Any hiring decision is a bit of a gamble. People are complicated. We all have layers, like an onion. There are variables, past and present, that actively shape our thoughts, decisions, and actions. And if that wasn’t enough, those variables can shift unexpectedly. Without a variety of tools to help peel the onion, hiring managers can only go by a candidate’s (possibly fictitious) resume, the biased opinions of others, and whatever they can garner during phone or in-person interviews. After all that peeling, eyes burning and watering, you might not realize, until it’s too late, that there is poor fit under those layers. That’s when the real tears start. However, organizations have other tools to use when making hiring decisions: assessments.
Assessment 1: Personality Adds Insight
Will the employee work well with the team you already have? Is this individual a team player or a win-at-all-costs personality? Does this candidate have grace under fire or a short fuse?
When the position you are recruiting for benefits from a specific personality type, it makes sense to focus on those assets during the selection process. For example, sales reps need to be competitive, resilient, persuasive, and comfortable asserting themselves. Without those traits, your new sales rep might not push for the close or work aggressively around obstacles.
Conversely, if you are looking for a supportive team member for a customer service, administrative or individual contributor role, assertiveness will not be as important, but being naturally meticulous, structured, and analytical will be vital.
Unfortunately, you will never know what the individual brings to the table unless they take an accurate, validated personality assessment. It is a perfect opportunity for gaining insight into the candidate’s motivation and behavioral patterns that are not so easy to identify on a resume or in an interview. Sure, you will eventually uncover most of the traits a person brings to the job, but only after you hire the person and work with them for several months or more. At that point, it’s too late.
A personality assessment, like The Omnia Assessment, unlocks four personality dimensions: assertiveness, sociability, pace, and structure. It’s ideal to have this data initially to help make a more informed hiring decision. A personality assessment shouldn’t be the sole factor in the decision-making process, but it does help peel back the layers. You’ll be basing your decisions on more information than you had without it and that will ultimately improve the reliability of those decisions. Reliability is all about getting close to the bullseye more often than not.
Bringing Culture into the Hiring Process
Compatibility with your company’s core values is another predictor of employee success, though it is not measured by an assessment. It focuses attention on the alignment of the individual’s personal values and beliefs with the company’s corporate culture. The best way to attract the right candidates is to be transparent about your values publicly and throughout the selection process.
Assessment 2: Cognitive Focuses on Aptitude
A cognitive test is no substitute for training a new worker. However, it betters your odds of finding the right person who will respond well to the training, take the information you give, and then extrapolate possible solutions for other situations.
Problem-Solving Skills are Measurable
Every candidate claims to have problem-solving skills. And sure, the vast majority is correct. But to what degree? The trick is understanding whether they can do so extremely well, okay, or just so-so when faced with run-of-the-mill problems to complex problems. Employee aptitude tests can make the hiring process easy in this regard. In fact, a cognitive assessment fills in quite a few blanks.
Unbiased Assessments Take Personal Bias out of Hiring
Sometimes, you just hit it off with a candidate. They are easy to talk to, share the same interests, went to the same school, or simply get your sense of humor. You want them to be the right fit for the business. In some cases, this might cause a hiring manager to lose some objectivity especially in comparison to a more reserved candidate who is actually the better fit. A cognitive assessment shows you how well a candidate can think abstractly, learn from experience, and adapt to new situations.
Assessment 3: Grammar Uncovers Areas for Improvement
Poor grammar can be a pet peeve. In some settings, it is unprofessional. Most importantly, it can cause confusion, delays, and costly mistakes. While everyone peppers their speech with a bit of slang here or there, written communication must be as close to flawless as possible.
Yes, the Internet Does Pay Attention to Grammar and Spelling
Thankfully, we have great technology for spotting mistakes, but it doesn’t replace basic knowledge, especially if the position involves heavy written communication. If your new hire has access to the company’s social media accounts, you need a skilled speller with a strong grasp of basic grammar rules. Failure to do so may lead to share-worthy mistakes, which is not what you want to be known for.
For the employee in charge of changing the message boards, spelling is essential. When you work with delivery manifests, accounts payable, or inventory sheets, spelling, verb usage, and punctuation matter.
A Formal Assessment Shows Strengths and Weaknesses
Using language in the right context is also important. It points to logical thinking (cognitive aptitude) and the ability to explain situations clearly. As a result, this individual is more likely to communicate effectively with team leaders and team members. It also provides insight into how the employee will represent the brand to customers. In this way, both the cognitive and grammar assessment determine whether the candidate may be an excellent customer-facing employee.
Harnessing the Power of Assessments
It is a common misconception that pre-employment assessments are something only multi-national corporations use. While it is true that many of them do, these tests are just as critical for small to mid-size businesses. Some might even argue that they are more crucial simply because the workforce is smaller, so a bad hire is felt more profoundly across departments or even the entire organization as well as the bottom line.
As we touched on earlier, another powerful component of pre-employment tests is the ability to look at a candidate without bias. Even if you had a strong connection personally, the data does not have a preference. Assessments show how a candidate compares to other candidates. In some cases, it may cause you to invite a candidate for a second or third interview to compare to your lead, which could prevent you from making a costly hiring mistake.
Go ahead and steel yourself for the work of peeling back those layers. It’s worth the energy to hire right the first time.