Utilizing employee assessment tests is a smart call for organizations looking to expand their talent pool, but it can be a challenge to implement them effectively. This guide will share everything you need to know about using employee assessment tests to elevate your hiring process and employee development, but here are the basics for now.
What are behavioral assessment tests?
The first question to answer is “What is an assessment test?” These are questionnaires, usually administered online, that job candidates, current employees, organization leaders and more take to learn something about themselves. This knowledge is then applied to improving the workplace environment in some way.
A useful tip is to eliminate the word “test” from your vocabulary when we’re talking about employee assessments. Behavioral assessments aren’t a pass or fail test; they simply measure and explain behavior.
The mindset throughout your organization should be that assessments are a way to gain insight into the core of your people. They will help you understand the motivations, behaviors, communication styles, skills and emotional intelligence of your employees and potential employees, and those things can’t be fake or cheated in the same way a test can be.
Does using personality assessments for company hiring work?
This is another extremely common question — how does this process actually work?
The answer to this question depends entirely on your process. Will handing a pool of candidates an online assessment weed out unsuitable candidates and find your perfect match, with no further work or steps in the hiring process? No, of course not.
Will utilizing assessments as part of your hiring process and taking the time to learn what those results mean by using a benchmarking process and the help of a trusted coach or consultant support your hiring team in making an educated, informed decision about filling a role? It absolutely will.
Are pre-employment tests predictive of success in a job?
This is the magic question everyone wants an answer to; will employee assessment tests reveal the potential of job candidates?
The answer entirely depends on what exactly you want to know. When using online pre-employment skills testing, you need to be very clear about what aspects of personality and experience you need measured. There’s an assessment for everything, but there’s no ‘one size fits all.’
Your best bet for success here is to implement a benchmarking process. Later sections will explore this concept in-depth, but simply, using a benchmarking means you, along with subject matter experts and a trusted consultant, create the end result of an assessment modeled after the ideal candidate. Then, candidates are measured against this benchmark in the hiring process to see how they stack up.
Can pre-employment personality tests discriminate?
This is an important concern when selecting an HR exam for employment; how will this affect our hiring process, legally and technically?
The good news is that you can find the answer to this question by choosing the right assessment provider. The provider you choose needs to have an adverse impact study, which provides support for a business’ internal review of employment practices, like pre-employment assessments, to ensure that those practices are not disproportionately excluding members of a protected category.
Choose your provider carefully! The right partnership will help your business thrive while the wrong one can get you into trouble.
The important thing to remember is that employee assessment tests aren’t magic. They can’t be failed, and the insights they reveal are based on the employee’s answers and own behavior. DISC, an incredibly popular assessment tool for hiring, is actually an observable language — over time and with the necessary research, one can pick up on and understand each other through the lens of DISC without ever seeing their assessment results.
What is the selection procedure?
Finding out how employee assessment tests fit into your hiring process depends entirely on the way your team wants to utilize them. We break down a sample hiring process later on, but the essential idea is that candidates take an assessment after initial screening and interviews, but before a final interview and decision is made.
Behavioral assessments aren’t screeners, to be distributed en mass to anyone who applies to your open position. They are tools to gain greater insight about an individual’s behavior, beliefs and skills before investing more time and resources in them in the hiring process.
It’s not very often that an assessment will reveal a huge red flag about candidates; the most likely scenario is that employers can look at the insights revealed from an assessment and see if those insights line up with the role and responsibilities of the position they are trying to fill.
What are some good personality tests?
If you’re looking for the right assessment to find the right candidate, you have a lot of options. TTI SI has assessments based on five core sciences, and then combinations of those assessments in the TriMetrix suite.
TriMetrix assessments are incredibly popular in hiring because they give the right amount of information about an individual. Take TriMetrix EQ for example; this assessment combines DISC, 12 Driving Forces, EQ to measure behavior, motivation, and emotional intelligence.
Think about how powerful it is to have that information about an individual before they even walk through the door for an interview. You can start to understand how they will function in a role, how they prefer to solve problems and handle conflict, and even measure that against their future team and see how they will interact together.
Assessments aren’t a magic solution or an easy answer for your hiring process; they are a tool to be thoughtfully utilized to help everyone on your team make better decisions in every interaction. They’ll give you the answers about why and how people operate, but how your hiring team and leadership decide to implement that information will make all the difference.
Employee assessment tests are an extremely valuable tool for your organization’s hiring strategy, day-to-day operations, and employee engagement initiatives. Read on to find out exactly how assessments reveal human potential, how the work of coaches and consultants with organizations releases, and how that potential is then realized in the workplace.
If you’re looking for the perfect position, want to develop your skills and career or are aiming to improve the skills of your team and entire organization, you need the same thing: a skill assessment process.
Many people have taken skills assessments as part of the interview process, but many don’t understand exactly what they are and how they work. If you’re wondering, “What are my skills and abilities?”, “What is an online skills test?” or “What information does this give my employers?”, we have the answers you need, as well as the benefits that skills assessments bring when it comes to employee engagement, communication, and more.
What Types of Skills Assessments Are There?
There are a lot of skills assessments on the market, but they are not all created equally. Look for an assessment provider that provides data and research behind their processes and assessment creation.
TTI Success Insights offers 5 core sciences for skill assessments, and then these sciences are combined into other assessment packages.
Those Skill Assessments Are
- DISC, which measures behavior or ‘how you do what you do’,
- 12 Driving Forces, which measures motivation,
- Emotional Quotient, which measures 5 factors of emotional intelligence,
- Competencies (DNA), which measures 25 research-based skills required by any job
- Acumen (ACI), which measures both how people interact with the world and, on a more personal level, how they view their value in the world.
