Common mistakes to avoid when using assessments

“Nothing we do is more important than hiring people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies.”

This quote by Lawrence Bossidy emphasizes the fact that hiring is one of the single most important factors that determine success in an organization. It is no easy task.

Top performers in an organization add 40% – 67% more value than their peers. Having the technology to predict potential top performers and hire accordingly will ensure a steep growth curve for the company in all aspects.

Cognitive and emotional intelligence, integrity, conscientiousness, work ethic, and empathy are positive indicators of success in a role. However, these skills are intangible and cannot be taught through a crash course.

Assessing a candidate for these skills is difficult through traditional pre-hiring methods. In an effort to do so, many organizations make completely avoidable mistakes when using assessments to hire.

This blog covers seven such pitfalls while using assessments that hold back recruiters from finding their desired candidate

1. Not using the right assessment

One key does not open every lock. Similarly, a single assessment cannot be the solution to varied but related roles.

Before finalizing the assessment to be rolled out, consult with the test provider and get some points clarified. Look for answers to the following questions.

  • How do these assessments cater to the job in question?
  • Who else in the market is using these assessments, will the questions be similar?
  • How and why is the scaling system used in the assessments relevant for the job?
  • At a higher level or volume, how does the scoring system work?
  • Will there be a significant score difference when rolled out to different demographic groups? If that is the case, how can it be mitigated?

Make sure you get satisfactory answers to these questions before moving forward.

2. Not taking personality assessments into consideration

Standardized and valuable insights are much more reliable than a mere gut feeling. Data-driven recruitment invariably leads to better and more concrete hiring decisions. How candidates will behave at work is also an important factor to determine job performance and company fit.

A personality assessment achieves what a CV or a face-to-face interview often fails to measure. Characteristics such as sociability, self-confidence, creative thinking, and leadership orientation are put to the test through these assessments.

Traits such as openness, conscientiousness, and stability, when assessed, help the organization screen the candidates and focus on the ones that would be a potential fit for the company culture.

3. Ignoring the importance of assessing cognitive ability

If there were a priority list of job-performance predictors, an applicant’s cognitive ability would undoubtedly be on the top. Studies for over more than 100 years have shown that cognitive assessments are necessary regardless of job level, industry, and geographical location.

In this era of an ever-changing work environment, cognitive assessments reliably predict the agility of a potential candidate. It indicates how quickly a candidate can pick up new skills on the job, which is invariably more important than what they already know.

Missing out on including a cognitive test will only give your competitors that extra edge when it comes to futureproofing their business.

Read about the qualities to keep in mind while hiring entry-level candidates.

4. Missing out on the forest for the trees

Obsessing over small details can sometimes make us overlook the big picture at play. The reader might place undue importance on irrelevant things in the data-rich score reports of the candidate’s assessment.

A candidate might score low on a parameter, but the right question is, how important is that parameter in terms of the job requirement? Does the candidate make up for it in other areas?

Reading into the smaller details often hampers the accuracy. The overall assessment marks, where the score in each parameter is scaled to its relevance make much more sense in this regard.

5. Basing assumptions on a small sample space

When testing out the efficiency of the assessment, the size of the sample space is an important factor that should be taken into consideration. For the data to be statistically significant, a relevant sample size is required.

Test-buyers often take the test themselves to get a feel of it; or, they ask their peers to do the same. Besides the number of people taking the test being statistically insignificant, another factor also adds to mistaken assumptions about the assessment.

The buyers taking the test lack the motivation of a job-seeker, for whom the stakes are higher. Hence, the results are bound to be skewed.

6. Putting diversity in the backseat

Diversity and inclusivity have created quite a stir these days and for good reasons. Some have raised concerns about incorporating the practice in selection processes and assessments. They do not want to compromise the quality of the hire.

Diversity adds true value to the workforce. The probability of understanding the client’s needs and pitching in ideas to meet them is more with a diverse team. It provides a much-needed boost to innovation.

Contrary to popular belief, assessments are actually far more effective than other hiring tools such as interviews, background checks, work experience, and resume parsing when it comes to taking care of diversity.

7. Not thinking about the candidate

Don’t make the mistake of forgetting that the candidate’s experience while using your assessment matters in the long run. A positive and engaging experience, while simultaneously being thoughtful makes the candidate feel welcome. They will actually want to sit through the process.

Take note of the candidate drop-off rate. How many started the assessment and did not see it through to the end? What could be the reason? Maybe the candidate found it too exhaustive and boring, they did not think it was a relevant utilization of their time.

Using an out-of-the-box assessment that uses innovative questioning methods such as gamified assessments, and audio and video-based questions, among others, will amp up the candidate engagement level.

zapilio always puts the candidate first.