Employees are the key to driving results in any organization. From building revenue, producing the product or service, helping customers with problems, and everything in between, your people are the common denominator. Understanding what engages every member of a team will make it stronger and more productive. An individual’s personality type helps determine whether team members can communicate with each other effectively, work as a unified group, and achieve results.
That’s why hiring leaders need to look beyond skills. They should consider personality tendencies and cognitive aptitude through assessments administered by reliable organizations. By establishing this as a regular part of the hiring and development process, companies can reduce turnover, increase their teams' efficiency, and create an overall friendlier working environment.
The average voluntary turnover rate in the United States is 25%. Therefore, with each batch of new hires, around 25% of the employees won't stay at the firm for long. Considering how much companies usually spend on hiring and training processes, a high turnover rate can seriously impact a firm's bottom line.
Personality assessments minimize this likelihood by quickly eliminating individuals who are not a strong fit and, therefore, might burn out or leave once the novelty wears off. It also helps eliminate applicants who may have a tough time working with the existing team and might quit sooner due to different communication styles or different levels of independence.
Fitness to perform a job is more than just having the skills to do it. Any doctor can diagnose a patient and prescribe medication but not all of them can communicate and foster a strong, trusting relationship with a patient. Personality assessments help increase the likelihood of finding candidates with a personality that matches the unique demands of the job. If you are hiring a salesperson, you want someone who is naturally assertive versus naturally timid. A timid employee may take orders well but struggle to find, develop and close their own leads. Maybe your whole sales team is assertive but also strongly social; they are excellent relational sellers, but they struggle with being consultative. You might want to add an assertive, analytical seller to the group to help round out your team’s selling strengths. Knowing what you need helps you find the right complement to your existing staff.
Personality assessments can quickly eliminate job candidates from contention and narrow down your applications to only those that meet company requirements. While these assessments shouldn't be the sole reason for hiring a person, they're useful indicators of who should make the shortlist for a position. Our industry job models and Target reports produce real-time results so you can quickly move to the second phase of the hiring process. When used as a primary filter, personality assessments can reduce the number of people who need to be interviewed one-on-one.
The primary drawback of personality assessments is when they are used as the sole reason for hiring a person. Hiring is all about consistently selecting the best talent for the job, and that means collecting enough data to build a solid picture of each candidate. The only way to do that is by using a variety of tools that contribute to the whole picture. If all you’re doing is screening resumes followed by an interview, you’re missing out on a wealth of information from other tools. For example, imagine how much more you can glean by using a skills test, a background search, a phone screen, an in-person or video interview, a job simulation exercise, a personality assessment, and a cognitive assessment.
Assessments come in all forms and types. Omnia provides two important assessments for building strong teams: behavioral and cognitive. Here's how each one evaluates the fit of an applicant:
This assessment looks into the motivations and preferences of an applicant and how those factors will translate into the areas that affect their work performance. Each position requires a particular set of characteristics, and you want to find the candidates that embody those characteristics to perform their responsibilities effectively. The behavioral assessment ensures a match between the personality and the role you're trying to fill.
The Omnia Assessment measures four characteristics: assertiveness, communication, pace, and structure. A good personality assessment service provider should be able to deliver on all of this information and give you a comparison based on your own job benchmark or an industry-standard model. For example, what are the ideal characteristics of a marketing lead, according to experts? The person you hire is the one whose personality assessment results come closest to the industry standards of the role.
Cognitive assessments measure the ability of an applicant to think critically. They detail how a person uses logic and reason to solve problems typically encountered in their desired position. They'll tell you if the person can flourish in the workplace or if they'll buckle under pressure.
Cognitive assessments typically give you an idea of a person's abstract thinking skills and ability to adapt to new environments or situations. For example, can they understand new concepts or create solutions to new problems? It also shows you if the individual can learn from experience and utilize their new skills to better the firm.
Understanding how each individual plays into the overall workflow of a team is crucial if you want them to achieve common missions and visions. Our role here at The Omnia Group is to help streamline your hiring and development processes with the goal of building effective, high-functioning teams.
With decades of experience in the field, we take great pride in assisting business owners and companies in finding the right people for their open positions. We welcome any opportunity to talk about our service. Contact us today to optimize your workforce!