Essentially, assessments measure the skills and abilities that show how you do what you do, why you do what you do, emotional intelligence, and competencies in basic job-necessary skills.
How Are Skills Assessments Different From Personality Tests?
When you are asked to answer questions about yourself for a job position or personal development, the fastest association will likely be with personality tests. There’s a reason quick quizzes and ‘pop science’ tests are so popular; people want to know more about themselves and enjoy the shorthand associations that come with that. However, behavioral and skills assessments go far beyond that.
First of all, assessments aren’t tests, since they aren’t “pass/fail”! An assessment like DISC is just a way for others to understand your observable behavior with a shared language. Since there’s no right or wrong way to behave as measured by the four categories of DISC, you certainly can’t fail.
This even goes for assessments like Competencies (DNA), which measures development in skills necessary for any workplace.
How Can Skills Assessments Be Used in the Workplace?
There are a lot of uses for skills assessments in the workplace. Here are a few of the ways you might see them show up:
Hiring & Benchmarking
You’re probably wondering how skill tests are used in the recruitment process. Assessments are a valuable tool for employers to get instant insight into their potential employees. This process often involves benchmarking, the process of creating the profile of the ideal candidate for a position and then measuring candidates’ own assessment results against that profile.
This process helps employers understand the skills, emotional and social intelligence, temperament, and motivation of their job candidates. For example, if a role will require lots of research, fact-checking, and slow but steady progress, a person who prefers a faster pace and more direct behavior might be unhappy. Benchmarking helps prevent bad hires, and it’s achieved through job candidate assessments.
Employment engagement is crucial for organizational success. If your team isn’t invested in their work and achieving the best possible results, productivity and company culture will suffer. Show your team that you are invested in them with career development through skills assessments!
These tools hone in on skills to improve, patterns of behavior, and shine light on their best traits. When employees get a tangible investment in their wellbeing and professional development, they’ll return and surpass that investment with their hard work.
Skills Gap Management
The world of work is changing quickly, and sometimes that can mean that a position evolves beyond the person currently filling it. Don’t panic! Skills assessments are your key to retaining current employees while figuring out how to develop them for success. Job benchmarks can be used again here to get a sense of the ideal candidate. Measure the current employee’s results against this benchmark and you’ll find out exactly where to start developing their talents.
When undergoing this process, be clear to ensure your employee that they aren’t being fired! The skill assessment process is often associated with hiring and firing, so let them know it’s for their benefit and development upfront.
Pitfalls to Avoid While Using Skills Assessments
While the benefits to using skills assessments are overwhelming, there can be some drawbacks if you’re not careful. Here are a few things to consider and avoid while you get started.
Don’t Assume Someone Is a “Type”
Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why personality tests are so popular. People love putting others in a box to categorize them, but this is overly simplistic. When looking at DISC, people aren’t just a High I; they’re a combination of all four categories, high and low scores included. Someone might take offense or be resistant to being discussed in this way, so remember that behavioral and skills assessments are just tools to gather data; they aren’t always definitive.
Don’t Just Use One Science
Using only one science or assessment might feel like the fastest way to get results, but it’s not if you want accuracy. Each assessment brings a different element of understanding to its users. Use multiple sciences for best understanding.
Our Talent Insights suite, for example, combines DISC and 12 Driving Forces, which reveals behavior and motivators, or how something does what they do and why someone does what they do. Even that combination of just two sciences adds depth and insight to your understanding of yourself and others. Imagine what combining 3 or more sciences reveal!
What Challenges Can Skills Assessments Help Organizations Overcome?
Skills assessments are your path forward for a better understanding of yourself and others.
Improve Employee Retention
Keep your current team happy with the improved communication and understanding that comes from assessments.
Increase Hiring Accuracy
Find the perfect fit for every position with the right employee as determined by the data that comes from benchmarking.
Assessments give your team a shared language and understanding of each other’s behavior, which cuts down on misunderstandings and conflict.
Advance Workplace Engagement
When you invest in your organization, they will invest in their work. When employees are truly understood in their workplace, engagement increases.
Reduce Destructive Stress
Stress affects physical and mental health as well as engagement and productivity. By increasing understanding of the self and of others, conflicts can be prevented before they start.
So now you understand exactly what assessments are and how they’re used in the workplace. Let’s start at the beginning of the process and walk through exactly how assessments are used in the hiring process.
Now that you understand exactly what assessments are, you’re ready to find out how employers use them in the hiring process to aid with candidate selection. Here’s what the candidate selection process looks like, what tests are the most effective for hiring, and why assessments are essential for discovering and retaining top-quality talent for your organization’s new staff recruitment and selection process.
What is a candidate selection process?
Chances are that you’re already familiar with a candidate selection process; it’s just another way to explain the interview process from a businesses’ point of view. This process consists of listing a job, preliminary phone interviews, and more often than not, an assessment to measure an aspect of the candidates’ skills or personality necessary for the role.
What characteristics should you look for when hiring?
Hiring the right candidate doesn’t have to be difficult when you have the right insights. While each role has unique requirements, there are a few factors that you can measure overall for maximum success in an employee selection plan.
How do they act on a day-to-day basis? What is their natural personality like, and how does that behavior change in a work environment? Is their natural way of being a good fit with the demands of their position?
What makes your candidate want to get out of bed in the morning? Does someone’s personal motivation affect how to choose the right employee? Do their motivations line up with what they’re going to get out of both the input and output of their new role?
