The short answer is neither. The longer answer is a bit more complex. Nor is any organization likely to find the perfect workforce regardless of whether they use assessments or not.
The debate over the usefulness, accuracy, and even the legality of assessments has raged on for a number of years. For those who like to categorize everything into the black and white, right or wrong, good or bad piles, the true answer may not be that clear cut. According to recent research by Aberdeen Group, there is a shortage of critical talent and replacing an employee can carry a price tag of upwards of five times a bad hire’s salary. Therefore, it is evident that making good hiring decisions is crucial for an organization’s bottom line. Moreover, the use of assessments can have a positive impact on not only hiring, but retention, performance, and engagement.
Aside from measuring a potential candidate’s interests, backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses, assessments provide other bonuses.
- Best-in-class organizations are 45% more likely to use pre-hire assessments
- Best-in-class companies are 95% more likely to have a consistent competency model used for hiring, [including using assessments consistently as part of the model].
- Companies that use assessments are 36% more likely to be satisfied with their new hires
- Organizations using pre-hire assessments with performance results are 24% more likely to have employees who exceed performance expectations.
- Businesses using pre-hire assessments in conjugation with performance results have employees who are 17% more likely to rate themselves as engaged.
- Assessments can provide information as to whether or are not an employee is a good cultural fit. Best-in-class companies pass this information along to manager
You can read the full report, Pre-Hire Assessments: An Asset for HR in the Age of the Candidate, at www.aberdeen.com
Those of us who tout the use of assessments as a critical tool in combating turnover, for increasing productivity, and improving customer satisfaction are also aware that cautionary measures must be taken in the use of assessments. So, no they are not the Holy Grail nor are they a wholly failure. Assessments are designed to be used in conjunction with the entire hiring process of implementing good search techniques, establishing performance standards, using good interviewing techniques, reference checking, and drug testing. Here are some other ideas to consider.
Every person you hire will either improve your organization or detract from it in some manner. Hiring the “heroes” that contribute in a positive manner to the organization is a valuable strategic goal. People involved in the hiring process need to be your internal “hiring heroes” who maintain a constant vigilance in seeking out the “heroes” to hire. The good news here is that you can have both.
Many who conduct hiring interviews think they must ask the “magic bullet” questions or play gotcha’, or believe they are the ones who should make the hiring decision. None of this is necessary or even encouraged. Following some proven, effective guidelines consistently will produce candidates who are “Hero Hires.”
As a leader, when it comes to talent management, you often hear the call to not only have the right people on the bus, but also to have those people in the right seats. But what does that mean exactly? Yes, it means hiring the right people for the right position, but it also includes assignments the individual participates in once on board. Let’s look at some scenarios.
1. A frustrated VP and I were discussing a hiring project he was working on and that it had been assigned to one of his executives. When he told me this assignment was made six months ago and that no progress had been made, I began asking probing coaching questions designed to get at the core of the frustration.
It seems the assignment had been given to someone who is responsible for building business. Further, this individual is on salary plus commission. Where’s the motivation? This executive is not motivated to take money out of his pocket for a hiring project. Solution: Make the executive the chief advisor on the project and gather a few other individuals together who are not on commission or in sales and have them take on the hiring project.
The job CAN talk. "Listening" to what the job says will help you make better position descriptions, job ads, and better hiring decisions.
There is a clear connection between engagement, performance and profit. Recruiting talented candidates is not enough; it’s crucial that people are assigned to the specific roles where their talents will have the greatest impact on achieving company goals, and where they are most likely to remain onboard fully engaged.
Manufacturing processes are consistent and produce quality products. Manufacturing processes meet specific requirements - consistently. A recent study cited in Inc. suggests that organizations that practice specific hiring practices are more successful.
Establishing standards is the foundation of quality. Job analysis plays a big role in establishing standards. How will employees know what targets they are supposed to achieve? How will managers know when a candidate has met the right criteria in order to put the right person in the right job? How will the organization know if jobs are meeting quality standards that customers demand?
Make it standard practice to both participate in and hold job fairs on a regular basis.
New times call for new techniques in virtually every area of life and recruiting is no exception. This goes beyond using technology such as social media and websites. For example, some organizations are using gamification. If a candidate is applying at a hotel, he or she can go on the website and run a department. An accounting firm allows the candidate to virtually “walk through” their offices and some departments in order to get a feeling for the environment. The recruiting wooing process goes even further by putting your best boot forward.
A “new trend" is the rehiring of employees. In fact, one small study reveals that hiring a CEO for the second time can result in higher stock performance over the immediate predecessor. The word “new” is in quotes as in the hotel industry, for example, this has been fairly common over the years and someone who leaves a hotel as your bus person or housekeeper, could very well return in a couple of years as your general manager. I’ve been rehired twice, once by a hotel and once by a utility company. While this may be a “new” trend, a point is made in an article in HR Magazine that it is becoming more frequent. Why is this? I’m glad you asked.
This is yet another trend in the wonderful world of work that we can blame on the younger generations. They figured out that the gold watch is not really worth all that much for a lifetime of loyal work. The younger generations change jobs and careers like some people change socks…frequently. This phenomenon has created yet another phenomenon referred to in the article as an “alumni” of an organization. Here’s how it works.
Every company is known by the public via two distinct brands, its employer brand and its consumer brand. Understanding what distinguishes the employer brand and how it may affect attracting and retaining superior performers can be the difference between spring-loading out of a recession and not recovering at all.
One measure of an organization’s health is the state of its talent pipeline. Whether preparing for executive succession, filling open management positions as the need arises, or staffing new roles created by restructuring or growth, how ready is your company to fill key positions with star performers?
We all know that one of the main reasons organizations need to address turnover is that it is expensive. In fact, one source suggests that costs can range, on average, from $10,000 to $200,000 USD. When looking at total costs, many factors play into these estimates. Certainly, the level of the position matters. While a valuable employee, a janitor is a lot less expensive to replace that a CEO. Even at an average expenditure of $4,000 USD for a lower level employee, it is obvious that turnover can chew up your bottom line and spit it out.
Direct costs we associate with turnover are job postings, recruiting, drug testing, and background checks. Other costs that may not be as obvious are lost productivity, lost expertise, low morale, and poor customer service. These too are costly to both the bottom line, your brand, and may even lead to even higher turnover.