What are the best assessments to use during the screening process for a new hire? There are many to choose from in the market, and the answer for your organization will certainly depend on factors such as type of position, level of position, industry and budget. In this blog, I’ll focus on assessments you might consider using before one is hired – in contrast to those used on existing employees during a succession planning exercise.
After you have narrowed down your list of candidates for a specific position to a final few, it’s an ideal time to have these applicants undergo pre-employment testing. While these tools should never make up the majority of your hiring decision, they can definitely help you on your quest to finding individuals who are more likely to experience optimal job fit in the position you are offering. After all, you want to hire the “cream of the crop” for your organization so you need to use the most effective assessments around for your particular needs.
Why use employee assessments?
Simply put, they help improve your odds of hiring the best person for the job and for your company. If you have three final candidates for a position that have very comparable work experience, education and skill sets, an assessment can help you uncover if one candidate’s behavioral hardwiring and ingrained motivations would be that “extra something” (relative to the other two candidates) he or she would possess that makes him/her the overall best match. For managerial or higher level positions, we might suggest using the Profiles International ProfileXT or Profile Sales Assessment (our two most popular assessment orders as we are a Profiles International provider). These two assessments will allow you to not only better match a candidate’s cognitive, behavioral and interest make-up to the responsibilities and conditions of a specific position, but also enable you to compare candidate results to performance models which outline your targeted benchmarks for a variety of scales. An additional type of assessment, known as a skill test, might also be beneficial depending on the requirements of the position. Skills tests are often used for front-line technical positions, as well.
The ProfileXT (PXT) is a type of total employee assessment. It measures the whole person and is for multiple purposes. For example, unlike some other assessments, the results from the PXT can be used both during the hiring process as well as during future development and succession planning activities. The robust results for this assessment paint a vivid picture of an individual’s verbal and numerical abilities (including processing this type of data), as well as a variety of his/her behavioral characteristics and a selection of his/her top occupational interests. With this data in hand, you will be able to prompt interviewees for more information about how they overcome various obstacles and approach situations relative to their scores. And once hired, this tool will help a manager know how to best train and manage the new hire based on his/her scores on various scales. The occupational skill interest section helps an organization understand what interests the candidate in most work circumstances (i.e. being enterprising, creative, financial, mechanical, technical and/or people service-oriented).
The Profiles Sales Assessment is very similar to the PXT, but it is designed for use with candidates for sales-related positions, in particular. The difference with this assessment (compared to the ProfileXT) is that it offers a section that indicates future potential job performance based on several sales behaviors such as building relationships, self-starting, call reluctance, prospecting and working with a team. After the desired applicant is hired, you can also use the assessment results to better manage and motivate your sales employees/managers in a more customized way.
Skills Tests are used to measure one’s skills in a specific area and can be given to any employee prospect as long as the skills being assessed are relevant to the responsibilities of the position in question. These tests can be based on a general software program such as Microsoft Word or Excel; or, you might desire to test basic math skills and writing skills or customer service traits – the list of possibilities is vast. You can administer skill tests that are very specific depending on the type of trade to which the position relates (such as welding, mechanical or programming).
You can even combine a skill test with a behavioral/cognitive assessment to get an even more comprehensive look at your candidates. Remember, before you make your next hire (especially if you have two or three candidates that all seem to fit the position), use assessments to make sure you find the best fit for your company culture and for the job, itself.
To find out more about theses assessments and others that we offer, please contact us at ExactHire.