projects under the supervision of federal agencies to implement compensation plans which have been shown to be free of gender bias. Barrett & Associates combines expert witness experience, theoretical knowledge, and applied work experience in the area of compensation.
Our staff has been involved in using a variety of techniques, including job evaluation and regression analysis, in compensation studies. Dr. Barrett has been an expert witness in over eight cases where the issues revolved around compensation and gender.
Expert Witness Presentations and Trial Preparation Experience
Barrett & Associates has also been extremely active in presenting papers and workshops to a number of professional groups including attorneys, personnel psychologists, executives, and human resource professionals in the public and private sector. We have presented more than fifteen workshops on the role of the expert witness. Barrett & Associates has worked with attorneys in preparation for trial. Activities include specification of appropriate models, collection and analysis of empirical evidence, development and support of conclusions, preparation of reports and exhibits, presentation of expert testimony, education of trial attorneys and organizational personnel as to specialized knowledge essential to particular issues, assistance with direct cross examination of opposing party’s experts, advice on material to be requested during discovery, development of optimal jury profiles, and jury selection.
We have negotiated settlement agreements for several organizations which involved the development of valid employment tests, compensation plans, performance appraisal systems and training programs for supervisors which meet all professional and legal guidelines.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements have become an important issue for organizations handling hazardous chemicals, explosives, or blasting agents. Barrett & Associates specializes in incorporating new regulations into our job analysis methodology. This methodology was developed to enable incorporation of specific questions which pertain to new and changing regulations.
With respect to OSHA compliance, specific questions are developed to allow a Process Hazard Analysis which addresses: Hazards of the process, Previous incidents (near misses), Engineering and administrative controls, Consequences of failure of controls, facility sitting, and Human factors (i.e., operator/ process; number of tasks).
Preparation For OFCCP "Glass Ceiling" Review
The OFCCP’s corporate management review/audit is intended to determine whether an organization has refrained from unlawful discrimination and has made good faith affirmative action efforts to ensure equal employment opportunity in developing, selecting and treating mid-level and senior corporate managers. It is also called a “glass ceiling” review, since it is designed to detect and remove any and all of the artificial barriers or obstacles that might prevent women and minorities from moving into the upper rungs of the corporate ladder. This type of review usually involves issues of job evaluation and compensation, but may also involve a detailed examination of a corporation’s recruitment, selection, and promotional practices as well.
The principals of Barrett & Associates have been extensively involved in assisting organizations to successfully prepare for the qualitative and quantitative review of all aspects of organizational practices covered by the OFCCP review.