You probably have at least one employee like this: your go-to, “set it and forget it” person, the one you’d trust with just about anything. If they were a house, they’d be called “turnkey.” If they were an electronic device, they’d be “plug and play.” When talking about these people, our Omnia clients say, “I wish I could clone her!” or “I’d be all set if I had four more just like him.”
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you really think about it and start digging into the ethical ramifications), cloning hasn’t come that far yet. But, with some planning and preparation, you may be able to do the next best thing: Use your go-to people as benchmarks to help you hire and train new employees just like them.
As my colleague Wendy Sheaffer mentioned, “Benchmarking is finding out what works and using it as the model for making future things work.” This applies to figuring out how to hire for a new or empty position, as she mentioned, and it’s also an effective strategy for finding someone just like your one or two stellar employees.
What is it about these star performers that makes them so amazing? And how do you find someone else just as amazing? I don’t know your go-to employees personally, but I can make a pretty good guess at what makes them awesome.
Did I miss anything? Ask around and find out what makes your go-to employees so wonderful to their colleagues. The more information you have, the better you can clone benchmark them.
You’ll definitely need to dig a little deeper than your standard resume gathering and interview process for this. You may luck out using the traditional methods, like winning the lotto, but do you really want to risk it? Here are some simple ways of improving your odds.
Bonus: Ask your star employees if they can recommend someone. We’ve already established this person has great judgment, so they’re not likely to recommend a dud. Hey, maybe they have an identical twin? You can’t get much closer to a clone than that! Even better, ask them if they see promise in anyone already working in the company. They tend to build relationships around the organization and may be able to identify someone promising before you do.
Once you have your promising new star, consider having them spend some time shadowing your top performer. Let them learn from the best.
While you’re on this quest to replicate your top employees, don’t forget to show appreciation for the ones you already have! Trust me, people are out there looking for them, and you want to make sure they are happy and fulfilled right where they are – with you!
When you hire someone, you want to be sure that they'll do well in their new role. You invest too much time and money to end up with someone who can’t fulfill their responsibilities. But you can’t rely on first impressions or feelings of rapport to identify A-players. Instead, you should use several data points to support your hiring decisions. That’s where cognitive reports and behavioral assessments come in. We’ll share why and how you should use them in tandem when you evaluate candidates.
Before we go any further, let’s define cognitive ability. Cognitive ability is what your brain is capable of doing. It’s the taking in, organizing, processing, and applying of information. You see it in action when you:
While this ability gets partially determined by genetics and can be influenced by outside circumstances, like injury or illness, it can be developed and refined over time. You can improve your cognitive functioning by practicing self-care, reducing stress, and doing activities that exercise your brain, like reading or completing puzzles.
Cognitive ability plays a significant role in determining whether someone will succeed or fail in their position. If the capacity is there, the employee can complete their work effectively and make valuable contributions to the company. It’s also an indication of the candidate’s ability to learn, adapt, and grow. But, if the cognitive ability isn’t high, they may struggle, feel overwhelmed, and likely will not be as productive nor pick up new concepts quickly.
The good news? You can prevent that unfortunate scenario by incorporating a cognitive assessment into your hiring and promotions process for necessary roles.
A cognitive report will tell you if a potential candidate has the cognitive ability to fulfill the responsibilities of a given position. The report should describe their capacity to:
Once you have the assessment results, you can decide if the candidate can handle the position as advertised.
Behavioral assessments also take a deep dive into each candidate’s brain. But, instead of illustrating their aptitude, they reveal their tendencies, preferences, traits, and motivations. The assessment should answer whether a candidate:
With the results in hand, you can determine if their personality would be an asset or a hindrance to them in the target role.
You understandably want to make your hiring process as simple (and cost-conscious) as possible, so including multiple assessments might seem counter-intuitive. But, we invite you to think a little longer-term. Matching the right candidate with the right position will have major benefits, including reducing costs related to turnover, hiring, and unmotivated staff.
Putting the insight from these assessments together gives you a complete picture of the potential team member. You’ll know what their brain is capable of — and how they tend to work. That knowledge can help you make the right hiring decision the first time and manage the new hire effectively once they’re on board, saving you untold dollars, hours, and aggravation.