Is your potential candidate self aware and socially aware? Can they handle themselves in high-pressure situations? Do they have a growth mindset and the ability to take constructive criticism?
Competencies in Work Skills
How do your candidates’ current abilities stack up against the skills every professional need? Are they leaders, good communicators, and skilled at navigating conflict?
Their Personal Values
Do their beliefs align with your company culture? Is it important to your organization to have employee beliefs aligned with the businesses?
Assessments open up the door to increased understanding and more comprehensive selection criteria in recruitment. Determining these requirements and what exactly you want to measure in your job candidates will serve dual purposes; you will understand the demands of the position and your own priorities as a team better, as well.
How do you assess job candidates?
Job candidates should be assessed in every aspect, from the quality of their resumes, their responsiveness in communications, and of course, their assessment results.
Remember, assessments aren’t tests; there is no ‘pass or fail’ when it comes to using assessments for employee selection. Those results let you get an immediate insight into the behavior of your candidates and help you determine the right fit, but they should not be the determining factor when it comes to hiring decisions.
Your first step to establishing a recruitment selection process is to create and commit to a process for all candidates. Consistency is key to discovering your ideal candidate. If one candidate only gets a phone interview with no follow up because your hiring manager is busy, then you might miss out on the perfect fit. Don’t waste time with an underdeveloped process! It’s worth the investment.
Here’s a Sample 4 Step Candidate Selection Process
1. Post Your Job Online
Make sure to specify any education or experience qualifications, share about your company culture, highlight benefits of your organization, and detail duties and responsibilities of the position according to your benchmark. Put an end date for applications as well; if you don’t find the right candidate by that time, refresh your job description and repost.
2. Conduct Initial Phone Interviews
Your HR manager or hiring committee should set up and conduct an initial interview. This will weed out any candidates who can’t keep an appointment and help you get a solid first impression of who your potential employees are. Take note of candidates who do their research and ask compelling questions; they’re investing time upfront in your company. This will help you decide which candidates you’d like to move forward with.
3. Administer Assessments to Remaining Candidates
Once you get an initial positive impression of your candidates, it’s time to find out more about them. Send them a secure link for the behavioral assessment of your choice; multiple assessments can be used for a more accurate snapshot.
After candidates complete these assessments, measure them against your benchmark and see how they compare to the ‘ideal’ your team has created. Remember, the benchmark is a starting point, not an ending conclusion. You can and should hire against your benchmark but your team decides that’s the best way to move forward.
4. Conduct In-Person Interviews
Once you have a more comprehensive snapshot of your candidates, it’s time to move forward with interviews, in-person or over video call if the position is remote. Make sure this conversation is face-to-face!
Run your candidates through potential workplace scenarios, ask detailed questions about their background, and again, see what questions they have for you. These inquiries are just as important as their answers; you want an engaged and invested employee. Don’t underestimate the importance of a cultural fit!
Make sure at this point your candidates can meet their potential future coworkers and the leader they will directly report to.
What candidate selection tests can be administered during the selection process?
As we’ve said, the type of assessments administered in the candidate selection process depends on the information you are looking to discover. A popular assessment for the recruitment screening and selection process is DISC, which measures four factors: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance.
An individual’s DISC score is determined by both the high and low scores of each factor. Put most simply, DISC reveals how someone behaves, or “how they do what they do”. At TTI SI, we pair DISC with the 12 Driving Forces assessment, which reveals the motivation behind action, or “how you do what you do.” These two assessments together are called Talent Insights, and provide insight on a candidate at a more comprehensive level.
This assessment is our most popular for hiring. Using multiple sciences is the way to go when utilizing assessments in the recruitment and selection hiring process.
Find the Perfect Hire the First Time
Candidate selection might feel daunting, but it’s one of the most important processes for the future success of your organization. You need to nail down your process, step by step, and avoid the cost of bad hiring decisions.
By utilizing assessments, understanding exactly what you need out of each role, and investing time into developing your process, your organization will find the perfect fit for every role, every time.
Even if you have a successful system in place of assessments to evaluate candidates and employees, that system doesn’t mean anything unless you know exactly what employee characteristics you’re supposed to be looking for.
What Employee Characteristics Should You Look For While Hiring?
While it’s wise to specifically define what qualities are needed for individual roles, there are several traits of successful employees that are universal when it comes to building an effective team.
Developed communication skills are what makes a good worker. No matter the position, great communication allows employees to express themselves clearly, resolve conflict, and make connections across your organization. This is essential to the larger success of your team.
Another attribute of a good employee is a growth mindset. “A growth mindset is the perspective that your abilities, qualities, and capabilities can grow and improve over time,” we’ve shared before. “The key is an understanding that all skills and talents can be improved. This requires an investment of time, of belief, and of self.”
What makes a great employee is their ability to adapt and innovate. Embracing a growth mindset means that they want to get better. They acknowledge that all skills can and should be improved, and that a process of continuous learning isn’t a burden but is rather a great excitement of life. Growth mindsets can be taught and encouraged, but finding someone who already embraces this mindset will give them a head start in the position.
What are the ideal employee characteristics for co-workers?
The features of a good employee are consistent in the two aspects mentioned above, but can differentiate when it comes to employees who will work on a team. Here are the employee characteristics you need to look out for.
Co-workers are a part of a team, and having a singular focused mindset won’t serve them well when meeting objectives as a group. Look for someone who thrives while working with others and loves to participate.
If your employees are working on a team and providing their skills to the group output, that means you can afford to get specific.
Being Proactive and Responsible
You need workers who are hungry for success. Find someone who takes responsibility for both their successes and failures. This acknowledgment means they are staying honest and accountable, and truly want what’s best for the role and the team.
