Recently I was talking with a college classmate of mine who was looking to change jobs. She is also a numbers / finance person, like myself. After working in the same industry for years, she is ready to try something different, but would like to still have a financial position. This got me thinking about what traits are expected or beneficial when hiring a financial person, which of course led me to considering employee assessments that would be well suited for use in hiring anyone for a financial role.
The Gold Standard Assessment for a Financial Job Candidate
As you may know from other blogs, we at ExactHire believe strongly in an assessment called the ProfileXT (or PXT for short). This type of assessment provides a comprehensive overall view of a candidate’s likelihood to mesh well with the demands of a position, as well as the company’s culture.
The scores are divided into three areas: Thinking, Behavioral and Occupational. The “Thinking” section covers topics such as Learning Index, Verbal Skills, Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Ability and Numeric Reasoning. Obviously when hiring a financial position, you want an applicant that ranks fairly high in the last two of these areas. The Learning Index is important for a Financial candidate because it shows potential for problem solving and reasoning.
The Behavioral area can be more subjective and depends a lot on your company’s culture as you seek to find the proper applicant job fit. It also depends if the candidate will be managing others and how those relationships will work best. Areas tested here include Energy level, Assertiveness, Sociability, Manageability, Attitude, Decisiveness, Accommodating, Independence and Objective Judgment. For example, at our company which is fairly small, it is good that I have a high Independence score so that I do not need to wait to be told what steps to do next. Financial candidates normally will need a high level of energy as well as decisiveness. (And just to break the stereotypes of boring accounting nerds, I do have a high score in Sociability which means I love to be around people so it’s probably best that I don’t work from home each day!)
The final section of this assessment will show the candidate’s top three Occupational interests. The six options for responses are technical, financial/administrative, enterprising, creative, people service and mechanical. Of course for any financial position, one of the interests should be financial/administrative but the other two interests can vary depending on the company or industry. A manufacturing company might want someone that has technical or mechanical interest as well. A small company might be interested in someone who shows and enterprising interest.
Skill Based Tests
These types of assessments are very specific to the duties that are required of the position. For a financial person, there are skill tests that check basic accounting aptitude and can range up to more complicated financial analysis requirements. Skill tests can also test a specific type of software, such as Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks or other specific industry-related software systems.
Employee Assessment Combination
In many cases, it makes sense to test the applicant with the skill tests as well as the PXT assessment. This will give you the best picture of the candidate’s abilities; as well as, how he/she will fit in with your company and its management style.