Hiring a new employee can feel like a roll of the dice. A candidate can look great on paper and in an interview, but a recruiter or hiring manager will only really know if the candidate is a good fit for a position once they begin work. To gain a better understanding of job seekers’ interests, emotional intelligence, motivation, and personality traits, employers are turning to behavioral assessment tests for employment.

It is no surprise that poor hiring decisions can be tremendously costly to an organization. Hard costs surrounding a bad hire have been estimated at between sixteen and twenty percent for positions earning up to $50,000 annually and up to 213% for executive-level positions, according to a study by the Center for American Progress. Soft costs, while difficult to assess monetarily, can be even more significant. In addition to the hard costs, loss of morale and a loss of confidence in management’s decision-making abilities have far-reaching implications for an organization following a bad-hire experience.

It’s not just employers who see benefits in sought-after soft skills, job seekers view a mix of soft skills and hard skills as crucial for success in today’s economy, according to research from Pew, a U.S. based research organization.

Data-Driven Hiring Decisions, Yield Better Hires

Though it is tempting to rely on subjective data, like first impressions, to assess candidates’ personalities, it is far from a reliable means of measurement. Relying on objective data, allows hiring managers to make better hiring decisions. When properly created and administered, cognitive behavioral assessment tests predict the potential performance and behavior of candidates in the workplace.

In an article published in the American Psychologist Journal, researchers found that using well-developed personality measures for pre-employment screening are valid predictors of performance in virtually all occupations and increase organizational productivity.

Unlike a resume or face-to-face interview, behavioral assessments produce objective, quantifiable data that provides insight into important personality traits of applicants like cognition, motivation, conscientiousness, extraversion, leadership orientation, cooperation, efficiency, abstract thinking, creative thinking, and critical thinking.

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers studied the relationship between job performance with the personality measure conscientiousness. For example, the study found that in both tenured and newly hired sales employees, conscientiousness exhibited a consistent relationship with job performance.

Creating a behavioral assessment test for employment allows businesses to make decisions beyond the initial hiring decision objectively. Following the hire, the results can be used to determine the type of coaching a new-hire may respond best to, identify candidates who have the potential to grow into future leaders, and reduce employee turnover long term.

Create a Valuable and Legally Defensible Pre-Hire Assessment Process

The key to gaining objective data that will predict employee performance is creating assessments that are valid and reliable. 

  1. Perform a job analysis. Determine the outcomes expected from successful performance in the position in alignment with organizational goals. Then identify the behaviors that drive success in those outcomes and develop a model of core competencies surrounding those behaviors.
  2. Customize the assessment. Create a behavior-based assessment to assess candidates on the specific core competencies identified during the job analysis.
  3. Validate the assessment. Administer the assessment to existing employees and analyze the results to determine if high-performing employees score high on the assessment and if the opposite is true for low-performing employees.
  4. Develop a consistent hiring process. Every candidate for a certain type of job must clear the same checkpoints, in the same order. Candidates vying for the same position must take the same assessment at the same point in the hiring process. Maintaining this consistency ensures compliance with guidelines set by the be Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  5. Make informed hiring decisions. When behavioral assessments are combined with job-specific skills tests and structured interviews, it is possible to make informed hiring decisions.
  6. Perform a predictive study. Six to twelve months after hiring, analyze the results from individuals who took the behavioral assessment, and objectively review how these individuals are performing as compared to their test scores. 

Following these steps, with the assistance of eSkill’s expert staff, is critical to determining that the behavioral assessment for employment is valid and reliable. The behavioral assessment must meet this criterion to follow the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures of 1978. Employers must adhere to these guidelines when administering outline standards when administering any pre-employment or employment assessment. Maintaining EEOC compliance is straightforward with eSkill’s pre-employment assessments. eSkill is proud of its nearly 20-year EEOC compliance record, which is the best in the hiring assessment industry.

Administering compliant pre-employment assessments is possible with the guidance of eSkill’s experienced professionals. eSkill provides clients with a dedicated account manager who will assist your hiring team in developing a valuable pre-employment protocol that will yield better hires.

Interested in Pre-Employment Behavioral Assessments?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s behavioral assessments to find the best-qualified candidates quickly.

Search the assessment catalog. Request a demo today.

Adina Miron

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