Engaged in Their Work
Employee engagement is crucial for your organization. Look for employees who want to find and create personal meaning in their work. An engaged team will make all the difference; employee disengagement translates to a profit loss of 34% of the disengaged employee’s annual salary. Can you afford a loss like that?
What are the ideal qualities for leaders?
Leaders need a different skill set than their employees. Here’s how a leader can set themselves apart from the rest.
Can Deliver Constructive Criticism
Here’s where great communication comes back into play. Leaders need to be able to deliver feedback effectively, whether it’s positive or negative. Constructively working through failures and reframing them as opportunities for their employees to grow in their positions makes all the difference.
Big Picture Thinking
Leaders need to be able to comprehend and interpret the vision of a company, and then break that down into deliverables for their team. A leader without a larger vision lacks the introspection and passion organizations need to succeed.
This might be a less glamorous skill, but it’s crucial for leaders. A leader, whether that’s a team lead, a department head, or a CEO, need to be masters of resource allocation and delegation. Time, the capacity of a team, and financial resources are all elements that need to be managed and protected for a team.
Great Listening Skills
A lot of leaders are direct, fast-paced, and ready to go at all times. However, your personal communication style matters far less than the styles of your team. A great leader can adapt to what they need.
Active listening is one of the keys to emotional intelligence, which in turn is crucial for a healthy workplace.
How should you evaluate if a candidate is a team player?
The ability to thrive in a group setting is an essential employee characteristic. Here are the quality characteristics of a good employee and a good team player.
Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for any member of a team. It allows individuals to become aware of their actions and emotions, and helps them understand the same of their teammates.
Evaluate if a candidate is a team player by asking them about conflict. The way one handles interpersonal problems is indicative of emotional intelligence; can you understand others and adjust to their needs? Are you open to learning from conflict and previous mistakes?
How do you evaluate personality traits?
Now that you know what employee characteristics to look for in your candidates, you need to figure out exactly how to evaluate those personality traits.
This is where assessments come in. Personality assessments give you an objective metric to measure behavior, motivation, skills, emotional intelligence, and more. People generally like others with similar personalities to them, and might clash with those who behave differently than they do.
Assessments also create a shared language of understanding between candidates, employees, and bosses. Offering constructive feedback becomes easier when you know how an individual responds to different communication methods, and once you become more familiar with the science behind assessments, your team will be able to pick up on behavior without needing a debrief.
How can you use assessments to match personality traits to team roles?
Assessments are the secret weapon of effective organizations. They aren’t just effective in the hiring process; they are excellent for matching team roles up with the right personality of the right person.
For example, if a candidate will be working in a front-line customer support role, they need to be energized by interacting and talking with others. If they are a Reserved communicator as indicated by their DISC results, they are not likely to thrive in their role. The best-case scenario is that they are able to fake it and fulfill the duties of their role, but the stress of working against their natural behavior will take its toll and result in burnout in the role.
Engagement increases when a role is well matched to the personality of that team member. It increases workplace happiness, productivity, and quality of work.
The skills of a great employee are as varied as the different roles a team needs to thrive. Assessments and an improved understanding of what you need to look for in leaders, coworkers and teammates will give your organization a boost.
If you’re paying attention to workplace trends, you’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “company culture” thrown around a lot. However, it takes work to make sure that it’s not just a buzzword in your organization.
How can you establish and maintain a positive organizational culture? What does that look like, in both theory and practice? What role will assessments play in that culture? Let’s find out.
Why is creating a positive organizational culture important?
Workplace culture impacts every aspect of an organization, including employee performance, engagement, productivity and retention. It’s more than the daily sum of moods of your team; it’s your values, the way employee development and feedback is handled, and the communication choices made by your leadership.
Research shows that “More than half of employees were willing to go to a competing firm in search of a better culture, and 48% said they’d consider working a 60 hour week in exchange for a better culture.”
Company culture affects everything about the employee experience, and can make or break the levels of stress workers feel. Research shows that stress and anxiety affect workers’ productivity and coworker relations more than anything else, and 83% of US workers suffered from work-related stress in 2019. Clearly, something isn’t working.
Why are so many employees still looking for a positive work culture? It simply means that many organizations are missing the mark. They’re either ignoring culture in favor of extending resources into profit, rather than people, or they’re not understanding exactly how to create a positive team culture.
You can’t just throw flashy benefits like unlimited PTO or remote work options at your team and call it good company culture (especially since many teams are fully embracing remote work as the norm, not the exception to the rule.)
How is positive organizational culture created?
The benefits are clear, but what exactly does building a positive team culture look like in reality? Here are a few of the elements you need to nail down.
Create a Strong Work/Life Balance
Increasingly, we’re seeing the attitude around work culture changing. Many people, especially members of Gen Z who are entering the workforce in multitudes, work to live instead of living to work. They want to pursue side gigs, creative projects, and their social lives, and leave work at the office.
It’s unrealistic for an organization to expect their employees to drop everything to work overtime and during non-traditional hours unless specified in their job roles.
Provide Excellent Benefits
If you’re not taking care of your team, you’re not going to get full engagement. It’s as simple as that. How can someone push themselves to innovate when they’re worried about providing for sick family members? Will someone communicate well when they’re ill, but afraid to call out?
Organizations need to understand that the modern worker needs solid health care, paid time off, and family leave, as a starting place for benefits.
Develop Transparent Communication
Your organization needs to build trust if you want to really build a positive organizational culture. This can be done through frequent and honest communication, between leaders, direct reports, and teammates.
