Use Employee Assessments to Hire the Right Person For the Job

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Author Shari Roth
Date Published January 01, 2010

Using assessments to make good hiring decisions

Employee Assessments can be great tools to hire and select the best candidate for a job. Most companies when they go to hire someone require a candidate to complete a job application and go through an interview process. Then, a decision is made on which candidate is best for the job. Using employee assessments can enhance the effectiveness of any hiring and selection process because it adds a completely unbiased view of the individual.

The [US] Department of Labor recommends a battery of assessments so that you get a well rounded view of the person being considered for a job. Of course, while you want to use assessments for all positions, you want to have the assessment process match the value of the position. You would not want to invest the same for assessing a minimum wage worker as you would for a vice president. The main question is what do you want to assess?

The first thing you want to assess is the behavioral style of the person. Behavioral assessments tell you how a person will go about doing the job. There is a lot of behavioral information that can be valuable in selecting the right person for a job. For example, some people are extroverted some are introverted. If the job calls for a person to have a lot of contact with people, you want to have some one who has an extroverted behavioral style.

Have you ever gone into an office or store and the person that greeted you gave the impression that they did not like the work they do? It could be that this person's behavioral style is not a match for the job. It doesn't mean this person is a bad employee just a bad fit for the job. The person's behavior style may be more of a match to work in admin or another capacity that calls for less interaction with people.

In addition to behaviors, you also want to assess workplace motivators. Different people are motivated by different things. If you understand what motivates a person, you will know if the job is going to reward what motivation that person. Many companies think that they can motivate their employees by bonuses and other forms of monetary compensation. If a person is not motivated by money, the monetary incentive will have little impact on getting the desired results.

Lastly, you want to assess a person's cognitive capacities. A person's cognitive capacities tell you if they will do the job. The best way to explain cognitive capacity is to use an example when you where in school. In school there were some subjects that came easily for you and some subjects that were hard for you to master the material. The subjects that came easily did not require you to exert a lot of effort and energy because you saw and understood the material as if it came naturally for you. The subjects that were hard required more effort and energy and you probably took the minimum amount of those subjects to graduate. The same thing happens in the workplace. Those things that people see clearly and don't have to exert a lot of energy to master are the things they gravitate towards and those that require more energy and effort they shy away from. If you measure cognitive capacities you will know what comes more naturally for the person.

Using employee assessments is the best way to get an unbiased view of a potential new hire. Using assessments increases the probability of a match between the job and the person. When you have a good match, you reduce turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and maximize productivity.

Shari Roth is a managing partner of CAPITAL iDEA; a firm that provides customized talent management solutions that focus on getting the results your organization wants to achieve. Go to to get more information on Employee Assessments and download a free report on using assessments in hiring from the Department of Labor.

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Shari Roth is a managing partner of CAPITAL iDEA; a firm that provides customized talent management solutions that focus on getting the results your organization wants to achieve.

Re-printable with permission.