The most successful organizations periodically audit and amend their business procedures for both compliance and effectiveness. By doing so, firms continuously improve their operations and retain a competitive edge. However, these audits often overlook one critical area: the interview and hiring process.
You might be thinking that your company’s interview and hiring process is perfectly fine -- that if it’s not broke, why fix it? However, best practices have changed over the years. Since your employees are the lifeblood of your organization, it’s a good idea to review what your hiring teams are doing -- and make any needed adjustments.
Let’s start by exploring the potential pitfalls of the traditional interview.
Interviews are a crucial component of the hiring process. However, if they’re not conducted strategically, they’re little more than a rehash of the candidate’s resume, with a few tired, ineffective questions peppered in. Questions like “what’s your greatest strength?” or “what’s your greatest weakness?” result in an answer that the candidate thinks you want to hear, yielding no useful insight into their projected performance.
Research shows that the best interview questions reveal how a prospective hire would handle a given situation based on how they’ve approached similar scenarios in the past. Implementing the behavioral interviewing technique, you ask the interviewee to recount specific stories from their work experience. Then, what they say reveals a lot about their personality and soft skills.
Some examples of behavioral-based interview questions include:
To compare candidates effectively and fairly, you must put all of them through an identical interview and hiring process. That means interviewers need to ask each person the same questions in the initial interview and score their responses according to a predetermined standard. A scoring rubric can help interviewers provide a consistent and fair interview experience for all job candidates.
Further reading: Need a little help refining your interview process? Check out our Resources Page for interview guides, interview question ideas, and more.
Depending on your firm’s procedures, your interview process may be long and tedious, requiring extensive candidate research and interaction. So, even though hiring the right people is a worthwhile pursuit, it can be draining. And, when you’re fatigued, you’re not an effective interviewer. You may rush through interviews, fail to process what candidates tell you, and make hasty hiring decisions -- a disservice to the candidates and your company.
You’re biased. We all are. Your personal experience and upbringing have cultivated long-standing beliefs about people. Unfortunately, your biases could cause you to hire -- or decline -- a candidate based on a hunch. The key is recognizing this fact and actively nipping those biases in the bud when they creep in.
So, how do you reduce fatigue, mitigate bias, and truly know your candidates so you can make informed, fair hiring decisions? That’s where a behavioral assessment comes in. The assessment takes an inventory of each candidate’s traits, compares it to your current high performers' benchmark data, and translates the findings into useful insight about the candidate’s predicted performance. If administered at the beginning of the hiring process, a behavioral assessment can help you:
Omnia offers an easy-to-implement behavioral assessment so you can get started right away. Results are instant, digestible, and actionable. If you want even more insight, our team can provide you with an in-depth analysis of your assessment data. Remember: we’re here to help you improve your hiring and interview process so that your company continues to thrive!
If you haven’t looked at your hiring or interview process in a while, chances are it could use some help. When implemented together, behavioral interviewing techniques and behavioral assessments provide you with more reliable and valid information than the standard interview. And, behavioral assessments reduce interviewer bias and fatigue. That means your hiring and interview process is more efficient, fairer, and results in better quality hire for your organization. Talk about a win-win-win!
As a hiring manager, you’ve probably seen it all… the no-shows, the ones who walk in late as if they are on time (no explanation, no apology), the ones who can’t answer a single question thoroughly, to the ones who spend a very, very long time answering your first question.
I once started an interview with my standard icebreaker – so tell me a little about yourself – and the candidate deep dove into his professional history from his first job at the DQ to every company thereafter. It was the director’s cut of his resume and lasted a full 40 minutes, the highlights punctuated by him rapping his knuckles loudly on the table. I’d never been bored and startled at the same time before. But you know the saying, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before one turns into your next A-player or something like that.
Some candidates are super helpful and tell you all you need to know with honesty to make a decision. I recently had someone tell me he’d always answer the phone at the end of the day unless it were a Friday before a three-day weekend, because why risk it. Who says that?! Of course, it did make my job easier. Here are 9 more tips your interview is going nowhere.
But some candidates are more … creative. Take these scenarios, for example.
"I work through problems collaboratively," which you later discover means the candidate will be spending lots of time discussing weekend plans in the break room.