Try to meet on a regular basis as an entire organization, and share the larger vision of the company. Establish honesty as a company value (more on that in a moment!) and encourage truthful feedback about leadership from entry-level employees.
Make sure that managers have established cadence for one-on-ones and conversations with their direct reports, and offer up the possibility of ‘skip levels’, which are meetings between a direct report and their boss’s boss.
Focus on Employee Development
It’s not enough for a business to hire and pay a worker. Top talent wants their organizations to invest back in them, in exchange for their time and expertise.
70% of staff members would be at least somewhat likely to leave their current organizations and take a job with one that is known for investing in employee development and learning. One way to do this is by creating a coaching and development program based on scientific behavioral research and skills enhancement.
Live Out Your Values
When is the last time you thought about your company values? How are those values communicated to your employees? If your answer is through a poster on the wall, you’re not on the right track.
Your values should be something known and enforced through the daily behavior of your leaders, which will lead to the same behavior in employees. Is your company focused on giving back to the community? What does your brand value? What does your organization fight for? Answering those questions and thinking about how to reflect that with behavior goes a long way in creating a positive work environment.
What are the signs of a healthy company culture?
If you’ve created a solid foundation and you are supporting your team, you might be wondering if your efforts are working. Are you fostering a positive work culture?
Here Are Some Signs That You’re Getting It Right
Low Turnover Rate and High Employee Retention
The modern worker is more likely to bounce from position to position, but that’s out of necessity; workers who stay in their positions for multiple years decline their overall lifetime earning potential.
Don’t blame employees for playing a game they didn’t create! Instead, refuse to take them for granted. If you have team members staying with your company year over year, you’ve created the right culture for them to thrive.
A Clear Set of Values
Again, company values are not optional when it comes to creating a positive organizational culture. If an organization has an established and implemented culture built on the mutual values of workers and leaders, you’re going to see that culture flourish.
Employees Matched Well in Their Jobs
There’s a sweet spot for every employee when it comes to utilizing their talents and skill set, but not everyone is lucky enough to be in the right position.
When you see employees’ daily tasks aligned with their motivations, their communication levels matched with their behavioral style, and their leaders in sync with their development, you will find positive culture within a team.
How can employee assessments help promote a positive company culture?
What exactly do assessments have to do with company culture? The answer is: everything. They are the first starting place for creating culture, a tool to bridge the gap between departments and teammates, and they can help establish those crucial company values to drive your culture.
Here Are All the Benefits Assessments Bring
Create a Shared Language
Assessments give teams the vocabulary they need to truly understand the behavior and motivations of themselves and their teammates. Better yet, since sciences like DISC are observable, once they start to gain knowledge about behavior, communication and understanding will naturally improve.
Decrease Conflict in the Workplace
Conflict is inevitable in any environment, but it doesn’t need to be senseless. The understanding that assessments bring to individuals about themselves and others allows communication to clear up. In particular, assessments that measure emotional intelligence like EQ clue people into their behavior that they might have only subconsciously felt before. When you understand the science behind moods like anger and frustration, you can identify your triggers and express yourself more clearly.
Lead Employee Development
Employees that are invested in their workplace will actively contribute to creating a positive organizational culture. Creating an employee development program can seem overwhelming, and assessments give you the perfect place to start.
After an individual takes an assessment, you can access insight into their behavior, motivation, skill set, and more. Leaders can identify areas of improvement and then map out the best way to get their employees to the next level.
Positive organizational culture is within your grasp. Focus on what your employees really need and use the right tools to get there, and you’ll get the results you need.
One of the groups that stand to benefit the most from utilizing assessments in their hiring strategy is HR professionals. Adding employee assessments to your network of HR assessment tools will transform your hiring process, eliminate bad hires, and help your organization thrive.
What is a good hiring process for HR?
If your HR department wants to stay competitive, organized, and efficient, you need to create a solid hiring process. This process of assessing candidates using HR assessment tools should be used consistently, thoroughly documented, and continuously improved as time goes on. Here’s a great basic overview of the hiring process.
Identify the Need and Create an Ideal Candidate
Make sure you understand both the responsibilities and the behavioral requirements of the role you need to fill. What value does this position bring to the organization overall? What department will this job work under? How does this job change the dynamic of your existing team?
Ask yourself the essential questions and clearly define the answers you’re looking for. The ideal candidate might not exist down to every detail, but creating a candidate profile or job benchmark is your key to finding the right fit. Job benchmarking is the process of using HR assessment tools to generate the behavioral profile, skill set, motivations, and more of your ideal candidate. This then allows you to measure each applicant assessment against this benchmark to find the best candidate.
Create a Clear Job Description
Now that you’ve gathered the necessary information, now it’s time to start your search. Get off on the right foot by creating a clear job description.
Requirements for the applicants, responsibilities of the role, and the day-to-day journey as well as the big picture are great places to start while crafting a job description. HR professionals need to nail down the perfect description, so spend the time you need to do so.
A great thing to include in a job description is information about the company that goes past a bio. A job listing is likely to be the first impression of your organization that candidates see, and you want to impress them.
Share about your organization’s values, the company culture, and any perks you might offer to entice top talent. Make sure to link to your website and social media accounts as well; you can expect top candidates to put in work and do their own research.
Clearly communicating established values also helps you attract employees with the same vision and goals. By using behavioral assessments, you can see exactly what those values look like on paper and in action.
Harness the Power of Social Media
Speaking of social media, it’s now a crucial part of the job interview process. Use a social media screening tool to find your candidates online and analyze what they’re posting to their profiles on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. A screening tool will help you uncover any red flags, while staying compliant around protected information like race, religion, and age.
