Hire The Right People – 10 Recommendations On Using Assessments

Assessments are powerful tools to use in hiring the right people. They can also improve communications, reduce turnover and improve retention of top people. Assessments represent an opportunity to do all these things while returning the highest ROI of any single people directed investment you can make!

The following recommendations can help you better utilize these very valuable tools in a variety of ways.

Recommendation #1: Use assessments to provide information in the areas that are most likely to result in success or failure. Assessments add to the elements of experience, technical skills, accomplishments and education by adding another dimension to the decision making process. They can identify Behaviors, Values and Personal Skills that are the real drivers of success in every organization. Assessments can provide as much as 33% of the information used in the hiring process – a critical 33%, since experience has shown that most people succeed or fail in positions because of their Behavior Fit, Value/Culture Fit and Personal Skills Fit.

Recommendation #2: Choose assessments that are designed for business use, so that your managers and leaders can use and trust the reports. If your managers don’t feel the information is specific, directed to their interests, and delivers value to them in their relationship with the person assessed, you will lose most of the leverage the assessment could have. Choose based on the question “How can our managers use this information?” Use assessments to help make business decisions.

Recommendation #3: Use assessments after candidates have passed the technical skills, education, experience and accomplishment phases of the interview process. Do not use assessments as early knockout tests, unless there are specific criteria that are absolutely essential to the success in the job, and that can be measured by very specific assessment tools.

Recommendation #4: Choose an assessment that provides the ability to benchmark the position using stakeholders input as a key part of the front end process. The term “benchmarking” means a process to help define the critical elements of the job that need to be met in order for an applicant to be considered.. Make sure you select to the job requirements and not to the experiences of the candidate pool – don’t let the candidate pool dictate the position requirements.

Recommendation #5: Choose an assessment that can be handled administratively with little added burden to your people. Nothing will ensure the failure of a process more than the perception that it adds work out of proportion to its value. Ensure that the means for completing questionnaires and communicating results is as seamless as possible, and is not handled as an exception item in the process.

Recommendation # 6: Choose an assessment that has multiple uses for your organization. Many of the assessments available have little value beyond providing some information about elements of a person’s “personality profile”. Look for assessments that can help in establishing development plans, benchmark positions, create constructive talking points for performance reviews, create the climate for proactive development discussions, as well as help get a better understanding of who the candidate really is. Do the assessments result in the kind of information that can be applied in many ways? Are they designed to make it easy for you to develop, among other things, profiles of people who have been successful – and unsuccessful, in their jobs?

Recommendation #7: Choose assessments that have fast turnaround and interpretation by a qualified professional. If you have a person or persons trained and skilled in interpretation, great. If not, make sure the assessments you use gain you 24 x 7 access to professionals qualified in interpretation, and who have a business orientation. There are a lot of assessments available on the Internet that provide quick turnaround of superficial information that looks good when first seen, but that doesn’t stand up to the hard light of day when it comes to using the information in the decision making process.

Recommendation #8: Determine the value the assessment adds to your organization first, then its cost. If the process does not add value to your selection and development decisions and plans, any price is too high. I can guarantee you that the $20 Internet assessments fall way short of giving you the level of information you need. Look at value first, then at price. In the overall scheme of selection and development, assessments can be the best, most cost effective people selection investment you can make.

Recommendation #9: Choose assessments that provide well documented validity studies. Many organizations become concerned about the use of assessments because of what they see as the potential for misuse. In my experience, inconsistent use of any selection tool can cause problems. Validity studies provide assurance that the conclusions reached by the assessments are valid and well researched and free of biases.

Recommendation #10: Try before you buy. Have people in your organization take the assessment or assessments you are considering, then review the results with one question in your mind – ” How much added value will this information have in helping me be more successful in making future selection and development decisions?” You must experience the process to understand what it can do for your organization.

It’s estimated that no more than thirty percent of the organizations that could benefit from the use of assessments are currently using them.

If you’re in that thirty percent, use these 10 Recommendations to audit value. I can almost guarantee the assessments you are using have greater application than they are currently getting.

If you aren’t in the thirty percent, use the 10 Recommendations to see how assessments can help your organization hire the right people in the right jobs. I can guarantee you will increase your success in selection through the use of effective assessments. Start today