"I build consensus through multiple organizational levels," and that turns out to be "I plan to stop in everyone’s office at least once a day to discuss Game of Thrones and how much I miss it."
"I have high customer satisfaction across many industries," which ends up being a nice way of saying, "I have yet to find what I’m good at, so I change jobs… A LOT."
And finally, you discover that the candidate’s eloquent discussion of their thoughtful due diligence and contemplative attitude means they will sit and ponder things like;
“Why do we call them cupcakes and not babycakes?”
Interviewing is one way we get to know candidates so we can decide if they are the right fit for the job and our work culture. But a couple of hour-long meetings aren’t really enough time to peel back the layers and see the true person. As we all know, it’s easy to spin negatives into positives on a resume and even in person. Still, interviews are an essential selection tool and should represent about 30% of your overall hiring decision. But what about that other 70%?
Good question. That boils down to several other selection tools.
First, you examine the candidate’s work experience and skills, along with the potential for learning and growing in the job and organization. Some of that is done in the interview, but we also suggest testing for those hard skills that you require in the job. For example, if you are hiring an accountant, you might want to test some basic accounting tasks to be sure the candidate knows the difference between a debit and a credit. You might also consider a cognitive assessment – Omnia has a great one – to determine general mental aptitude.
Do they have the cognitive wherewithal to work through problems and take logical action? All of that should make up another 25% of your overall decision.
You might look at:
Employment personality testing is a great way to complement the interview process. First, because it really does compliment the process; it doesn’t replace it. You want the icing and the cake. I’m all about getting my hands on as much data and insight as possible when hiring. When you’re dealing with people and human behavior, it’s complex, so the more you know, the better off you’ll be.
The Omnia assessment provides data insight into your candidate's innate behaviors, which you can use to determine the fit and future potential. For example, if you are hiring a salesperson, you want to make sure your candidate has the best innate talent for the job. Omnia’s pre-employment personality test can tell you the level of assertiveness your sales candidate has. A high level of assertiveness is the key behavioral trait found in most successful salespeople. Highly assertive people have the drive and competitive spirit of pushing past obstacles and closing deals repeatedly.
If you hire someone with a high level of caution, they might “go after” only the low-hanging fruit or take orders rather than make them. There is also a higher than average chance the employee will burn out quickly. It takes a lot of energy to work against your natural “grain.” Knowing in advance if your candidates have the basic competitiveness for sales is the first step towards hiring the best candidate.
Omnia’s personality assessment measures four behaviors – assertiveness, communication/thinking style, pace, and need for structure. Before the hire, you'll know if your candidate has the natural analytical aptitude to work as your bookkeeper or the strong attention to detail you want for your order entry CSR. Looking for a bold leader who can brush off criticism and make decisions with limited information? The Omnia assessment can give you that insight. And best of all, you can use this data for employee development throughout the employee’s entire professional journey within your organization. A behavioral assessment can be used for employee engagement, motivation, and workforce optimization.
Of course, there’s a catch. There’s always a catch. The candidate must be willing to use those innate talents for good (and not ignore that last phone call the Friday before a long weekend), which speaks to work ethic and integrity. The right candidate has all the right ingredients to be successful. By using a personality assessment, a cognitive aptitude test, skills tests, and a well-thought-out interview, you’ll have all the pieces you need to make the best decisions for your team, department, and company.
Using a variety of tools to help make your next hiring decision, you increase your hiring odds and zero in more easily on the best candidate. When deciding who you want to work with you, availing yourself of as many tools and as much information as possible is the best way to hire successfully.
As a company leader, you feel confident in your ability to hire and manage talent. After all, you’ve been interviewing candidates and delegating tasks for years, building solid, effective teams. Sure, you’ve had to endure a few inevitable hiccups. Statistically, some employees just don’t work out and some initiatives are bound to fail.
So, when you were approached about incorporating employee personality testing into your company’s talent management program, you scoffed. You’ve always been skeptical of those newfangled approaches to dealing with people.
But there are several reasons why you shouldn’t be. Using a personality test for employment decisions can really help you:
The hiring process often focuses on the more technical aspects of a job opening such as experience and know-how. While these are certainly important, it’s critical for your new hire to have the right innate traits for the position – and for meshing with the team. You can teach technical skills to the right candidate, but you can’t teach innate behaviors.