While you may be convinced that you should give these assessments to job candidates, you likely have no idea where to start. That’s where we come in. We’ve developed a cognitive assessment and a behavioral assessment that are proven to provide the information you need to make wise hiring and management decisions.
Our assessments are simple, and candidates can complete both of them in less than 30 minutes. You’ll receive instant results, so you don’t have to delay your hiring process. If you’d like additional insights, our analysts are available to provide verbal consultations as well.
Want to learn more? Contact us today!
Your hiring process is the gatekeeper for your organization. It lets in top talent and blocks out less-than-ideal candidates. But, you must have the right components in place for it to work properly. Scientific and objective measures like cognitive and behavioral assessments can strengthen your hiring process so that only the best-suited professionals make it into your organization.
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It’s summertime, finally! Long days, warm nights, the beach beckons. Mostly I’m eager for a break from the daily grind of packing lunches, checking homework and hounding my son every night to get ready for bed. It’s the little things. In major news, my son is heading off to Boy Scout camp next week. It’s his first time away from home starting with a ten-hour bus ride sans electronics. Bonus – my husband is chaperoning. That’s right, one week all to myself. My brother-in-law asked, “What are you going to do?” to which I replied, “Whatever I want!”
I’m excited for all the kids attending this or any other camp this summer. I have wistful images of campers canoeing, hiking, playing tug of war, sitting around the campfire telling ghost stories and, I hope, laughing often, especially after a year that was stressful for all of us, young and old. They’ll be totally unplugged (how wonderful) while getting dirty, breathing fresh air, meeting new people and learning new skills in an effort to earn various merit badges to affix proudly to their green sashes. Which got us thinking it would be fun to earn some grown-up merit badges this summer in (drum roll please) employee selection and development. I know I lost you when I dared to write fun and employee selection and development in the same sentence. Sure, it’s mostly figurative and might not include hearty belly laughs, unless you get a special kick out of reading resumes and conducting phone screens. Camp Omnia is just our little way of paying homage to summer rituals while we continue adulting. That’s why in today’s blog, as part of our Camp Omnia series, we’re going to work on our Selection Merit Badge.
We all likely dread the hiring process. It can be tedious and time consuming, plus there is a lot riding on making the right hire. Making even one hiring mistake can haunt us for months (or longer) and cost us a lot (money, time, the will to face our team) … maybe that last part was a bit dramatic. Or was it? The cost of a bad hire can be anywhere from $11K to $24K depending on the size of the organization, and those are just the hard costs. Hiring mistakes can hurt morale and productivity. For example, 39% of employees in one survey reported an increase in stress after working with a bad hire. To which I say, “only 39%?” I suspect 61% of respondents misunderstood the question.
That’s why using every tool and piece of data at your disposal is so important. It reduces the chance of making a bad hire. I’d like to say it removes the chance of making a bad hire entirely, but that wouldn’t be true. Human behavior is a tricky business and most things in life are not foolproof, as much as we wish they were. Plus, things can change even with good hires, and sometimes those things are out of our control, like an employee deciding to pursue a whole new career or perhaps one who decides to move to be closer to family (or a beach). But the more tools you use and the more data you collect, the more your odds improve. You can never have too much information when deciding on who to hire. To that end, let’s talk about how to improve your selection odds dramatically by using three simple tactics with 3 bonus tools to help you along the way. Get your selection process down pat to earn that badge (sash optional).
Tactic 1 – Create a consistent hiring process and use it.
There are no points just for getting it down on paper, which is like rowing a canoe to the middle of the lake and then throwing the oars overboard. You have to commit to taking the steps each and every time you hire.
Tool 1 – Our hiring process and resume checklist tools are two helpful resources and a great place to start if you are building or revamping your system.
Tactic 2 – Have your interview questions ready for every stage of the interview process and practice how you will respond if you need to dig for more information.
It’s a good idea to have a consistent set of questions for the phone screen and first interviews, your follow-up interviews with final candidates can be customized to uncover whatever it is you still want to know more about. Your phone screen and first interview questions should vary somewhat by job, but if you have them categorized and ready to go, it will keep you from fumbling through the interview and give you a clearer lens for evaluating candidates because you can see how they all responded to the same questions.