This is important, especially if they have a public profile; if you hire them, they will, directly and indirectly, represent your business across the internet. We’ve all seen social media mishaps and people losing their jobs over content shared online, so take precautions before that can happen and do your homework.
In the same vein, make sure that your social media presence as a company is active, engaging, and accurate. Companies with defunct social presences are a red flag for candidates; if the last activity on your employer’s page is a tweet from 2016, it indicates to potential employees that the organization is disorganized.
Select Candidates and Conduct Interviews
After you’ve learned about your pool of candidates, it’s time to select those you’d like to move forward with. Conduct an initial interview over the phone to get a sense of who your candidate is and how much they truly want the job. They should be engaged, confident, and interested in learning more about the company. You know what they’ve achieved in their past positions, according to their resumes— now it’s time to learn more about who they are.
After your initial phone interview or interviews, it’s time to move to the next step of the talent acquisition strategy: using HR assessment tools.
Use HR Assessment Tools to Find the Right Hire
Your next step is to utilize assessments to learn more about your candidates. Depending on the type of assessment used, these tools can reveal the behaviors, motivations, emotional intelligence, skills, and thought patterns of your candidates. We’ll dive more into exactly which assessments to use later.
Depending on the results of the assessments, you should have at least one more in-person interview before making a hiring decision. This will allow your team to ask questions, see the candidate’s behavior in action, and work to understand areas of potential conflict or confusion.
For example, it’s not uncommon to utilize benchmarks as long as they are useful in the process, but don’t let them decide for you. Sometimes, a candidate will blow you out of the water but won’t match the benchmark in certain ways.
This doesn’t mean that the candidate won’t do excellent work for your organization; it just means they might approach that work in different ways than you initially envisioned for the role. Keep an open mind and meet again in person to figure out the answers to those questions before making a decision.
Conduct Background Checks
A less glamorous but still crucial part of the talent acquisition process is to run background checks on your pool of potential employees. If needed, follow up with references to learn more about each applicant, and verify their education experience and former employment. This is to cover your organization legally.
Make a Decision
This is the exciting part! It’s time to offer your candidate of choice the job! Remember, the information you learned about them in this process, especially through the use of HR assessment tools, will help you make an informed and strategic decision.
What tools do hiring managers use for recruiting? What are personality assessment tools?
There are two types of technological tools used by hiring managers in the recruiting process: recruiting software and HR assessment tools.
What is recruiting software?
Recruiting software makes the process of recruitment automated and easy. It helps you attract, screen, and engage job applicants, find keywords in candidate applications, track applicants, and even conduct virtual interviews.
What are recruiting assessment tools?
Personality assessments tools are assessments for employees that reveal core insights about their behavior and skills to potential employers. Many people want to know immediately, “What’s the best personality assessment for hiring?” The answer is simply that it depends on what exactly you want to know about your candidates.
If you’re looking for straightforward information, the DISC assessment is your best bet. This assessment measures an individual’s scores in four factors: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. The combination of those factors reveal the ‘how’ of their behavior; how they operate, behave, and treat others.
The TTI SI DISC assessment also has an added benefit; it reveals a Natural Graph and an Adapted Graph. This simply means that it shows an individual’s behavior in their natural environment, and how that behavior changes in a work environment.
How is an online assessment platform helpful for HR?
Utilizing tools like HR software and HR assessment tools online is a smart decision for hiring teams. These tools help teams stay organized, accurately measure candidates, and get the insights they need to build an excelling team.
TTI Success Insights is not software; it’s an assessment provider. This means that we create, develop, and enhance assessment tools that are utilized by consultants, entrepreneurs, and coaches across the globe. This network of skilled consultants is your key to harnessing the power of selection tools for hiring; being paired up with one of these consultants gets you to access their individual talents and insights, the debriefing process for candidates and employees, and TTI SI’s exclusive Internet Delivery System (IDS).
TTI Success Insights connects HR professionals and recruiters with the team you need to succeed who will handle the assessment administration for you. We are also able to directly connect HR professionals with access to our assessments.
Harnessing the power of HR assessment tools is the way forward into the future for your organization. Assessments help you avoid bad hires, streamline the hiring process, and make the right decision, every time.
How do employers test for skills pre-employment?
Before a candidate gets in through the door, there are now ways to learn about who they are as people and what they can bring to your team. It all depends on the way your organization builds the candidate selection process.
An effective interview process is driven by pre-employment assessments. These science-based, data-driven questionnaires can reveal the behavior, internal motivation, skills and social awareness of your job candidates.
The first step to effectively assess job candidates is to eliminate the language and idea of assessment tests for job applications. Assessments are different from skills tests; they are simply a clear and concise way to measure different factors, rather than a “pass/fail” style test. Someone’s personality can’t be graded!
There are no right or wrong answers in assessments offered at TTI SI; there is simply the reality of someone’s behavior. It’s actually quite clear in the assessment results if someone has tried to cheat on their pre-employment assessment, and any skilled consultant will be able to interpret the results and tell. These assessments are powerful tools, but you need to use them correctly.
How useful are pre-employment personality tests?
Pre-employment assessments are incredibly useful for employers who understand exactly how to harness the information they reveal. However, you need to understand how to interpret their results for maximum efficiency. Many employers want to know, “Do assessment tests work?” The answer is entirely dependent on how you utilize these tools.
When selecting the right job interview assessment to use, you need to consider what new hire assessment questions you need to be answered. Do you just want to get to know candidates better before conducting in-person interviews? Does the role you are trying to fill need a high amount of emotional intelligence? What particular skills are needed to maximize success in the role? These are some of the questions that you need to answer before utilizing pre-employment assessments.