For example, a sales candidate may be able to articulate the correct steps to close a deal in an interview, but if they’re not assertive enough, goal-oriented, or motivated by competition, their actual performance will likely fall flat. In addition, if your organization has a laid back atmosphere, but your candidate thrives in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, they probably won’t be happy there. Knowing what makes a person really tick will allow you to hire the very best fit – and say ‘no thank you’ to those who aren’t.
It’s common sense -- delegating the right task to the right person is going to yield the best results. But unless you’ve managed someone for years, it can be tough to do this effectively. Knowing how an employee works best ahead of time will enable you to put them in a position to succeed right from the start.
For example, an employee with perfectionist tendencies is likely doomed to fail at a task that requires quick decision making with limited information. But, if you ask the same person to carefully research three options and prepare a detailed recommendation for the best one, you’ll probably be pleased with the results. Further, your best multitasker will love working on a variety of things at a brisk pace but would be bored stiff having to sift through a single data set all day. Leveraging this information will improve the efficiency and quality of your team’s output.
While encouraging improvement in areas of opportunity can help an employee grow, studies show that the best performance arises from capitalizing on strengths. These strengths are driven by a person’s natural disposition and are very much ingrained. As a leader, your employee development efforts should be focused on building upon these inherent capabilities.
For example, your assertive, decisive employee is poised to do well in a leadership development program. On the other hand, your cautious, methodical team member is likely better suited to take on increasingly important, behind-the-scenes tasks, rather than manage a group of employees. Having a clear view of each employee’s strengths will facilitate development that benefits both of them and the company as a whole.
Your team members contribute to the success of the organization, so you understandably want to acknowledge a job well done. However, not all people like to be recognized or rewarded in the same way. Understanding each employee’s personality will enable you to provide meaningful praise and feedback.
For example, your analytical employee probably isn’t interested in emotional public praise (and they may actually dislike it). Instead, offer your sincere thanks in a private setting. On the other hand, your more social team member would likely enjoy a shout-out at your next team meeting. Recognizing your people in their preferred way shows them respect – and increases the likelihood of continued positive performance.
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As you can see, employee personality testing is a tool to help you hire, manage, develop, and reward staff more effectively. It yields the insight that improves the employee-company relationship at every stage which leads to greater productivity, higher morale, and lower turnover. These positive outcomes will also improve the company’s bottom line, making the time and money investment of personality testing worthwhile.
If you’re intrigued about employee personality testing, Omnia can provide more detail into how it works and what it can do for your company. And, if you decide to give it a try, Omnia will administer their proven assessment to your job candidates or employees, distilling the results into actionable information you can use right away. Employee personality testing is your key to making the right hiring decisions, getting the most out of your employees, and building teams to help your organization thrive.
Hiring any new employee is stressful, time-consuming, and, sometimes, exhausting. Regardless of the level of research that goes into finding a particular person, there are always many unknowns about their successes and shortcomings before they report to work on their first day. Every hiring manager or even the HR department has made hiring mistakes. Reducing hiring issues is the name of the game now. To further narrow down an applicant pool, consider exploring the world of employee personality testing. Get to know the basics of this tool so that the next hire will be a success.
Every person who joins a company is contributing to its success or failure. Some people are largely optimistic, whereas others work with a sense of skepticism each day. Personality tests give you insight into a person's inherent motivations and work preferences. These traits are essentially seen every day on the job.
These personality tests go deep; they don't reveal temporary feelings or emotions. Everyone has a bad day. The information that you need is the personality traits that will reflect on the company once the new hire steps aboard.
The personality traits that are explored in The Omnia Assessment include:
Being highly assertive means that an applicant can drive results through others; great for sales and leadership positions. Falling low in assertiveness (high in caution/helpfulness) is great for customer service.
The structure involves the level of organization, compliance, and attention to detail in a person's day. Some people focus on the big picture while others are meticulous with procedures and details.
Gregariousness is a measurement of a person's outgoing personality. Some people are more social than others, for example.
Pace refers to a person's tendency to work urgently or methodically.
Judgment focuses on a person's ability to think through the consequences of their actions and decisions.
Your job opening attracts a lot of potential hires. In fact, you might have more than one position to fill. A personality test for employment helps you narrow down those selections.
