Optimized hiring is getting a lot of coverage in business and news. Basically, this refers to the use of assessment in the hiring process. It’s a fundamental change from earlier HR practices wrought from the continuing refinement of assessments.

We’re proponents of optimization of hiring and beyond.

From hiring, to on-boarding, to leadership development, assessments are essential for individual coaching and as part of many learning engagements. Very high value processes like succession planning benefit from a variety of assessments, some with very specific objectives.

For hiring, science has done a good job honing assessment instruments to yield extremely accurate measurements of behavioral tendencies and choices. And today’s talent acquisition assessments comply with EEOC and OFCCP guidelines.

Still, one concern thrown up against assessments in the hiring process is the potential for job candidates to game the system and offer answers that will assure the job is won. These instruments are not infallible but they are difficult to cheat and if nothing else, they can serve as foils for the most easily gamed hiring exercise: the job interview. Where else does any candidate have more motivation and ease to fake responses than in a verbal interview across a desk?

A talent acquisition assessment not only goes deeper than the face-to-face interview, but it can provide powerful and scientifically sound indication of discrepancies in the “live performance” that the interview is. If in an interview a candidate describes himself as a people person who draws his energy from a bustling office of coworkers, a talent acquisition survey might reveal this not to be the case.

If you’re not currently using assessments for hiring, read up first. It’s good to use a critical eye in your decision process. Whitney Martin’s Harvard Business Review article, “The Problem With Using Personality Tests for Hiring” is one good jumping off place for your research.

The strongest personality assessments to use in a hiring context are ones that possess these attributes:

  • Measure stable traits that will not tend to change once the candidate has been on the job for some length of time.
  • Are normative in nature, which allows you to compare one candidate’s scores against another’s to determine which individual possess more (or less) of a particular trait.
  • Have a “candidness” (or “distortion” or “lie detector”) scale so you understand how likely it is that the results accurately portray the test-taker.
  • Have high reliability (including test-retest reliability) and have been shown to be valid predictors of job performance.

Jamesson Solutions can advise, as well. We are partners with TTI Success Insights, makers of the TriMetrix suite of assessments. But we’re also independent and certified to work with a variety of assessments. If you’re looking for solutions, we can offer some objective and no-obligation recommendations.

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