What are pre-employment assessment services?
TTI Success Insights works with a global network of resellers who are trained in our sciences and are ready to help organizations like yours thrive. We highly recommend working with a consultant when utilizing our assessment tools; unless someone on your staff is trained and certified in DISC, 12 Driving Forces, and our other assessment offerings, you might be lost when examining results.
The consultant or coach you work with will guide the assessment process. Together, you will decide if you will utilize benchmarking, if you will use a single science or work with a multi-science assessment like TriMetrix EQ, and when exactly to introduce assessments into the interview process.
What are some pre-employment assessments?
Here are the TTI SI assessments most often used in the hiring process.
DISC: How You Do What You Do
DISC is a universal behavioral model that goes over four separate factors: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.
Put simply, the DISC assessment measures how a person does what they do. It creates a language around observable behavior.
The DISC assessment is the only offering available at TTI SI that was not created by us. First appearing in its earliest form in the 1960s, the DISC assessment is based on the behavioral theory of William Marston.
One of the areas that TTI SI innovates in is our measurement of the combination of scores, or the high and low scores.
Many providers only focus on the area with the highest score, while ignoring others. This is reductive and ineffective at gathering the whole picture of an individual’s behavior. By looking at every element of DISC and how those scores interact with one another to reveal behavior, TTI SI’s DISC assessment gives you both the big picture and the small details.
TTI SI also provides two graphs in each DISC assessment. One is the Natural graph, which shows an individual’s natural behavior, or how they prefer to do what they do. The other is the Adapted graph, which shows how an individual adapts their behavior to fit the situation they are in.
This feature is particularly important for hiring managers and leadership because it lets you know exactly how good the fit is for a position. If an individual’s Adapted score matches their role, but that adaptation is far from their Natural score, they are at a higher risk for burning out. In contrast, if an individual’s Natural graph aligns well with their job, they will be more engaged, productive, and successful.
12 Driving Forces: Why You Do What You Do
The 12 Driving Forces assessment measures the motivation and strength of those motivations behind behavior. Put simply, it measures why you do what you do. 12 Driving Forces allows for a unique insight into what drives an employee or candidate, which allows for more accurate hiring, established KPIs, and an assessment of cultural fit.
The 12 Driving Forces assessment measures an individual’s scores in six motivators, which are knowledge, utility, surroundings, others, power, and methodologies. These 6 motivators are divided into two polar opposite scores and an individual lands somewhere along a continuum between those two scores.
This assessment is a powerful resource for improving work performance, launching personal and professional development, creating a talent pipeline, and, of course, making effective hiring decisions.
By gaining access to this knowledge, as well as a shared vocabulary, leaders can tap into the real motivations of their team members. When work aligns with passion, every aspect of work improves.
Emotional Quotient: 5 Factors of Emotional Intelligence
The demand for emotional intelligence in the workplace is on the rise, and will only continue to increase in the new world of work. The EQ assessment was created in 2008 to break this complex concept down into five measurable factors.
- Self Awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions and drives.
- Self Regulation is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and the propensity to suspend judgment and think before acting.
- Social Awareness is the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and how your words and actions affect others.
- Social Regulation is the ability to influence the emotional clarity of others through a proficiency in managing relationships and building networks.
- Motivation is a passion to work for reasons that go beyond the external drive for knowledge, utility, surroundings, others, power or methodology and is based on internal drive or propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
Emotional intelligence is key to creating strong relationships, minimizing conflict in the workplace, and developing yourself and your team.
Competencies (DNA): 25 Essential Skills
While every job is different, TTI SI has determined the 25 essential skills for every position. Measure and understand those skills with the Competencies (DNA) assessment. This assessment identifies a candidate’s top personal skills, as well as areas that need improvement.
Competencies is an assessment tool that can help define if a candidate has the skills needed for a specific job. This makes it an excellent pre-employment assessment; you don’t have to guess at the skill set of your potential employee. You can see their experience and points of development clearly laid out in the assessment results.
So what exactly are those 25 Competencies?
- Appreciating Others
- Conceptual Thinking
- Conflict Management
- Continuous Learning
- Creativity and Innovation
- Customer Focus
- Decision Making
- Employee Development/Coaching
- Futuristic Thinking
- Goal Orientation
- Influencing Others
- Interpersonal Skills
- Personal Accountability
- Planning and Organizing
- Problem Solving
- Project Management
- Self Starting
- Time and Priority Management
- Understanding Other
This report can ensure two things: the right fit and job satisfaction. It gives you a honed-in insight to the skills and potential challenges of your team members and potential hires.
The Acumen Capacity Index: Intellectual & Emotional Reasoning
Everyone has a personal bias; it’s just a fact about humanity at large. Bias is formed by personal experience, upbringing, culture, and society at large, and the best way to beat bias in the workplace is to first acknowledge it.
That’s where the Acumen Capacity Index (ACI) comes in. This assessment measures an individual’s clarity when it comes to understanding others, practical thinking, systems judgment, sense of self, role awareness, self-direction, clarity of performance, situational awareness and capacity for problem-solving.
This assessment is more in-depth and intense than others, and it’s a great pre-employment assessment for candidates applying for a leadership role. The insights revealed through the ACI help you understand exactly how a person processes information and identifies blind spots and biases, giving you a deeper understanding of who exactly they are.
How can we approach job assessment tests?
There’s a reason why so many people use pre-employment assessments! They give employers instant insight into their candidates, and those insights make for powerful hiring decisions.
