Utilising assessments can help us to see ‘what lies below the surface’ and highlight aspects of a person that are not easily uncovered via traditional selection methods such as interviews, role-play, group activities or reference checks. Simply put, assessment data provides the ‘missing piece of the puzzle’ that offers insight into candidates’ motivators, learning capacity, values, or how they behave and engage with others in the workplace. A lot can be learnt about a candidate from their resume, education, training and achievements but when combined with psychometric assessment, the result is a robust, well-rounded and objective process that allows us to ascertain how a person may perform and ‘fit in’ once hired.
“...assessment data provides the 'missing piece of the puzzle' that offers insight into candidates' motivators, learning capacity, values or how they behave...”
In a swiftly changing global landscape, assessment can also support us to hire talent that have the aptitude, drive and capabilities to not only perform now, but to adapt to future role requirements, environmental demands and external challenges (World Economic Forum, 2016). Emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility and complex problem solving are just some of top skills that have been emphasised as pivotal for success in the future of work. By identifying those candidates who presently possess these capabilities allows us to equip the organisation to be able to swiftly adapt to the rate of change, clearly demonstrate some of the person-oriented behaviours that can’t necessarily be automated (or replaced by AI!) and ultimately, maintain a competitive edge.
When talking to clients, one of the challenges of implementing assessment can be around budget. Dig a little deeper and we hear that turnover is beyond the industry norm, customer satisfaction is low or that the recruitment team are manually screening resumes. Sure, there is an initial cost, however, when harnessing a valid, reliable assessment that measures a role relevant capability, we find that there are many quick wins and long-term gains. For instance, turnover may reduce due to a greater alignment of person and organisational values; positive customer feedback occurs; hiring managers are increasingly satisfied with new graduates and hires; or key performance metrics are achieved, all of which are wins for employee engagement and the business’s bottom line.
“Assessments give us a fast and effective way to reduce a large applicant pool and frees up valuable time and energy...”
Assessments give us a fast and effective way to reduce a large applicant pool and frees up valuable time and energy to focus on engaging with top quality candidates and enhance candidate care. In economic terms, research has shown that the gains from adopting a valid hiring method can translate into millions of dollars. On the flip side, those organisations who use less valid methods can anticipate reduced production, revenue, profits and competitive advantage (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Taking the time upfront to identify the metrics and outcomes that are important to each individual organisation means we can build a clear plan for what constitutes success and enables the assessment provider to illustrate a real return on investment.
A robust, valid, legally defensible and job-relevant assessment process can vastly enhance an employer’s brand as it is clear there has been investment in identifying the absolute best candidates for the role. Game-based assessments (GBAs) have been particularly well received by candidates and are shown to enhance overall brand perception, with candidates feeling they are showcasing their skills in an enjoyable and immersive way all whilst reducing anxiety and enabling a state of ‘flow’. We know offering a positive candidate experience has numerous benefits. Candidates will be more likely to speak favourably about the organisation to others, buy from you and recommend your services and products.
A common blunder is only utilising the information from assessment during the recruitment and selection process and stopping there. It is so much more powerful when we can use this throughout the employee lifecycle to support onboarding as well as ongoing coaching and development conversations. After all, how great would it be to commence a new position with your manager being crystal clear on your learning style and motivators and your team understanding your communication preferences, decision making style and stressors.