Tool 2 – Click to download our guide to phone screens and our behavioral Interview questions; that’s right, two tools for the price of one (free). No that doesn’t work. I’m bad at math.
Tactic 3 – Use the Omnia Behavioral and Cognitive Assessments to help make more informed hiring decisions. If you are already using these assessments, don’t forget to take advantage of our unlimited client support. Our client advisors are always ready to review assessment results with you.
The Omnia Assessment takes a lot of the guesswork out of hiring by providing insight into candidates’ natural traits and how those traits align to the job. It’s a simple, accurate assessment that gives you data you can use before investing time, energy and money into each new hire. Best of all, you can use the data throughout the employee’s lifecycle for management, motivation, team building, communication, career pathing and engagement. Look at that, six more badges!
Last but certainly not least, the Omnia Cognitive Assessment is a powerful predictor of work performance by providing a reliable measure of a candidate’s general mental ability. Individuals with high cognitive aptitude are more likely to think abstractly, learn from experience and apply reason to a variety of situations in order to make effective decisions.
Tool 3 – Don’t just take our word for it. Listen to what other Omnia clients have to say:
"Omnia profiles and advisor consultation have been the most valuable resource I’ve used to guide my clients through hiring, reorganization, talent development, and career decisions." ~ Emily Huling, CIC, CMC, CSP Selling Strategies, Inc.
“The Omnia Assessments are so comprehensive in helping you to find the right person for your open position. We experienced a lot of turnover before we tried out the Omnia assessments and were amazed with how detailed they are about each person. The site is easy to use, and they are very helpful with creating a profile for your open position. It’s amazing how accurate the assessments are.
Our turnover has decreased significantly after we started using these assessments for our hiring needs. I would definitely recommend these to any company who wants to hire the right person the first time." ~ ~ Dana Dasch USPTA
Congratulations, you’ve earned your selection merit badge and unlimited bragging rights! Break out the marshmallows, have some smores and don’t adult for the rest of the day.
Welcome to March! It seems like a great time to talk about luck. You know, because of St. Patrick’s Day. And who doesn’t love St. Patrick’s Day? Some cities dye entire rivers green just for fun. Not to mention the parades (well, maybe not this year), green beer, leprechauns, shamrocks, and pots of gold at the end of rainbows. Symbols of luck and prosperity. We all want a little luck on our side.
This March also signifies a full year since our world took a drastic and unexpected left turn. Collectively our luck ran out. We embarked on a year that was startlingly weird, trying and even scary. There were ups, there were downs (there still are), there were lessons learned for better or worse. And here we are, again, continuing to drive our businesses forward despite the obstacles. Like many businesses, you may be ready to hire again, or you are in a growth cycle and ready to hire more. Regardless of the reason, you know that hiring is important and not something that should be left to chance. Of course, knowing something intellectually and executing on that reality in the harsh daily grind of everything else you have to do are two very different things. That’s why it can be all too easy to hire based on gut and a little luck. But in the long run, that can be a costly mistake.
Hiring is a big deal. People propel your business, so selecting the best talent for your organization matters to the bottom line. Getting it wrong costs not only money, but also time, frustration, and a little bit of your sanity. And really, we can’t afford to have that chipped away anymore after 2020!
Getting it right isn’t always easy though, even when it goes perfectly. And beyond the hiring phase, there’s onboarding, training, a natural but often unproductive learning curve during the first 90 days, and a need to draw on existing staff to make it all happen and ultimately retain that new hire. With that much at stake, why rely on luck? Luck is great when you have it, but as any gambler knows, luck rarely lasts, and it’s never consistent.
Therefore, make your selection successful by relying on process, planning, preparation and as much data as you can get your hands on to make effective hiring decisions. The planning and preparation are the tedious parts, the parts no one likes. It’s like the sanding, filling of holes and taping off of windows, baseboards and doors before painting your room shamrock green. It’s time-consuming and laborious but gives you a top-notch job. If you skip those steps to take a chance, the paint job looks sloppy and starts to peel. Same for hiring, skip the prep, and you risk hiring someone who doesn’t last.
