What is more important to organizations than finding exceptional talent? In today’s world of hyper competition, businesses are using more sophisticated and systematic assessment tools to identify and hire the best candidates. This is strongly reflected in the trend reported by the 2012 study published by the Aberdeen Group which found that 49% of the 186 organizations surveyed had adopted formal assessment strategies. This represents a rapid and significant increase (22.5%) over the number of companies reported at just 40% only one year earlier. An improving economic climate and increasing competition for quality talent would account for the fast adoption of advanced assessment tools. Moreover, Aberdeen’s study found that companies they rated “best in class” based on employee engagement, successful succession planning and hiring manager satisfaction were 79% more likely to use pre-hire assessments than companies lacking these key performance indicators.
Where to get started? Begin where the most frequent hiring is required. Positions that are entry points to the organization typically require frequent and continuous hiring. When talented and effective employees are rapidly assimilating into the company culture and advancing to positions of greater contribution and responsibility, it is a positive condition that can yield benefits for years to come. Conversely, if turnover is high among new hires, it represents an avoidable cost of hiring and places heavy resource demands on the recruiting department. Uncorrected, a talent acquisition deficit of this sort can have limiting consequences to the organization in terms of constrained growth, reduced productivity and limited business results.
Fortunately, a well-planned assessment strategy contributes by both reducing turnover and improving employee performance. One of the basic keys to this process is the definition of what drives performance in the target roles. If your organization has already defined the skills, knowledge and competencies required by your job families, then you can proceed to select assessments that can be used to test your candidates. However, well-defined requirements are essential to ensure an effective and defensible assessment process, so if your organization hasn’t clearly defined them, seek help from a qualified specialist to facilitate the process.
To realize the benefits of formal selection assessment processes, you must ensure that the process is correctly and consistently followed for all candidates. If you already have an applicant tracking system in place, incorporate your assessments into the workflow so they are administered for all candidates. However, it is even more important is to make sure that recruiters, hiring managers and leadership are educated about how you are using assessments and why they will improve the quality of your hiring decisions. By improving the screening and selection of your new employees, you can yield benefits for years to come and move into the “best in class” of hiring organizations.
Tom Macfadden is Director of Assessment Sales for Findly, a SmartRecruiters partner. Findly helps companies instantly hire the right person at the push of a button.
Meet Findly’s Scott Marsho on June 26 at the SmartRecruiters headquarters for The Art & Science of Talent Assessment.