Assessment – Selecting The Best Talent

Each year, businesses lose money on bad hires. According to the CIPD, this cost is around £12,000 per hire, however, it has been reported to be as high as 30% of their base salary. Whilst there are many reasons why a bad hire is made, 4 out of 10 employers feel the interviewing and assessment skills of their staff should be improved to avoid the issue.

In one of the most competitive labour markets where we have seen a record breaking hiring boom, how can you ensure that your hiring process is effective?

Optimise The Screening Process

In 2021, the average time to hire was 18.4 days. Whilst this has reduced from the year before, we are still struggling to find the right fit for our opportunities.

One way to help with this is to optimise the screening process. An optimal screening process should:

  • Set a baseline of understanding – Speak to people fulfilling the position you are hiring for, gain knowledge in their tasks, prioritisation and measurement of performance which will provide more depth to your understanding of the assignment.
  • Questions based on competency – These should specifically target Situation, Task, Action and Result and must include areas such as Strategic Thinking, Coaching Skills and Self Awareness. For a senior level professional, establish their Leadership and Engagement skills. How have they treated their employees in the past?
  • Link questions to company situations – Businesses face different challenges, so ensure you question what that means for your business. This could be growth, gaining new markets, underperformance, cultural change etc.
  • Challenge inconsistencies – Don’t be afraid to go ‘off-road’. It may throw the interviewee off guard, but it will encourage them to answer honestly and give you a better insight on how they operate – especially through challenging times and periods of change.

The Use Of Psychometric Tests

Psychometric tests are growing in popularity year by year. In 2022, it has been reported that over 75% of The Times Top 100 Companies in the UK utilise them and there is an increase of their usage by 10-15% year on year.

Whilst it is still only seen in around 18% of other organisations globally, some companies won’t hire without them.

This is because the tests themselves can give a broad and standardised overview of a particular individuals personality. The potential employer can view how the person thinks and what areas they may need to develop. Unfortunately, whilst all this is true, if they are not used correctly, the simplistic nature of the results can be over-generalised as definitive answer.

To ensure that they are effective, they need to be used alongside other forms of assessment as well as understanding that they only provide a brief snapshot, not the full picture.

Considering Retention

It is important to bare in mind that a successful assessment should not only focus on hiring an individual, but also retention, which tends to be overlooked. Ensuring that you have an effective onboarding programme increases staff retention by 82%.

This would include looking at your workplace culture and how this fits with your new employees personality. You will need to ensure that you follow up consistently throughout their journey, before and after the hire. To do this, encourage a culture of openness.

Final Points

  1. Remember that you are representing your own company against others. There is a war for talent and although your style will be different to others, you should be reflecting the values, principles and the benefits of the organisation you are a part of and ‘selling’ these in a positive light to the interviewee in order to stand out.
  2. Take references. These should not be overlooked. Although references are often not taken to make a decision, they will dramatically re-enforce your own opinions and understanding that you’ve had throughout the assessment process.
  3. Make the process clear and consistent for the person going through it. Give and receive feedback, it is really important to ensure evolution of the process over time for you and your business.

Make sure you undertake your research in depth to become the matter expert. Study the candidates and the role, and it is okay if it takes time because it will ensure the success rate that you are after.

If you would like to gain more information or to discuss The Assessment Process, get in touch with Jason Saunders.

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