I never think about the performance of my car’s engine unless it doesn’t start. My husband, a boat builder, thinks a lot about engines. From the motors on his boats to the trucks that tow them. That’s why I know that diesel engines often have more power and towing ability than gas engines. It got me thinking about assessments and how they add more decision-making power to the selection process. Diesel engines also last longer, and the primary goal of hiring top talent is keeping them. There’s nothing worse than losing a skilled, hard-working employee who enjoys their job and gels with your agency culture. Using assessment data to understand your employees goes a long way toward keeping your top talent from leaving.
Any hiring decision is a gamble, and a lot can complicate the process or go wrong between receiving resumes, interviewing, and making an offer. When dealing with people, expect the unexpected. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shocked by the actions of a candidate. Once, after confirming our 10 am interview time on the phone and an accepted Outlook invite, the candidate called at 9:30 on interview day to see when he could “stop by.” On top of that, he was ten minutes late. I’m sure you have stories too. It’s not easy when all you have to go by is a candidate’s resume, the biased opinions of others, and the little you can extract during phone or in-person interviews.
Add Another Layer of Selection Data
When a position benefits from a specific personality type, it makes sense to focus on the traits you need. A personality assessment provides a glimpse into what traits the individual will bring to the role. It is a valuable opportunity for gaining insight into the person’s motivation and behavioral patterns that are impossible to discern with a resume, which often contains more fiction than truth.
Will the employee work well with the individuals you already have at your agency? Is this individual a team player, or will they do better working on their own? Does this candidate pivot easily or prefer to stick to one thing at a time? Does your top sales management candidate possess the assertiveness to lead your sales team, or will they cave to every demand?
Add Reliability to the Hiring Process
Personality data is another way to assess candidates against your needs; more insight equals strong selection decisions. The goal is to increase your hiring reliability, which means making far more good hires than bad. The best way to improve reliability is to use as much data as you can to evaluate candidates. No tool should exist alone in your process. An interview is powerful but not as powerful as a phone screen, an interview, job shadowing, skills testing, assessments, reference checking, and background checks. The more you know, the better you’ll feel about your decisions. Using one method to make a hire reduces your odds of success.
Add Communication Insight for Seamless Interactions
Some people work well with others by taking the limited information they are given and working through it. Others require detailed instructions. Some will not act on requests unless they clearly understand the reasons to do so. Some jobs require an ability to work boldly, even when information is scare (sales, management), while other jobs require an ability to stop progress to collect and confirm information (customer service, accounting, IT).
By understanding a candidate’s communication style and dependence on structure, you can decide how well someone will fit into an open position. Likewise, knowing how an employee works and how they need to receive information can have a quantifiable impact on efficiency and productivity.
Add Problem-Solving Horsepower
Every candidate says they have problem-solving skills, but can they do so extremely well, just okay, or not well enough for the open position? A cognitive assessment fills those blanks. You’ll know if you are working with a sharp thinker right from the start.
Of course, a cognitive test is no substitute for training. However, it betters your odds of finding the right person who will respond well to training and take the information you give them to find solutions for the situations they will encounter on the job. A cognitive assessment gives you insight into the candidate’s aptitude for understanding concepts and dealing with complexity.
Subtract Personal Bias
Another powerful element of pre-employment tests is the ability to look at a candidate without bias. Sometimes, you just hit it off with a candidate. You want them to be the right fit because you can see yourself socializing with them. Knowing they would make a great friend is not the same as knowing they will be right for the job. Connecting on a personal level before we know if a candidate is right for the job can cause us to lose some objectivity.
Even if you had a strong connection personally, assessment results do not have a preference. They show how the individual compares to your benchmarks, top employees, and even other candidates you interviewed.
Optimizing your workforce means taking advantage of the right tools and data. And let’s face it, you’ll never wish you had less information when hiring and managing your team. Use Omnia assessments to add fuel to your selection and retention strategy.
Wendy Sheaffer – Chief Product Officer at The Omnia Group, an employee assessment firm providing the power of behavioral insight to help organizations make successful hires and develop exceptional employees. Wendy is a subject matter expert in using Omnia’s 8 columns as a tool to make more-informed hiring and development decisions and effectively engage staff. She works directly with clients and Omnia staff to provide a deeper understanding of how to use personality data to meet business goals. For more information, visit us at www.OmniaGroup.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.525.7117.