Consider a person who is cautious, detailed, and analytical on the test. These quiet individuals may not be right for the sales position, but your data-analysis department can use a focused person.
Finding the right match within your company saves time and effort for HR, the manager, and even the new hire. Your new employee will be much happier in a position that draws on his or her strengths rather than skills that don't match the personality.
Remember that a single test can't reveal everything about a person. It's a tool to use alongside other methods. Continue to interview individuals according to a consistent process, but use the tests to narrow down the applicant pool.
It's still a good idea to use your gut instinct with applicants as you get down to the last few people. Take a look at the tests, and observe the personality traits yourself. At the end of the day, it's you and the entire staff who must welcome the person into the corporate culture.
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Advertising, interviewing, and researching potential candidates for your company’s positions are expensive. It becomes an even larger expense when a new hire ends up being terminated during the probationary period. You're back to square one.
Is your current staff in a rut? Where is the motivation? Every company goes through its ups and downs. Finding the answers to these questions can be found through employee personality testing. Some of the insights that you gain may include details such as:
Once you reveal the needs and preferences of each of your employees, changes and improvements are easier to make than ever before.
An assessment test for employment reduces costs during the hiring process and beyond because you have a stronger chance of hiring right the first time. You'll select the perfect candidate for the position and for your culture.
There are a lot of tests out there; HR and hiring managers are often saturated with advertisements. Toss out the clutter that is abstract testing. Some personality assessments come with games and shapes to solve or arrange. But, they don't offer much information about the intrinsic motivators and work preferences of your potential new hires.
The Omnia Assessment is a simple, yet amazingly accurate, personality assessment tool to identify the workplace aptitudes of candidates and employees. It’s fast, just 10 minutes, and it’s easy, no confusing questions or irrelevant multiple choice scenarios. You get real-world advice on how to select and manage the best fit for your team.
Join The Omnia Group today to elevate your team and hiring processes.
What would happen if you introduced an employee cognitive assessment to your workforce? It might raise a few eyebrows. However, if you do it correctly, your workers might embrace it for pre-employment testing.
The candidates look great on paper. You’re trying to test their soft skills by hosting an initial group interview. It lets you narrow down the number of professionals who would be good candidates to fill the open position. With pre-employment testing, you succeed in further narrowing down the field.
You might do so by providing scenarios the ideal candidate would have to handle on the job.
Problem-solving skills. You’re hiring a customer service manager. The scenario involves the sudden influx of a large group of customers that require service. The professional is short-handed and has to assist not only multiple employees but also customers. How will the candidate handle this scenario?
Abstract thinking. The candidate receives a situation scenario that includes the concept of changing product descriptions. They have to apply the new information to the old data that employees and customers had access to all this time. How will the individual explain the changes so that the conversations result in sales or upsells?
Adaptability to changing situations. Being able to adapt is a big deal. Frequently, you don’t know what a candidate is made off until everything goes wrong. In this test scenario, the candidate learns that they are training a group of employees on a new process. However, the computer system crashes. Therefore, the candidate now has to find solutions to this problem while continuing with the training session.
Someone who applies to be a customer service manager needs different technical skills and education than someone who wants to work for you as a registered nurse. Each profession has its own set of hard skills. However, every position requires a certain level of cognitive aptitude. And, while that level varies by position, the ability to reason, solve problems and comprehend situations is valuable across the board.
These tests give you something to go on as you narrow down your candidate pool to make the best decision for your organization and department. They will help you separate excellent candidates with high problem-solving and reasoning skills from those without it.
The testing is a fantastic asset for companies of any size. However, it doesn’t guarantee that the highest-scoring individual is also the best choice for the job. Therefore, you can’t skimp on the other aspects of vetting candidates.
Cases in point are behavioral assessment tests, factoring in job experience, and going through a structured interview process. Only when you combine the results of these disciplines will you be able to have an accurate picture of the individual you’re thinking of adding to your workforce.
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So, why should you spend the money on an employee cognitive ability test? Can’t you just trust your hiring team’s best judgment? The answer is no. Because you need to avoid the revolving door of employee turnover, it’s essential to go through your candidate’s list with a fine-toothed comb. And your hiring managers will appreciate having objective tools to help them make the best final decision.
