Assessments and Hiring: Eliminating the Headache

If you’re a busy manager, finding that one reliable, successful candidate out of an ocean of applications can seem harder than picking a good stock sometimes. Crowd-sourcing and the immense popularity of online recruiting have made recruiting into one of management’s biggest headaches. The pressure on human resources managers, where the final decision usually rests, can be immense.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone, and you don’t have to waste your valuable time sifting through piles of resumes and cover letters. Assessment tools, applied properly, can separate the wheat from the chaff, narrowing your stack to a short list of qualified candidates and giving you valuable insight into the pool before you’ve scheduled a single interview. Developed by sociologists, psychologists, business professionals and, yes, hiring managers, these assessments all attempt to figure out why it’s so hard to find good help these days. The secret is in finding the right one for your needs.

Personality inventories, career profiles and skill assessments have all become popular tools for recruiters in recent years – each examining different aspects of a candidate’s qualifications and summarizing their conclusions in a different manner. The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Inventory) and DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness) tool are two examples of tests developed by psychological theorists that became powerful standardized recruiting tools in the hands of hiring managers. They allow managers to easily identify the characteristics that make success likely and those traits that may “red flag” a candidate, for better or for worse.

Face it – your time is worth good money. If your pipes break, you probably don’t try to save money by fixing them yourself – you call a plumber, because you don’t have the time or confidence to ensure that the work was done right; recruiting is no different. An assessment can give you, in minutes, information that might have taken you weeks or months to accumulate on your own. You can take supreme confidence in the results, knowing that the measurements used to assess your candidate are used to assess thousands, potentially millions of others, allowing you to benchmark your candidate against industry standards. What’s more, those results are used by test designers to continually refine and improve the assessment process.

Major companies in the U.S. already understand that an excessively large candidate pool lowers the bottom line and makes hiring more difficult. In fact, most retail chains now accept applications online only, requiring that each applicant complete a customized personality inventory along with their application.

Whether you’re filling hundreds of open positions or just one important seat, you’ll find assessment tools an indispensable part of the modern recruiting process. The time you’ll save makes these kinds of tools an attractive option, and the administrative costs are typically offset by the value of increased efficiency.

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