Opinion

Imagine a workplace with great people everywhere

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Have you ever hired someone who did not reach your expectations? Knowing which candidates and employees can drive value for your organization is a competitive differentiator in today’s marketplace. 

More and more companies look to assessment tools, not only to help them understand the skills and capabilities of candidates and employees, but also to predict who will best fit in with the company’s culture and drive performance in the future.  In a recent survey by Aberdeen Group, 62 percent of participating companies indicated they use assessment tools because of the need for objective data for hiring and promotional decisions.

To better understand what can drive performance, Titan has identified three cornerstones of performance for employees in the workplace.
I. Skill fit -assessed by evaluating education, training, experience, and skills by reviewing the resume, application, assessment tool and references
II. Culture fit - assessed by observing attitudes, values, demeanor, appearance, and integrity through conducting interviews and assessment tools
III. Job fit -assessed by identifying Thinking Style, Behavioral Traits, and Occupational Interests through administering a job match assessment
Fortunately, there is now technology available that can identify specifically what is required for success within these cornerstones in any given job role in an organization.

Professor Mike Smith, University of Manchester, found a strong correlation between on the job performance and the use of measuring specific attributes of a candidate.  For example, if you regularly conduct thorough reference checks, you are 26 times more likely to hire a better candidate.  If you assess behaviors (such as energy, assertiveness and attitude) you increase your chances of hiring the right candidate by 38 percent and with cognitive measures (such as learning, reasoning, problem solving) in place the correlation goes up to 53 percent. It has been shown that assessment results have clear implications for developing, coaching, managing, succession planning and hiring/selection.

Furthermore, research has shown that the benefits of using assessment tools not only lead to maximizing employee productivity and attraction and retention of your best players, but it also reduces the top three reasons why people fail in organizations, including incompetence, incompatibility and dishonesty.

Did you know that an astounding 36,000 business failures are caused by employee theft each year in the U.S.?

• Employees steal 10 times more than shoplifters.
• Absenteesim costs a 50-employee company over $31,000/year.
•   Assessment tools can help you reduce the likelihood of hiring the wrong person
“Chances are good that up to 66 percent of your company’s hiring decisions will prove to be mistakes in the first twelve months” according to Peter Drucker.

Most companies look at a person’s past history, interview them and then stop there.  What those two steps yield is information from their resume, past employment, education and maybe a background check.  The in-person interview dives a little deeper revealing appearance, personality, interview style and the manager’s gut feeling. 

The interview can be a squirrely thing as a SHRM study indicated that “63 percent of all hiring decisions are made during the first 4.3 minutes of an interview.” Studies indicate that people selected only on the basis of their job interview were only good hires about 14 percent of the time. We recommend hiring managers utilize all resources at their disposal to increase the likelihood of making a best fit hire.  Testing and job matching is the important third leg of the stool that helps predict the candidate’s likely success at your company in the future.

Adding other selection techniques such as background checks, integrity testing, personality testing, interest testing and job matching further increase the percentage of selecting good on-the-job performance to 75 percent.! In order to make the right hire decision, it is important to use these tools to see the TOTAL person.

According to the June 2012 Aberdeen study, “best in class” companies who effectively use assessment tools experienced 35 percent higher first year retention rates, 30 percent more engaged employees, and 26 percent more new employees reaching productivity goals.

It’s no longer enough to know if someone possesses a specific skill.  Organizations make huge investments when they hire or promote an individual.  They want to be able to predict whether that individual is the right fit for the role and whether they have the skills, behaviors, motivation and adaptability that will allow them to meet the challenges ahead.  The measure of a good hire isn’t simply whether the person individually succeeds, it is whether they add to the overall success and future of the organization. Organizations need to find the people who will drive productivity and performance into the future and carefully selected assessments give them the tools to do accomplish that.

Genevieve Roberts is a partner with Titan Group LLC in Richmond. She can be reached at genevieve@titanhr.com.


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