The important thing to remember is that assessments are a tool: nothing more, nothing less. They shouldn’t be the only determining factor in a hire, and they won’t magically make a candidate absolutely perfect for their potential role. What they will do is help ensure a good fit in every role, and ease onboarding, increase engagement and help your organization grow in the right direction.
How do you develop a talent acquisition strategy?
So, how exactly can you go about creating your talent acquisition strategy? Your first step is to outline your job interview process and factors of talent acquisition.
Decide how and where you’ll post jobs, the ways you need to screen candidates, the cadence of phone and in-person interviews, and how you’ll use assessments in your hiring process.
Utilizing strategic talent advisors is a smart idea to ensure candidates are being accurately measured and understood. A consultant or coach well versed in the science of the assessments being used in the process will bring the illumination you need.
Recruiters are another smart decision, especially if the position you’re seeking to fill requires a specialized skill set. No matter the state of the job market at large, talented candidates will always be pursued by head hunters and rival recruiters. Build your own team to keep a competitive edge!
How to attract and retain the best talent to work for you?
Finding the best talent is one thing; keeping their attention is another. What makes your organization stand out from the competition? Why should an exceptional candidate invest their skills, time, and talent in your team?
Give them a good reason to do so! We can’t overstate the importance of developing an inviting and inclusive company culture as we discussed in Chapter 4. While offering a competitive salary and job perks to entice candidates is a smart idea, your strategy can’t end there. People want to work for a company that they can believe in, and they want to be invested in as individuals.
The goods news is that you can achieve both of these ideals through the use of assessments in your talent acquisition strategy and the day-to-day development of your team. Assessments are invaluable in the hiring process, but they are just as effective when creating employee development processes. By helping your candidates and team members understand themselves and the people around them better, you will create an environment that maximizes the success of each individual. That kind of environment is a magnet for finding top talent.
What are the most common problems recruiters face?
Recruiters don’t have an easy job, but their success is crucial for their organization’s overall advancement. Here are four of the most common problems in talent acquisition strategies, and our recruitment advice for employers.
Good Interview, Bad Fit
One of the biggest problems with an interview process is that it requires a very specific set of skills. Traditional interviews favor charismatic people, great speakers, and people who can effectively sell their skill set.
While those people skills come in handy while communicating in the workplace, it’s possible for a less than ideal candidate to charm their way into a position without the necessary skills to back it up. “Sometimes a candidate might appear great on the resume and in the interview, but turns out to be quite different once hired,” we’ve shared. “…The less that’s left to chance, the better.”
The Solution: Conduct Multiple Interviews With Different People
Candidates should be quizzed by a range of positions and personalities as part of an organization’s talent acquisition strategy. For example, a candidate could do a phone interview with the hiring manager as the first point of contact and then could have another call with their potential direct report. After that, a final, in-person interview with key members of their team can give you a chance to see how they’ll interact with their coworkers, especially under the pressure of a job interview.
Can’t Fairly Test Candidates the Same Way
Self-aware people know that they have a set of internal biases, no matter how hard they try to be neutral. It’s simply human nature, and hiring managers are no exception to this. People also tend to like those who are similar to them. This is how you get an office full of people with the same personality, which creates a vacuum of diverse thought.
You need an established process to test the behavior, skills, and communication style of every candidate, every time, in the same way. This allows you to reduce bias, get the same information in a consistent and easy-to-understand way.
The Solution: Utilize Assessment Results, Every Time
The beauty of using assessments as a key part of your hiring process is that they will give you measurements of the intangible and the language to share that understanding. The insights assessments reveal will help you spot both bad hires and diamonds in the rough you might not have noticed.
In Demand Candidates Have Several Offers at Once
Even in difficult job markets, the best candidates are going to be in high demand. Finding someone with both hard skills and soft skills who has the necessary experience to succeed in your open role isn’t easy. This is especially true in leadership recruitment.
The Solution: Focus on Creating an Excellent Company Culture
If your reputation is able to precede you when it comes to employee engagement, development, benefits, and company values, the top talent will seek you out. When you have a rich, established company culture, you become a destination, not just a pitstop.
Hard to Fill Roles
All of these problems only intensify when trying to fill a special skills position. If you’re looking for an individual with a unique set of skills, you’re going to have to look hard while your competitors do the same. In the meantime, that position goes unfilled for weeks or months.
The Solution: Work With a Recruiter
It’s crucial for businesses to know exactly when to bring in a professional to help them fill the gaps in skill and knowledge on their existing team. Searching for an ideal, unique candidate takes a lot of effort and time that your HR department and hiring manager might just not have. Outsource the search and enjoy the results.
What is the future of recruitment?
As the world of work continues to change, so will the employee acquisition process. Here are some of the changes to expect moving forward.
Soft Skills & Creativity Will Be More Important Than Ever
As automation rises, the work that remains for humans to do will revolve around creative solutions and interacting with others. Skills like developed emotional intelligence and excellent communication skills will be how candidates separate themselves in the interview process.
Recruiting Teams Will Get Less Traditional
Recruiters have to wear a lot of hats to run an effective employee acquisition process. In the future, those roles will actually be covered by multiple people: analytics, tech specialists, and even behavioral consultants and coaches.
Technology Will Lead the Way
Talent acquisition marketing will rise, as recruitment through social media becomes more and more normal. Recruiting software and the use of tools like assessments will continue to help organizations make smart, data-based decisions for building their teams.
Your organization can come out on top when it comes to finding the best talent. Prepare now with an established talent acquisition strategy that includes recruiters, assessments, and a big picture perspective.