The cost you expend on attracting and interviewing qualified candidates is already high. Therefore, spend a little extra money on vetting the highest-qualified individuals to ensure that they’re not just a good fit but an excellent one. If you make the right choice here, you might find the candidate with a superb shot at taking advantage of the upward mobility your company offers.
Make a mistake, and you may have someone who’ll be stuck in a position they eventually come to resent. Most importantly, the new hire may leave quickly when it becomes evident that they’re not cut out for the job or moving up. An employee cognitive assessment can help prevent this problem from occurring in the first place.
No matter how thorough the hiring process, there’s no guarantee your new employee will be a “keeper.” Sometimes, the system fails. Crafting the perfect new hiring process is always a work in progress, especially important for small businesses and startups. Bad hires cost time and money, and often, the repercussions don’t stop there.
Although there are many moving pieces to round out a thorough hiring process, here’s a few tips to revitalize (or help you to create) yours:
Having an open position is both a challenge and an opportunity for managers. Whether you’re looking for someone to fill a brand new role or step into an existing one, now’s the time to think critically about your organizational needs and how a new employee will fulfill that role.
It can be a letdown (and a bit stressful) to see a popular, high-performing employee go, but let’s admit…it can also be exciting when thinking about how a new individual with different talents can bring fresh ideas and diverse value to the company.
To attract that fresh talent, take advantage of this time to re-evaluate the job description! Be clear about what you expect from applicants and specific about the role requirements. Going through this process helps you to be more focused on a candidate’s qualifications and less likely to make a hiring decision based on their charming personality displayed in the interview.
We’re all biased to some point. Unfortunately, when biases enter the hiring process, the ability to lure good folks on board can become compromised. It can make us see things that aren’t there as well as not see things that are. Before reviewing someone’s resume or sitting down for an interview, firmly check your preconceptions at the door.
At some time or another, most hiring managers have found themselves desperate to “put a body in a chair.” This is not a good situation. Rushing to hire can create all kinds of short- and long-term problems, including making the interview process darn near worthless. If you’re determined to find someone qualified for the job, you’ll find a way to do it. Interviews that are too short are ineffective. You can’t get to know much of anything you need to know in less than an hour. It’s also wise to have more than one interview because the time to reflect can provide valuable insight.
Anyone invited to meet with your potential new hire should have a specific reason for being in the room and real input into the outcome. Although the concept is beloved by many, “courtesy interviews” can degrade and confuse the process. The same goes for large panel interviews. Don’t fill the meeting with staff who aren’t qualified to gauge the technical or temperamental suitability of the candidate…makes sense, right? Inclusivity in the hiring process is a must, and it’s definitely a mistake to have only one person evaluate the candidate. However, it isn’t good to have too many evaluators. It can be impossible to reach a consensus, and everyone probably shouldn’t have an equal vote anyway. The hiring manager and perhaps two or three key personnel are adequate to make a sound decision.
Carefully honed intuition is a powerful tool in life and business. That said, relying on your gut to make a decision about who to hire can be problematic. Let’s face it; our guts can often mislead us. Here’s why: people who are good at interviewing aren’t always the most qualified for the job. We often interpret the ability to speak well and project confidence as competence, and, let’s be honest; we’re often wrong about that. A shocking number of new hires fail within the first 18 months on the job. Not because of skills, but because of job traits like lack of coachability, emotional intelligence, and temperament.
Even the most empathic interviewer can’t detect the absence of these traits just by talking to a candidate for a few hours. Instead, incorporate a behavioral assessment into the hiring process. This objective tool reveals the candidate’s preferences, traits, and behavioral tendencies in the workplace. Armed with this information, a hiring manager can more reliably match the candidate’s qualities with the job requirements.
Evaluating skills requires preparation. Unfortunately, too many hiring managers think they can wing the interview and hire based on chemistry. Never a good idea. And typically, a sure-fire way to make the wrong hiring decision. Chemistry is not a precursor to good performance. Sure, no one wants to spend hours a day with someone whose personality grates on them, but a likable individual who can’t get the job done will become pretty unlikable in no time.
The job interview holds a lot of weight in the selection process. Don’t let your next new hire be a flop. Know what’s needed for the job, avoid bias, don’t rush the process, including the right decision-makers, and use a behavioral assessment tool to help you make the most informed hiring decision…not your gut!