Why Use a Talent Assessment in the Hiring Process?

Four people sitting in a row of chairs, waiting with their hands in their laps.

Hiring the right people. Right now, it’s a topic that comes up most with my clients and networks. Right seat on the bus. Culture. Engagement. Turnover. Employers are looking for the “silver bullet” when it comes to hiring. 

Good recruiting and hiring takes intentionality and patience. Fortunately, we do have tools available to use that will improve the results: talent assessments

Benefits of Talent Assessments

Identify Strengths

I don’t know about you, but I hate the question, “What are your strengths?” Most people tell me they also hate that question. Not because they don’t have strengths, but because accurately articulating them is often difficult. The right talent assessment can be an objective source that helps both employer and employee accurately identify and define strengths.  

Establish Personal Employee Connections

The most effective leaders are the ones who understand that they can’t lead the same way for each employee. Each team member has different needs and individualized responses to how they’re led. When a leader can zero in on the strengths and “wiring” of each team member, the relationship is enhanced. Talent assessments can give this insight to the leader. 

Build Stronger Teams

Cohesive teams. That’s the dream. When teams work well collaboratively, it’s amazing what can be accomplished. When each team member is clear on what strengths and skills they bring to the table, and are able to understand the same about their teammates, team cohesiveness and effectiveness soars. When a team member knows their teammates act, think, and feel the way they do, the empathy quotient goes up. It also gives the team insight into assigning tasks and roles that line up with the individual. 

Evaluate Potential Employees

Effectively using talent assessments in the hiring process can be mutually beneficial for the employer and the candidate. For the employer, it allows them to reduce bias and subjectivity when making a hire. For the candidate, it can help them find the right fit, providing confidence and peace of mind with regard to a new job. 

According to Predictive Index, “The use of assessments for hiring is legal when the instrument and its uses comply with the Uniform Guidelines. . . . Scientific research and legal advances have guided us to use assessments that are established to be job-related, non-discriminatory, and fair to all applicants. These three tenets comprise a legal assessment.”

Talent Assessment Tools

It seems that there are as many talent assessment tools available as there are stars in the sky. I offer up a few below that I have found to be helpful.

Lead From Your Strengths

This assessment offered by TTI Insights is based on the science that brought us the DiSC® profile. In addition to measuring four key ways of thinking, it also provides details on communication preferences, the best work environment for an employee, motivations, the value to their team, and much more. It’s a detailed assessment that helps understand how a person receives, processes, and acts on information. 

The Enneagram

In short, the Enneagram is a road map for self-discovery and personal growth. It’s based on nine basic personality types. 

The greatest value of the Enneagram is that it helps to identify core motivations. In other words, it helps a person to understand WHY they do what they do, feel the way they feel, and think the way they think. In addition, it provides clear, tactical paths for transformational behavior. The results of leveraging this tool are meaningful and lasting relationships, which are the key to team effectiveness. 

Clifton StrengthsFinder

CliftonStrengths helps a person identify how they are uniquely gifted. It’s based on 34 talents. 

Talents are innate. When one adds knowledge, skill, and practice to a talent, it becomes a strength. CliftonStrengths help to identify the top strengths based on the 34 talents. This powerful ranking helps to identify the “sweet spot” for where a person lives and works best. The results of knowing this is higher engagement, increased productivity, and overall fulfillment. 

The Thinking Wavelength

The Thinking Wavelength helps us to understand how we’re hardwired when it comes to our thinking. It gives us insight into how we relate to change, risk, opportunity, etc. Every person has a “high-contribution zone.” Knowing what that zone is and comparing it to our current work role and environment can give us a clue as to how both are aligned or out of alignment. 

How to Use Hiring Assessment Results

Think About Team Harmony

You’ll have to excuse me for stating what may seem obvious, but having cohesive teams that collaborate in problem solving, communicate effectively, and ultimately work toward a common goal are more effective. Research shows that these kinds of team achieve far better outcomes. People on these teams are more likely to take the risks that lead to innovation, high retention, and overall employee performance. 

The key to building teams such as this is assembling them with complementary skills and strengths. Conversely, having a team filled with identical thinkers and doers will be a drag on performance. Talent assessment tools can be a huge help in building these kinds of teams.

Refer to the Job Description

To effectively assess the skills, traits, and strengths that are needed for a particular team role, start with the job itself. Ask, “What is the job?” (A traditional job description is needed here.) Then, begin asking questions about what’s needed for the job. What skills are needed? What traits? What strengths? Doing this allows you to create a profile to which candidates can be compared.

Consider Other Factors

Once you’ve created your profile for a role, you can then use the appropriate assessment to determine if a candidate is the right fit for a role. For example, if a sales role requires the strength of Woo (Winning Others Over), but an assessment shows the candidate to be more of an introverted, behind-the-scenes person, you don’t have the fit you’re looking for. It would only be a matter of time before dissatisfaction for both employee and employer would arise. 

A Note of Caution

Keep in mind that, as helpful and insightful talent assessments can be, they are not to replace other sound hiring and recruiting methods. Individual and group interviews, social interactions, problem-solving exercises, etc., should all still be part of the mix. Talent assessments are simply added to the mix to enhance its effectiveness. 

Improve Your Hiring Process with Jay Hidalgo Business & Leadership Coaching

If you’d like to improve hiring using a talent assessment, contact me, and we can chat about which assessment tools would be best for your organization.