CANDIDATE ASSESSMENTS – USE THEM OR LOSE THEM?

August 14, 2018
Posted in General
August 14, 2018 ThePost

(Series continuation – diving further into interview steps, using assessment and creating a compelling offer.)

It’s evident that the job market is robust with the unemployment rate at the lowest it’s been in almost a decade. Across the job market, there are almost 10% more job listings than this time last year which means it’s a candidate driven market. This year it was predicted that some of the fasted growing sectors would include Digital Marketing, Management Consulting, Hotels & Hospitality, Technology and Healthcare.

Although we don’t personally work in all those sectors, we can certainly see the residual effects with the amount of hospitality and healthcare related positions. In addition, the continued growth of tech-related companies has created huge available dollars that translate in a rapidly growing residential design market.

What does all this mean? How does this affect companies looking to bring on the right talent? We are seeing that companies need to have a very efficient yet thorough interview process. But how do you take the time to ensure you are getting the right candidate while being mindful of how fast the market is moving? One option is the proper utilization of candidate assessments in the hiring process.

Most organizations know how expensive the wrong hire can be. This explains why the use of candidate assessments has increased almost 20% in the last two years alone. It is reported that almost 57 percent of companies use pre-hire assessments as a talent selection tool. In creative industries such as Architecture and Design, this number is lower; but medium to large firms in this sector are moving towards using this tool. Small-business owners often ask us whether they can or should use assessments to make hiring decisions. The short answer is yes. A company of any size can use assessments to help determine who to hire and most importantly, add depth to the interview process. As with most employment practices, there are a few caveats to mention.

First, if you are going to use assessments, make sure they are scientifically “reliable” and “validated”. This is necessary to ensure that the assessment meets the requirements set forth by the Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as statutes such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are not sure about a particular assessment, the company supplying the product will know. You should also never choose or eliminate a candidate based solely on the results of an assessment. Rather, the assessment should provide one piece of the puzzle and help guide your interview process.

Personally, we are fans of candidate assessments when used correctly. They can help with not only hiring but also team building and career pathing for employees. The bottom line is the better you understand your talent the better you can provide an environment where their unique talents can grow. Using assessments can be especially useful in small to medium-sized firms that don’t have a robust Human Resources and Recruitment department that is trained in interviewing and identifying the right talent. Assessments give you a window into how the individual thinks and solves problems, their behavioral preferences, values, ethics and also aptitude. The assessment we use in-house helps craft interview questions based on the results. This is a great tool to help our clients ensure they are digging deep and asking the right questions.

There are many assessments on the market so it’s important to know what you want to achieve by using them. Do your homework and know exactly what you want to look for and what equals a great hire for your company. Once you select a product it is ideal if you can start to determine patterns of success by having existing employees in comparable positions take the assessment – this ensures you aren’t using the product in a vacuum. The longer you use an assessment the more valuable it will be as you can measure the success of employees.

We have chosen to partner with Prevue HR for the clients that want us to administer assessments as part of the hiring process, but there are other great choices on the market such as; Caliper, Wonderlic, PSI and Berke to name just a few. There is a wealth of information online to help you determine what product might work best for your company and it might just save you the cost of a bad hire.