With the Affordable Healthcare Act now a solid reality, organizations can no longer afford detached, bad hires who undermine short and long-term goals and overall business effectiveness.
A large and diverse pool of available talent and the sheer quantity of people and the skills they offer can be overwhelming when you are trying to find the best fit for your open positions. The volume of resumes alone crossing your desk can raise anyone's anxiety level. Perhaps, it's time to revisit how you select the best applicants.
I have found that pre-hire assessments can help to alleviate the stress by revealing an individual's behavioral tendencies, cognitive capacity, attitude, reliability, work ethic, attitudes towards theft and propensity for substance abuse. These spot-on tools have become a vital part of my work. I like to use a suite of assessments that not only focus on selection and hiring, but also look at managing and developing incumbents once they are hired.
Here are a few scenarios that bring the value of pre-hire assessments to life:
1. Assessments help present an un-biased view of the candidate and help you to remain objective.
Assessments can enhance the hiring process and allow managers to make accurate selections based on people rather than paper. They ensure the time, objectivity and analysis the process needs. A resume is a marketing document in the high-stakes game of employment. As a result people, desperate to compete, position themselves in the most favorable light leading to exaggeration of qualifications. Assessments can determine how effective an applicant could be on the job, and calculate the validity of the facts presented in each resume.
2. Assessments provide you insight into important job-related factors not covered on a resume.
Although a resume might boast an impressive number of previously held positions or internships, it will not tell you if the person is punctual or reliable. An assessment can evaluate a person's work ethic, reliability, and attitudes toward absenteeism and tardiness. Numerous positions or internships may seem outstanding on paper, but in reality the person could be so unreliable that no one was interested in keeping them employed.
A survey by CCH Inc. reported, "The nation's 300 largest employers estimate that unscheduled absenteeism costs their businesses more than $760,000 a year in direct payroll costs." That doesn't even include the cost of lower productivity, lost revenue and the effects of poor morale. Tardiness and absenteeism cost businesses money, and hiring someone who is going to cost you money, rather than gainful revenue, is not in the best interest of your organization. Assessments can quantify a person's habits and attitudes before they become an employee of your business.
Substance abuse affects every sector of our society. No resume is going to include information about an individual's struggles with substance abuse, and it is not going to be discussed in an interview. Drug testing costs money, as do background checks. Most companies would prefer to have an all-inclusive background check before ordering a drug test.
Assessments can verify an individual's propensity for substance abuse before they are considered for hire. On paper, candidates may seem like routine and sensible choices, but in reality they may struggle with issues that could potentially be harmful to themselves, other employees, and your business.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 75 percent of all employees steal at least once, and one in three business failures are the direct result of employee theft. These statistics are discouraging, and should concern hiring managers looking to fill positions. Choosing a person who is less likely to steal from the organization cannot be determined from simply glancing over a polished resume and conducting an interview.
Pre-hire assessments can identify applicant's views on personal integrity and calculate their probability of stealing. They also offer specified questions based upon the applicant's results that can be used during an initial interview to better understand a person's true attitude toward theft. Employees are supposed to generate revenue for their organizations, not steal from them.
Laziness can also be considered theft, because if an employee isn't working while on the clock, that can be considered stealing money from your organization. Resumes may falsely imply that a candidate is capable of being effective in the open position, when in reality they do not possess the necessary behaviors, attitudes and cognition to do the job.
3. Assessments help you evaluate a candidate's potential.
If a person does not have the aptitude necessary for a position, they may fail to remain constantly engaged in their work. This is difficult to discern simply by reading a resume. Pre-hire assessments can measure work ethic. This information can be used to gauge the individual's value to the company...aside from the skills they may offer. If a person is unwilling to work to get the job done, they will most likely waste their time as well as organizaton time, and in business time is money.
4. Assessments help you align talent with business need.
Every organization has different human capital needs. Some organizations place more value on an innovative workforce and others may have a strong need for employees who are expert communicators...oral and written. Hiring managers must know what particular skills and competencies contribute most to success at their organization...and business needs should be the foundation of the hiring process. Assessments can help eliminate candidates who do not have the critical skills / competencies your organization needs to move forward. Don't fall into the trap of knowing a candidate does not have a core skill / competency, but hiring the individual anyway because of perceived potential. Potential is great, but the concrete skills / competencies your organization needs to be successful are more important.
Resumes are a significant factor in deciding who will fill positions in an organization, but they are biased and do not reveal a person's true character. Assessments reveal the cognition, behaviors and attitudes that correlate with your work environment...information a resume cannot provide.
There is a more effective way to distinguish worthy candidates well beyond their resumes by incorporating real-time solutions into an otherwise abstract decision-making process.
Bad hires happen all the time, but they do not have to happen in your organization. These tools are the first step to bringing in qualified employees who are able to effectively do their jobs and add to your organization's success.