by David Barrett, Chief Commercial Officer of global assessment specialist cut-e.
We’ve all heard the argument that using psychometric assessments in your selection process will help you to avoid bad hires. It’s true that many people who’ll apply for positions at your organisation will not be wholly suitable for the job – and some will be a ‘poor fit’ for your business. But, actually, it’s quite rare for an employer to make a really dramatic hiring mistake. Even if your selection process is less than optimal, you’ll probably be able to spot the really bad candidates – and the really good ones. The problem is that you’ll also recruit many candidates who are in the middle. Assessment’s ultimate role is therefore to help you avoid recruiting an ‘average’ workforce.
Without objective assessment, your organisation risks three unpleasant consequences:
1. Mediocre performance. Average candidates will produce average work. Your organisation will survive but it will never thrive to its true potential, if you miss out on the really talented candidates. Assessments can lift the average ‘quality of your workforce’ by 10-20 percent. That may not sound much but it will have a significant impact on the performance of your business.
2. Cynicism. If people who are actually unsuited to the tasks required in a role manage to bluff their way into your organisation, they’ll never be fully engaged. Often, these individuals can become cynical and dismissive at work. As such, they can bring down others around them and kill any motivation in their team. If you’re lucky, these people will leave because the job was not what they expected it to be. If you’re unlucky, they’ll stay – and they’ll continue to destabilise the morale in your organisation until you terminate their contract.
3. Early attrition. The costs of early attrition go beyond lost skills and productivity – and even beyond the costs of recruiting and training a replacement. Attrition creates business disruption, as colleagues have to increase their workload until a replacement arrives. The morale of the remaining staff can deteriorate if people are frequently leaving. If you’re constantly changing staff, the quality of the customer experience that your organisation provides can suffer. Attrition can therefore adversely affect your employer brand and your profitability.
On the other hand, if you recruit the right people, they’ll be engaged and productive – and they’ll stay with you. Not only will your recruitment costs come down, your customers will become happier and your bottom line will improve.
To achieve this, you have to hire people who’ll be engaged by the values of your business – and who are suited to the role. This is where psychometric assessments really help, because they can identify these people. Good assessments will also improve the efficiency of your selection process. This means that candidates are less likely to drop out of it.
The challenge then is to make each person’s job interesting and fun. Every employee wants a sense of accomplishment and they want to feel that the time they’ve spent at work has been worthwhile. If you’re able to help your employees achieve these goals – and meet their expectations of work – you’ll retain them.
One way to ensure that job candidates join your organisation with realistic expectations of what their role will involve is to utilise a Realistic Job Preview. This is an interactive, online experience which highlights the demands of the job and your corporate culture. It enables potential applicants to make an informed choice about whether your organisation is right for them, before they apply. This helps you to fill your applicant pool with candidates who are well-matched to the role requirements and to your values. Studies show that candidates who have a better understanding of the job before they apply tend to stay longer.
So, yes, additional costs are involved when you utilise psychometric assessments and Realistic Job Previews in your recruitment. But these tools pay for themselves many times over, because you’ll recruit ‘better-than-average’ candidates who are better-suited to the role. These people are more likely to be engaged, more likely to perform better and more likely to stay longer.