Assessments, Your Competitive Advantage

May 14, 2013


Why Use Assessments?

-                      high turnover is costly – 80% of employer turnover is avoidable

-                      hiring without practicing due diligence may create liability

-                      in a survey of College graduates, 95% said they would be willing to make a false statement on their resumes – 41% admitted they had

-                      most hiring decisions are made instinctively and within the first five minutes of the interview

The list goes on.  In order to compete in this marketplace, you have to have the best employees – and performance is the key.  Hiring the right people for the right job is perhaps the first and most important element of performance.

There are no bad employees, only bad hires.  If you want to turn talent into performance, you must put each individual into the right role.  When people are put into jobs that match their interests, talents and behavioural tendencies, the results are increased job satisfaction, performance and productivity and lower turnover.

Historically, employers have used resumes, interviews and references along with an initial impression or “gut feel” to make hiring decisions.  And typically two out of every three hires will disappoint in the first year.

Therefore, companies today are increasingly utilizing assessments (pre-employment testing) in their overall recruitment strategy.  Using state of the art, reliable and valid assessments can increase the quality of new hires and ultimately support the future success of the individual.   Pre-employment assessments can help you to hire the right person most every time.  This results in a decrease in training costs, a decrease in time spent on disruptive employees and an overall improvement in the productivity of the individual and the work team.

Pre-screen assessments are designed to predict job performance by measuring a combination of three things:

-                      Experience – what they have done;

-                      Motives – what they want to do; and

-                      Talents and Abilities – what they can do.

Different types of assessments measure these things differently which, therefore, affects their ability of predicting differing types of job performance.

Ability and Aptitude Tests are used to evaluate people’s abilities against the precise requirements of their positions.

Achievement Tests are used to measure an individual’s current knowledge of skills that are important to a particular job.

Behavioural Style Assessments are used to provide insight into whether candidates have the motivational and behavioural characteristics required to perform well in a particular role.

There are a number of assessment tools that provide the hiring manager specific interview questions based upon the individual’s score.  This makes the process more consistent and less vulnerable to subjective decisions.

To be effective, pre-screen assessment tools must meet three key conditions:

-                      they must be selected using a clear definition of the performance required for the job in question

-                      they must effectively measure the key characteristics that influence a candidate’s job performance

-                      they must be administered in a standardized and consistent fashion

In general, using a variety of pre-screen assessment tools can improve the success of hiring decisions.  However, the more assessment tools you use, the more time required in the recruitment process and the higher the expense involved.  Some things to consider when selecting assessment tools:

-                      are the tools adequately screening candidates on the full range of performance factors

-                      how many tools can we afford

-                      how will we administer the tools

Companies that are utilizing assessment tools in their recruitment process have a definite competitive advantage over those that are relying on the traditional hiring methods.  They also tend to have much happier and more productive employees which translates into increased performance and retention.