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Created: December 05, 2003.
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HR-XML Consortium Approves Assessments Specification for Skills Evaluation.

The Assessments 1.0 specification recently approved by the membership of the HR-XML Consortium features six new XML Schemas supporting order requests to providers of assessment and testing services, and the return of assessment status and results. An assessment in this context "can encompass a wide variety of tests, screenings, and instruments. Assessments can include tests of both hard skills (technical abilities acquired through training and education) and/or soft skills (a diverse range of abilities or personal characteristics such as customer orientation, analytical thinking, leadership skills, team-building skills, listening skills, and diplomacy). The Assessment Order specification is sufficiently generalized to be useful in a wide variety of scenarios. The HR-XML Assessment Workgroup is planning future releases of the standard that will support additional options, such as the discovery of available assessment instruments based on the particular competencies an employer may want to assess." This collection of XML Schemas is the latest suite in a series of related modular specifications designed to "spare employers and vendors the risk and expense of having to negotiate and agree upon data interchange mechanisms on an ad-hoc basis." HR-XML is an independent, non-profit consortium "dedicated to enabling e-commerce and inter-company exchange of human resources data worldwide. Its work centers on the development and promotion of standardized XML vocabularies for HR, with current efforts are focused on standards for staffing and recruiting, compensation and benefits, training and work force management. The Consortium has produced a library of more than 75 interdependent XML schemas defining data elements for particular HR transactions, as well as options and constraints governing the use of those elements."

Bibliographic Information

Assessments 1.0. HR-XML Recommendation. November 21, 2003. Version identifier: 'Assessments.doc'. 31 pages. By Romuald Restout (Recruitsoft) and Drew Cox (ePredix). Edited by Chuck Allen and Kim Bartkus (HR-XML Consortium). Contributors: Doug Walner (PSI), Chris Simpson (Oracle), Bill Kerr (Oracle), Brad Whitney (American Background Check), Craig Corner (First Advantage), with other members of the HR-XML Assessment Order Project.

The HR-XML Assessments 1.0 document is one of (some) 273 files published in the ZIP distribution of the HR-XML Recommendation. The package includes 85 XML Schemas and supporting documentation.

Assessments Schemas

The Version 1.0 Assessments specification includes the following schemas:

  • AssessmentOrderAcknowledgement: A schema to support acknowledgment of an assessment order. The schema provides also for handling assessment setting details as provided by the assessment provider
  • AssessmentOrderRequest: A schema to support assessment requests to assessment providers. The schema is flexible enough to transmit information required to execute assessments that a client might arrange with an assessment provider.
  • AssessmentStatusRequest: A schema that is used within acknowledgment and results schemas to handle the information related to the status of the assessment order.
  • AssessmentCancelRequest: A schema to query the status of a particular assessment order. This schema is also used to transmit the cancellation of an assessment order from a client to an assessment provider.
  • AssessmentResult: A schema to transmit assessment results to a client of an assessment provider
  • AssessmentTypes: An additional schema is also included in the specification that merely acts as a placeholder for types that are used throughout other schemas

From the Announcement

Employers that use assessments as part of their workforce management strategy will benefit from a new standard that makes it easier to integrate assessments into the workflow and decision-support framework of recruiting and HR management systems. The new standard, approved in a vote by the more than 100 member organizations of the HR-XML Consortium, provides employers the flexibility and efficiencies of being able to order, manage, and apply assessments from within their HR or recruiting solution of choice.

"In-depth assessments provide a strong foundation for important decisions about people in the workplace," said Romuald Restout, Product Architect, Recruitsoft, Inc., and leader of the HR-XML Assessments Project Team. "The HR-XML Consortium's Assessments standard has been created so organizations can more efficiently integrate a collection of third-party assessment instruments within an employer's workforce management solution," according to Restout. "By applying a more systematic approach to the integration process, organizations can centralize the process and generate improvements in productivity that contribute to the bottom-line," he explained.

"Employers are interested in the higher return on investment that quality employees deliver. In turn, employers are using assessment solutions in all stages of the human capital lifecycle to ensure they develop employees with the right skills and that they promote people into the positions where they will succeed," said Shawn Lyndon, CTO, ePredix. "The HR-XML Consortium's Assessments Standard better serves employers by opening the door to easy integration of a wide variety of assessment tools within HR systems," according to Lyndon.

"The HR-XML Consortium's Assessments Standard makes it even easier for employers to leverage the assessment tests, tools, and expertise offered by assessment service providers," according to Doug Walner, President of PSI. "The standard significantly reduces implementation time frames and costs for employers and vendors implementing assessments within talent management solutions," said Walner.

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