4 Key Benefits of Using Pre-Hire Assessments in Your Organization
Assessments are valuable tools that provide insights into candidates for managers, especially when used in the pre-hiring process. Pre-hire assessments can determine how an individual will fit in a specific job, identify their thinking and reasoning styles, and highlight relevant behavioral traits.
The job market is showing signs of life, with a few key sectors fueling the growth. These include manufacturing, retail, healthcare, leisure and hospitality, and professional services. With so many people applying for jobs who are either out of work, underemployed, or looking to switch employers, hiring managers have their work cut out for them to make the best hire possible.
When filling an open position (whether hiring someone new or promoting from within) you want to select the person who is the best fit for the job and team with the right skill set who can be effective and productive the fastest. To assist in that process, managers can use assessment results to:
- Match employees to the work culture
- Look beyond the résumé
- Place employees in appropriate jobs
- Create “fact patterns” for people in similar positions for future hiring practices
Profiles’ John Bradford outlines the benefits of using assessments in the hiring process.
1. Cultural and behavioral fit.
Knowing your organization’s work culture as well as that of your own department or team is an important aspect of making successful hires. If they strive for innovative ideas and productive employees, balancing among their employees is in managers’ best interests. However, certain personalities and behavior styles will not be productive together.
Managers can use assessments to determine what unique traits new hires bring to the team, and where differences in individuals may cause conflict. A skillful prospect could be tempting, but if they won’t gel with their co-workers, you risk a lack of cohesion (and thus wasted productivity) and possibly sabotaging the entire group. When hiring new employees it is important to choose someone who will easily mesh with existing team members. Pre-hire assessments can help managers hire the best fit for the group and the position.
2. Look beyond the résumé.
Research has shown that the majority of résumés are not as accurate as one would hope. The market is extremely competitive, and those in the job hunt are trying to find advantages wherever possible. Assessments can help hiring managers look beyond the résumé, and discover deeper traits of each interviewee. A shining résumé can often mask someone who is not an adequate fit for the job or the team. Assessments can uncover the person behind the résumé to give managers a clearer picture of each potential employee.
3. Match skills and behaviors to your open positions.
Managers have a tendency to hire people similar to themselves, or become enamored with a particular type of person. But this is not always the best option for the team. Using employee assessments can help managers determine who has the knowledge, skills, and natural inclinations for a position.
To put it another way, a baseball team doesn’t need 3 starting first basemen nor do most bands need more than one drummer. Objectively assess your needs and the skills necessary to perform the job, and hire for them. If you keep hiring the same type of person, you could end up with a team of first basemen who can’t adequately fulfill the other roles on the team.
4. Establish patterns of success.
A final benefit of using pre-hire employee assessments is the ability to create “fact patterns" or "performance models.” Assessments can be used to chart who has been successful in each position and identify common traits related to their success. Building a performance model involves using the results of previous top performers to create a model of where future applicants should fit if they are going to be successful at the job.
Specific positions require certain innate skills and behaviors. Performance modles can make those attributes more obvious to hiring managers and help to set a standard for future employees seeking that job.
The available talent pool is plentiful and extremely diverse. This is cause for businesses to reconstruct their hiring practices. Using advanced tools, such as pre-hire assessments, can easily distinguish who has a true aptitude for the open position, and who will fit with the team.
Assessments enhance the hiring process by adding quantitative data to a typically unquantifiable practice. Every hiring manager should strive to match prospective employees to the culture of the company, place them in appropriate positions, and use fact patterns to predict future success. Assessments are helpful in the pre-hire phase, and offer the opportunity to continually simplify hiring practices.
Jeffrey Meyers contributed to this article.
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