To get you started, here’s Omnia’s tried and true 10-step hiring process for increasing your odds of selecting top talent. I realize that statement still suggests a bit of luck is involved, but that’s only because of unexpected left turns.
Step 1. Assess the position requirements. If it is an existing position, has anything changed since the last time it was filled? Maybe the position is remote now and new technical skills are required, or maybe some duties have been removed and new responsibilities added. If it’s a new position, taking the time to write a job description will help you define your needs, so you know what to look for as you screen resumes and conduct interviews.
Step 2. Make a list of what you have to offer. For example, things like competitive pay, great benefits, an inclusive culture, an awesome coffee bar, remote work, and career development opportunities. You can use this list, along with your new or newly updated position description, to help craft a great job post. And if you’d rather not, Omnia can take that off your shoulders. We write job ads for just $29.
Step 3. Recruit. Set up your recruiting channels (job boards, employee referrals, recruiters, job fairs). Always use your company name and the position title.
Step 4. Screen resumes. Have a checklist you can use for all candidates.
Step 5. Conduct phone screens. This is especially helpful if you are hiring for a job that requires good phone skills and speaking voice. It is also a time-saver when screening candidates.
Step 6. Assess fit. This is where Omnia shines and provides you with extra data points and valuable insights for making more quantifiable hiring decisions. Administer The Omnia Assessment, an employee personality assessment, before the first interview so that candidate responses are not clouded by too much information about the job and your expectations. There is never a charge to take the assessment, only for any reports you order. You learn a potential employee’s tendencies and preferences as they relate to the job. You can also assess cognitive ability for employment at step 6 or wait until the first in-person interview.
Step 7. Interview. Omnia recommends at least two interviews, and at least two people conducting each interview. The first interview is a great time to administer job-relevant skills tests and the Omnia Cognitive Assessment, though these can also be done online if your process is virtual. Using two interviewers is a great way to compare notes and examine different perspectives as the field narrows. Your second interview might include having the candidate observe the job, if possible. You might also consider a job simulation. For example, if the candidate will be presenting to a group, have them put together a presentation for a panel of interviewers.
Step 8. Check references and background. Avoid negligent hiring by conducting the appropriate background checks of your final candidate.
Step 9. Make the offer. Make a personal phone call to offer the position. Once the offer is accepted, send a follow-up letter that outlines important information such as start date, salary, benefits, and work hours.
Step 10. Notify. Notify the other candidates and thank them for their time and interest. This courtesy goes a long way in maintaining a positive image of your company.
Of course, this is a guide that can be modified to fit your specific needs. You’ll likely adjust some steps for various positions based on timing and resources and the position itself, but the key is consistency throughout every hiring cycle. For example, if you are hiring a temporary receptionist while your permanent person is on unexpected leave, you may not have the time to conduct two in-person interviews. If you are hiring a top executive, you might do more than two in-person interviews including a large panel and a board presentation. The key is to make sure the process is the same for every candidate within that position hiring cycle, though not all candidates will make it through all the steps since narrowing the field is the goal.
The hiring process is the first impression your organization makes and shows others you are serious about getting things right from the start. In the sage words of Roman philosopher, Seneca, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Top talent is the opportunity you are searching for; be ready when they show up.
People likely feared it after watching movies about it - but deep down, never imagined it would truly happen. Even when it started to happen, a lot of people were saying “not us” or “not here.” Boy, were we wrong! COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, and the world, as we knew it changed.
Business leaders had to adapt quickly. Teams that had never worked remotely were suddenly quarantined at home and forced to figure it out independently. Employees looked to their leaders for guidance in this unprecedented time; many feared they’d lose their jobs, and for many, that fear also became a reality. Over six months, more than 60 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance — that's more than the number of claims filed during the 18-month Great Recession. (Business Insider October 8, 2020)
Difficult and painful as it has been, tough times make us grow and learn. Here are some of the biggest lessons leaders have learned through the pandemic:
Many leaders dismissed the idea that remote work would be sustainable. They weren’t convinced that people could get as much done at home as they would in the office. They knew that if their employees went remote, they wouldn’t be able to micromanage them the way they would in the office.
