Employers have likely noticed that as years pass, more of their regular human resource processes are becoming automated. There are technologies that streamline recruiting, candidate communications, background screening, talent management and more. But despite all these steps toward automated hiring, some employers believe that interviewing and assessing candidates is still best done in person. After all, a computer can't tell if a job applicant is lying or has a bad attitude.
However, there are pre-employment assessments that are extremely beneficial for hiring managers and their companies, and some researchers argue that these tests are perhaps even more effective than in-person interviews. Here's what employers should know about using talent assessments as part of their smart hiring processes.
"66% of companies make a bad hiring decision each year."
The problem with old-fashioned interviewing
Some managers are steadfast in their belief that an old-fashioned interview – where both parties dress up in their best suits and have an in-person conversation – is the best way to figure out if a candidate is right for the job. While there are definitely benefits to this hiring strategy, it is certainly not foolproof, as humans come with innate biases that are hard to recognize and overcome.
For example, interviewers sometimes judge candidates subconsciously based on demographic or background factors that aren't essential to the job. The New York Times explained that many employers end up dismissing qualified candidates because they went to a certain school, dressed a particular way or simply gave off "bad vibes." On the other side of the coin, interviewers sometimes push forward less-than-qualified individuals because they have something in common.
"Similarity between the interviewer and interviewee – they're from the same region, went to the same school, wore the same shirt, ordered the same tea – is hugely influential, even though it's not predictive of how they perform down the road," Cade Massey, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, explained to The Times.
Decisions that are influenced by bias may be partially to blame for the country's high rate of bad hiring decisions – CareerBuilder found that 66 percent of U.S. companies bring on an ill-fitting candidate each year.
Talent assessments may help
One way that employers can overcome hiring biases is with pre-employment talent assessments. Unlike humans, computers have no preconceived notions about candidates and report objectively on data. However, many critics are skeptical about the accuracy of personality or skills tests.
Research has shown that multi-measure tests, such as assessments that include sections on cognitive ability, skills and personality, are the most helpful when it comes to predicting a candidate's job performance. The Harvard Business Review explained that multi-measure tests have proven to be most directly correlated with positive job performance. Other assessments that have proven to be beneficial include cognitive tests, integrity tests and reference checks.
The key to choosing a useful and unbiased pre-employment assessment is to pick a test that looks for unchanging personality traits and relevant skills. Further, the Harvard Business Review noted that the assessment should have some level of candidness, which will allow employers to evaluate whether a test-taker is being truthful in his or her answers.
Finding the right talent assessment
The question of accuracy and helpfulness of hiring assessments is a complicated question. The shortest answer is that they can be useful tools, but only if employers find the right test for their needs. Luckily, Global HR Research offers a wide variety of talent assessments that can be customized by industry, position or outcome. The tests can include sections on personality, integrity and even culture fit. Companies that want a unique assessment that's created just for their workforce can work with GHRR to build a custom test that suits all their needs.
Hiring is the most important thing you do. Trust it to Global HR Research. Find out more by calling 1-800-790-1205 or visiting the GHRR website today.