In a previous post, we discussed some of the challenges inherent in traditional methods of employee assessment, specifically the fact that review of résumés and in-person interviews tend to focus too much on the objective skills of the employee rather than the subjective needs of the organization.
Here, we’ll look at some alternatives to this traditional approach.
It’s rare for any employee to operate entirely independently of others. In virtually all cases, the employee will become part of a larger team that is charged with accomplishing specific goals and outcomes—together.
One strategy for finding a great team fit through assessments is to focus on the needs of the specific team your new hire will be joining and trying to determine what skills and traits will best compliment that group.
“A helpful way to personalize whichever assessment(s) you end up picking to add to your hiring process is to reverse engineer and look for holes,” says Miles Jennings in an article for Entrepreneur. “This can be done by having team members take the assessments and then examine the patterns that occur,” says Jennings.
The team can then discuss and review the findings to consider the validity of the assessment and how it might best be used in the selection process to ensure a good fit. Such a process, writes Jennings, “can also provide a roadmap for the type of team members that should be brought on in the future.”
For instance, suppose the team has identified the ability to provide constructive feedback as critical to achieving their objectives. Yet, the assessment they take doesn’t yield sufficient insights into that particular trait.
Or, on the flip side, perhaps emotional intelligence is a critical competency, and an assessment does a great job of accurately pinpointing those team members who have this skill.
On a broader level, you can consider assessment strategies that will determine the fit of an employee within the organization as a whole. This requires, of course, having a good idea initially of the attributes of your desired company culture and the types of interpersonal skills that best position employees for advancement through the ranks of the organization.
A good way to identify the desired traits is to consider who among your current team members best exemplifies your desired culture. Then have him or her take an assessment to create a profile that can be used as a benchmark for assessing new team members.
Traditional assessment methods for employee hiring often look at a candidate in a vacuum as opposed to thinking of what gaps the organization needs to fill and looking for an employee who fills those gaps. Here, we’ve discussed some alternative approaches to that traditional method. In a follow-up post, we’ll talk about some specific personality and skills-based assessments. In our final post, we’ll discuss the issue of candidates attempting to “game” assessments.