Avoiding Bad Hires with Employee Assessments

Avoiding Bad Hires with Employee Assessments

Posted by Aoife Gorey on the Profiles International blog on Tue, Jul 29, 2014

Have you ever made a bad hire? Most of us have. I was speaking to a previous boss of mine recently, and we were reminiscing about the time we worked together, our coworkers, our strategy, and what we would have done differently.

One of the first things she said to me was that she wished she had spent more time and effort on her hiring process. We remembered one particular individual that we both worked with; let’s call him John.

John had all the right credentials: an impressive resume, a charismatic smile, and enthusiasm to boot. He was hired for a director’s position, and my boss was excited to have such a promising candidate as part of our team.

Within two months, it was obvious that John wasn’t the right fit for the position. He was experienced in his field, but not suited to a leadership role. He was aggressive with employees, rude, and consistently slacked off around the office. He assumed that because of his new title, he didn’t have to do as much work as others. He inappropriately fired multiple employees without following our disciplinary procedures, and was just an all-round nightmare in the office.

My boss tried to work with him, help him be more effective, and train him on how to manage people… but alas, it was a waste of time. He wasn’t the right fit for the job. Needless to say, he was let go, caused a scene, and the company was stuck yet again severely needing a new director.

Poor hiring decisions have high costs. Despite the negative impact around the office- like the one John brought on- there are hiring and onboarding costs, and time wasted managing poor-performing employees. One of the most common reasons for bad hiring decisions is that managers fail to give proper attention to the employee selection process.

Assessments are a useful tool to ensure that you are giving the hiring process the time, objectivity, and analysis it needs. There are many different styles of assessments. When used in the right sequence, they can be extremely helpful in employee hiring. Here are five ways assessments can help you avoid bad hiring decisions. Employee assessments:

1. Help you determine job fit

Wouldn’t it be great if you could predict if a prospective candidate could do a job well? Wouldn’t it be better if you could evaluate if they will love a job and succeed in that role? Employee assessments help you do this. Based on behavioral traits, interests, and aptitude, they help you keep a narrow focus on the responsibilities of the job. In a nutshell, you evaluate your top performing employees and create a benchmark/performance model to evaluate your prospective candidates against.

2. Help you remain objective

John was a friend of a friend of the owner’s. Networking is important in today’s workforce, but far too many people get jobs because they are a friend or relative of an employee. When candidates are given priority due to their connections, hiring managers tend to be more lenient about making sure the candidate has the aptitude and skills necessary to do the job. Taking a pre-hire employee assessment benefits the company by avoiding a potentially unsuitable hire. It also keeps the candidate from accepting a job where he or she may not be successful.

3. Help you align talent and business needs

Just as every employee is different, so is every business. Some place more importance on an innovative workforce, while others care more about particular hard skills. Hiring managers need to know what skills contribute most to the success of their companies. Assessments can help managers eliminate candidates that do not have the critical skills the company needs to move forward.

4. Help you learn how to better manage your employees

One you have a pre-screening employee assessment in place, you should utilize a performance assessment. This will help you understand how to best motivate and manage employees with various personalities.

Bad hires happen all the time. Assessments can help you move candidates along the employee selection process based on skills and job fit, the two most important factors to employee success.

Don’t hire someone like John.

Learn more about how employee assessments can impact your business and your bottom-line.