How to hire a top performer using an assessment tool

The traditional hiring process leaves a lot up to chance. You might sift through a stack of resumes trying to narrow down the people with the right experience and qualifications. You’ll then perform a round of interviews to gauge which candidate sounds and acts right for the role.

You might ask yourself, “does this person have the right skills to perform the job?.. the right credentials?.. enough experience?.. will they fit in with the workplace culture?” While some of these questions can be easily answered with a CV and interview, others are trickier. One question that is difficult to answer through the traditional hiring process is “will this person be a high performer and engaged with their work?”

Great managers know that higher employee engagement levels in the workplace translate to higher productivity and better company performance. So how can hiring managers improve the likelihood of hiring highly engaged top performers?

It all starts with thinking about job fit, rather than experience, qualifications, and even age and gender. Studies have shown that these factors are not statistical indicators of future top performance in a job, but that ‘fit’ is what counts if you want a top performer.

Job fit refers to how well a person is suited to their job role and the surrounding workplace culture. Whether or not a person ‘fits’ in a certain role depends on a few factors, for example their attitude, personality and enthusiasm for the work at hand. To find out which candidate is the right fit for the job and culture, hiring managers must check their biases at the door and use objective information to make their decision. This can be trickier than it sounds, but it can be done.

Assessment tools that allow you to develop a customised benchmark or model for the role you are hiring for bring objectivity into the hiring process. They validate data on existing performance, job tasks and results so that you hire individuals who are indisputably right for the role.

How does it work?

Hire someone who is objectively the right fit

Choosing the right person for a role can influence how long they stay in the job and how engaged they are with their work. According to studies of more than 650,000 people by Towers Watson, businesses can expect a 13.7% rise in net income with engaged employees. While this knowledge is fairly widespread with hiring managers, the wrong people still get hired for roles time and time again. Why? Hiring someone through the traditional interview process alone can be a bit of a guessing game. Someone might be highly proficient at talking their way through the interview process, but their skills at talking the talk mightn’t translate to walking the walk in the job. Validated benchmarkable assessments take the guesswork out of the hiring process. They evaluate information about a person that cannot be determined by a traditional job interview. Instead of solely relying on opinions or a hunch, the assessments we recommend provide you with tools which use objective data to determine whether your candidate is right for the role.

Use your top performers as a benchmark for new talent

When a top performer walks out the door, it often feels like you’re back at square one, scrambling to build your team from the ground up again. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Companies, teams and hiring managers have the ability to make the process of replacing top performers easier, while improving their hiring process each time.

The assessment tools we recommend can increase your success rate of identifying future top performers by 300%. These tools use information pertaining to your best talents’ abilities, personality traits, behaviours, and preferred learning styles. Using this information creates a benchmark for hiring new people who can successfully fill the shoes of your existing and past top performers.

Avoid hidden biases

It’s difficult to glean more than credentials and a few superficial personality traits during the traditional hiring process. Because of this, managers often need to rely on instinct when hiring someone new. Unfortunately a person’s instinct can be riddled with pre-existing biases towards certain types of people, whether it’s people from a certain race, gender or even people with similar interests to them.

As much as we’d like to say that this doesn’t happen, it’s more common than you might think. In an experiment by Harvard and Princeton, a blind hiring process increased the likelihood of a woman being hired by between 25% and 46%. This is bad news for company performance. Hiring according to hidden biases significantly narrows your options according to information that doesn’t necessarily pertain to candidates succeeding in the role. The range of assessment tools we recommend remove bias from the recruitment process so that you can choose candidates that will help drive team and company performance and answer the question you had when starting the hiring process - “will this person be a high performer in this role?” Which, after all, is what recruitment is all about!

About David Leahy

David Leahy is the Director of Directions Unlimited, a specialist consultancy providing people solutions of every shape and size – from JobFit assessment testing, behavioural interviews and outstanding managerial tools to executive one-to-one coaching, team and group coaching programs. David “gets” business having worked for more than 30 years with multinationals and SMEs. An accredited organisational coach, he possesses a broad coaching experience having coached at CEO and Senior Executive level in the USA, South America, Europe and Australia. 

www.directionsunlimited.com.au

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