Assessments in Hiring

January 25, 2019

 

So, I am hiring for an additional account rep right now. Part of our process is to do some assessments in the process, and I thought it would be helpful to anyone considering them to know our experience. 

 

We made assessments a part of our process (you should have a defined hiring process) several years ago. The concept was that we could have an unbiased, third party evaluation of a candidate to determine their propensity for success in the role for which they were being hired. Secretly, I believe we hoped it would tell us without fail who was going to be the perfect fit on our team and an awesome performer....They didn't. Yet, we still use them. 

 

There a zillion of them out there that range in price from cheap to "My Goodness!," but my experience is that none of them have a crystal ball, so why do we still use them? I think that can be answered by looking at what they can do and can't do.

 

What assessments can't do -

  - Predict the future

  - Reveal personal issues that affect work performance

  - Tell you who to hire (or not hire)

  - Replace good interviewing skills

  - Replace good on-boarding and training

 

What assessments can do - 

 - Give some insight into how someone processes information

 - Tell you how someone naturally "ticks"

 - Give you relevant topics to discuss in the hiring process

 - Help you understand potential things to watch for after the hire

 - Help you coach someone after the hire

 

I have found that they are just another tool. Often the test provider will rate the "suitability" of a candidate for the job. I have hired very suitable applicants that turned out not to be a good fit for the team and/or the job. I have also hired some that were marginal that have turned out to be tremendous. 

 

They are valuable and useful, but not the definitive tool in hiring. They can show you some challenges you might have, some questions to ask, some areas of expertise to explore. In the end, it is still up to you as a manager to make the decision about their fit for the job and on your team. So, build a good process and stick to it.

 

If you do ever find an assessment that can tell you definitively who to hire or not hire, Please let me know! I want stock in their company!

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