Learning & Development, Recruiting

The Problem with Traditional Employee Assessment Methods

Hiring new employees is expensive. Not only are time and resources spent during the actual search—job postings, interviews, etc.—but also onboarding staff takes time and resources. And, if the new hire doesn’t work out, the costs of turnover also become a factor.assessment

The Promise of Assessment Tools

Some tools many employers use to help ensure they make the right hiring decision are various types of assessments. But it’s not easy to identify the correct assessment.
“One thing I’ve learned about hiring throughout the years is that there’s no single assessment that can ensure you’ve made the perfect hire,” writes Miles Jennings in an article for Entrepreneur. “Hiring is a combination of empirical analysis and gut feel.”
Hiring assessments is a major topic, so we’ve decided to dedicate several posts to the subject and tackle it in chunks. First, in this post, we’ll discuss some of the challenges with traditional assessment methods.
Next, we’ll talk about some alternatives to traditional assessment methods. Then, we’ll discuss some skills-based and personality-based assessments. Finally, we’ll suggest ways to prevent potential hires from trying to game the system.

Finding the Right Focus

The challenge with traditional methods of employee assessment, some experts say, is that they are focused on the wrong area. “[M]ost hiring practices focus heavily on qualifying skills and personas of the job candidates, not on what is most important—whether the job candidate will be a productive part of the business,” according to an article for Business Insider.
That is, employers are focused on an employee’s résumé to evaluate education and work experience and on the interview to determine a candidate’s professionalism. But they aren’t thinking in terms of their own business needs—or at least this isn’t the primary focus.
It’s important for hiring managers to get it right when they spend money and dedicate time to bringing a new employee on board. Assessments are among the many tools at their disposal, but the results of an assessment are only as good as the assessment itself. Here, we’ve seen some ways traditional assessments fall short. Next, we’ll talk about some alternatives that might provide better results.

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