Why You Should Use a Talent Assessment for Your Next Hire

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Why You Should Use Hiring & Talent Assessments

Are you having trouble hiring these days? Well, get in line. If you’re like most company leaders today, “trouble” might feel like an understatement.

By now, it’s not news that our society is in the midst of what is being called The Great Resignation. The pandemic has changed what people look for from their work and place of employment, placing more value in flexibility, leadership and overall happiness. 

Whether you’re scrambling to retain your current talent or pitching yourself as the best workplace for potential new hires, it’s likely that your biggest concern right now is who: 

  • Who is on your team? 
  • Who’s missing? 
  • Who is the best fit for this role?
  • Who can get along with everyone else?
  • Who do you need to get things done?

In the panic, it’s tempting to hire just about anyone who walks in the door. But when you fill a role is much less important than who you choose to fill it. Now more than ever, it’s important to pick the right person the first time around.

Using talent assessments will make the hiring process much easier. Hiring and talent assessments are tools used by employers to better understand their candidates. They help ensure that you are hiring the right person, at the right time, for the right job. 

What Are Hiring and Talent Assessments?

Talent and hiring assessments are tools used by employers to test and evaluate a potential new hire. Such assessments gather information and knowledge about the candidate that one would not receive through a traditional interview. These tools can be used to determine if the candidate’s behavior, knowledge, abilities, and work style are a good fit for your company.

Talent Assessment Examples

There are many different types of talent assessments that you can choose from. However, not all assessments are created equal. You must find an assessment that aligns with your company and provides the type of information you are trying to gather. Here are some tried and true assessments that I work with and recommend to my clients: 

  • Leading from Your Strengths (based on DiSC®): Leading from Your Strengths determines an individual’s pattern of behavior, thought, emotion, and communication. This provides great insight into how a person works on an individual basis as well as within a team. Reports can compare a candidate’s profile to the profiles of the rest of your current team members.
  • The Enneagram: The Enneagram identifies a person’s personality as one of nine personality types. It is particularly useful in determining a person’s motivation behind their behaviors. Knowing not just how someone behaves, but why, can be especially helpful for managers to know about their team.
  • CliftonStrengths (previously StrengthsFinder): Everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. CliftonStrengths is an assessment used to identify an individual’s strengths. When people work in a position that utilizes their strengths, they are more likely to succeed.
  • Predictive Index: This assessment allows the hiring company to learn and assess the cognitive abilities of their candidates. The Predictive Index also provides insights into the individual’s personality and behavioral tendencies. This allows you to choose a hire that is not only a good fit for the job, but also a good fit for the work environment.

Benefits of Using Talent Assessment & Hiring Resources

Have you ever heard of Mario Mendoza? Mario played for the Seattle Mariners in the 1980s. In his active years, he was a pretty decent shortstop— but that’s not what he’s known for. Mendoza was and still is famed for having an awful batting average. 

Hiring and talent assessments can help stop you from hiring the next “Mendoza”. They can help eliminate the element of surprise that comes with new hires. If you’re only hiring for one aspect of a job, you may end up hiring someone who isn’t equipped to handle all of their responsibilities. Instead, by implementing an assessment, you can:

  • Find candidates with desired experience/skills/background
  • Gain deeper understanding to a candidate’s thought process or problem-solving skills
  • Create the ideal candidate profile
  • Gain insight into how to structure the interview
  • Weed out unqualified candidates
  • Hire with confidence
  • Make the hiring process easier on your end
  • Start thinking about how to manage and lead new employees

Do Talent Assessments Work?

As you can tell, I am a firm believer in talent assessments—and I’m not alone. It’s estimated that 82% of companies use some form of talent assessments during their hiring process. 

I can talk all day about the benefits of using such tools, but until you try them yourself, you will not understand their power. Start by finding an assessment that sparks your interest and is based on actual science. Ask the provider for a free assessment, take it, and then evaluate the results for yourself. By doing so, you can see for yourself how effective these tools can be. 

I’ve heard from some people that they don’t like assessments because they “didn’t work” in the past. It’s important to keep in mind two things with regards to that sentiment:

  1. Check your expectations: No assessment is 100% foolproof. Hiring assessments are not intended to serve as the entirety of your hiring process. Use them in conjunction with other resources and processes for the best results.
  2. Trust the data: Too often, managers implement an assessment, but then ignore the data if they like the candidate or have a “gut feeling” about them. If you’re not going to trust the data, then don’t bother with the assessment.

3 Ways to Evaluate a Potential New Hire

1. Use Hiring Assessments

I always recommend using hiring assessments when it comes to finding a new employee. These tests and exercises offer knowledge about the candidate that you cannot gain through traditional interview questions. Hiring assessments can determine if an individual’s strengths, personality, and way of working is compatible with your organization, current employees, and overall values. 

2. Provide a Test Project

Having a candidate perform a short test project is a great way to evaluate their abilities. This allows the employer to see how a candidate works. It demonstrates their ability to handle the company’s processes while showing the potential hire’s skills, technique, and work ethic. 

Test projects offer knowledge not only to you, but also to the candidate. This can be a good test to see if the candidate likes your processes and the type of work that they would be doing if they were hired.

3. Ask for Work Samples

Asking for a sample of work can be a great way to gauge if a candidate is a good fit for your company, especially if they have extensive experience in the field. Samples of past work can give you an idea of what you can expect the candidate to produce if they were hired. For positions that rely on specific skills, work samples can demonstrate a person’s talents in ways that simple interview questions often cannot.

Additional Recommended Hiring Resources

There are many tools outside of assessments that you can use to make the hiring process much easier. The more prepared you are for the hiring process, the more likely you are to find your ideal candidate. 

Candidate Rubric

To find the right candidate, you must first know what it is that you are looking for. I suggest creating a clear list of requirements that the candidate must have. Also, make a list of qualifications and traits that your dream candidate would have. 

This list will help you to eliminate candidates that do not fit your criteria. It will also help gauge the qualifications of potential new hires, which makes the decision-making process much easier.

Organizational Chart

An organizational chart is beneficial not only to the hiring process but also to everyday business. This chart will display the company structure and where each position falls within the organization. When hiring, the chart shows where that new employee will fit. 

In order for an organizational chart to be useful, it must be easy to understand and be updated frequently. Remember that organizational charts should show how positions are organized within a company, not specific employees. Employees may change roles over time, but certain positions must always be filled.

Job Description Template

Creating a job description template allows you to have a simple and consistent way to create new positions within your organization. This tool will assist you in the hiring process and will also give your candidates a clear description of what is expected of them. 

Let’s Chat

I can talk for days about the benefits of implementing hiring and talent assessments to your hiring process. It’s why I’m happy to offer a free talent assessment and debrief with people who may be curious about the efficacy and accuracy of these hiring tools. If you would like more information about assessments or how to implement them within your process, let’s chat.