A lot of leaders had to give up that control, in a sense, when COVID struck. Happily, most leaders found their employees stepped up and worked beautifully at home when push came to shove. This had a lot to do with employees being less stressed. They didn’t have to spend time commuting, and they could be close to their loved ones. Leaders were also pleasantly surprised to discover that they could effectively manage a remote workforce.
It’s great news that this new way of working is working because for many, we aren’t going back to our former office environment anytime soon – possibly never. (NYTimes.com October 13, 2020)
Leaders have also learned that transparent communication and emotional intelligence are more important than ever. When you don’t have your team working right in front of you, it’s critical to be more open about what is going on. This includes updating the team on company numbers so that they truly understand how things are going within the business.
Additionally, during meetings and one-on-one coaching, it’s now clear that asking how an employee is doing is truly important -- not just a formality. Leaders don’t need specific details, but if their employees have a hard time, they need to be aware. That way, they can figure out a way to help. This protects the team’s productivity and makes the employee feel cared about, important, and heard. As a result, that employee will be more engaged and loyal in the future.
While work at home has offered more flexibility – studies find that this pandemic is wreaking havoc on stress levels caused by concern for our families, managing classwork while our children learn online at home, and we juggle competing schedules with our new home office mates. While we’re all doing all of this juggling, we’re also working longer days. (Harvard Business School September 14, 2020)
Checking in regularly with your employees and making sure they are “OK” goes a long way. Empathizing with your remote worker’s unique circumstances is more important than ever. Help your employees by focusing on output rather than the number of hours worked and coaching and recognizing work quality rather than the time taken.
Take time to laugh over our humanness and celebrate our imperfections. Since everyone is at home, leaders and team members alike learn about each other’s lives outside of work. Sometimes, video calls can result in embarrassing or awkward moments. Anyone who has had something go “wrong” on a Zoom video call can relate. Babies cry, dogs bark, and cats will walk right in front of the camera. While folks may blush for a moment, it’s not a catastrophic event. Now, most people just ignore these minor distractions. We’re all human, and we’re all giving each other some grace.
In the past, some companies would roll out new technology slowly. The process would include extensive beta testing and troubleshooting. Those times are gone. Now, leaders need to take quick and decisive action.
Any company that didn’t have chat software needed to make a swift decision, implementing one as soon as their employees went remote. Businesses without cloud storage had to make that change quickly as well. There wasn’t time to make sure it was perfect. Leaders now realize that this is ok. Done is better than perfect (if there’s such a thing, anyway). The rapid changes also forced “technologically shy” employees to just jump in and not be coddled, which is a good thing for their growth and development.
In fact, a recent McKinsey study asked executives how long they expected it would have taken their companies pre-pandemic to digitize 12 different activities and how long it actually took them once the coronavirus hit. When it came to remote working, companies moved 43 times more quickly than executives thought possible. Technology and collaboration tools are a positive addition to our work cultures.
The choice to go remote was a tough decision, but it had to be made quickly. There wasn’t a lot of time to “workshop” the idea. Companies needed to keep their employees safe, and making business operations virtual was the best way to do it in most situations. There was no time for leaders to second guess themselves.
All changes had to be made quickly -- even though not everyone was on board with every single decision. However, if changes are made with honesty and compassion, they will be better received, despite being difficult to hear and deal with.
“Times, they are a-changin’,” used just to be something that was said, but it was never as true as it is now! Leaders must adapt or be left behind. This has been a learning opportunity for us all. We have learned how we can still work together even though we are apart. We can still be close despite the distance. Leaders have learned that teamwork, even when done remotely, still makes the dream work! There will continue to be more to learn as we figure out our “new normal.”
You can do many things as a leader to support your business needs and your employees during this unprecedented time.
Hiring, just like everything else, has changed. Let The Omnia Group help your organization hire the best talent to work remotely, lead a team through Zoom calls, and keep morale high! Our behavioral and cognitive assessments are a great way to discover the top candidates for each job opening you have. We also offer virtual workshops on hot topics in hiring and employee development that you can watch anytime! Contact us today!
Every decision made after March 11, 2020, dictated our new reality going forward. After a while, it became clear that nothing will go back 100% to the way it was. Things have been irreparably changed. From now on, we all must adapt. Have you learned anything from COVID-19 about leading a team that wasn’t mentioned here?