Now is the Time for Pre-Hiring Assessments!

Now is the Time for Pre-Hiring Assessments!

Despite a lull in hiring across many industries, now may be the ideal time to consider pre-hire assessments.  Why?  Because when things do open back up, there will be a flood of talent knocking on your door and asking for a job.   This period reminds me of my grandfather, a farmer, who seemed to stay just as busy in the winter despite having brought in the crops.  He clarified my young puzzlement by simply telling me the place had to be properly prepared for the growing season.  You too are about to face a growth opportunity toward building a stronger organization from both an internal (communication) standpoint as well as an external (service/product) delivery standpoint.  Here’s how.

Most of you have taken a personality assessment at one time or another.  DISC or Myers-Briggs or Strengths Finder are perhaps the most common.  These are really good communication development tools and this is probably the reason you took them in the first place.  Improving interaction or learning to avoid conflict were the goals of the class.  But too often, these tools are folded into the hiring cycle and for this, they have an overabundance of limitations.  Can you take the witness stand and say without hesitation that a Dominant style personality cannot be successful in an HR department or that a sensitive Steadfast personality cannot direct a public works department?  I can’t!  And I’ve been at this for over 30 years.

Recent reports reveal that 82 percent of companies are using some form of pre-employment assessment.  There are literally dozens of these tools from which to choose.  So, which one is the right one? To answer this question, you must first determine what you are really trying to accomplish? Do you identify with any of the following?

  • You want people to get along better?
  • You want to give supervisors an idea of how best to train a new and inexperienced employee?
  • You are trying to coach someone to better supervisory or leadership performance?
  • You simply want to know what you have on your hands after candidates are hired?
  • You are trying to increase retention?
  • You are trying to identify high performers for those key roles?  
  • You want to insert the kind of bench strength that will allow for seamless succession.
  • You are hoping to slot specific talent into key organizational roles.  We call this molding job fit.
  • You are trying to get an idea for how successful a particular candidate is likely to be if hired (yes, we can do that). 

If so, there are tools to help you get this accomplished.  But you have to establish what you want to achieve.  Simply wanting to make better hires is not often clear enough. Whether you’re trying to accomplish one or more of these objectives,  there are different assessment instruments designed specifically to measure constructs and help you achieve what you need.

If your goal is communication or teamwork improvement then tools like the DISC, Myers-Briggs, or Strengths-Finder can be helpful…with the right trainer/coach.  If your goal is to boost supervisory or leadership performance, avoid conflict or manage “blind spots” effectively then TeamSight® is an outstanding tool. 

If your goal is to hire a high performer who matches the requirements of a job or role, then the Tallasure MX® is the gold standard.  This tool tells you what you will have after that six-month job honeymoon is over, and presents separate sections for cognitive reasoning, personality style, emotional intelligence quotient, as well as career interests.   Interestingly, it provides you with an actual job match percentage that lets you know how closely a particular candidate matches with a success pattern of employees in a similar job or role who were superior performers.  I cannot say enough good things about this assessment.  If you want to know what the candidate can do(capable of), will do (personality), how they will do it (emotional intelligence), and what they want to do(interests) then this is the right tool.

Three things in summary:

  1. Make sure you know what you are trying to achieve.
  2. Make sure the assessment you choose will help you achieve that goal and is both valid and reliable.  Make sure it measures what it says it will measure.
  3. Make sure you have a consultant who can walk you through what the results mean and what is revealed about the candidate.  The science underlying hiring has never been better, but a good assessment consultant can make those scores come to life with further interpretation.

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