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 leader, you’re invested in the growth and development of your team. You know that properly coached employees can achieve your company’s lofty goals and be more engaged while doing so. But -- did you know that your coaching efforts could fall flat if you don’t have the right insight about your team members?
That’s because every person on your team is unique and will respond to being coached differently. So, for the best results, your coaching must be tailored to each individual, taking into account:
Don’t worry, though. You don’t need to spend years piecing together this intel. You can glean all of this critical information quickly through behavioral and cognitive assessments.
Let’s take a closer look to see how.
You’ve heard that leveraging your employee’s strengths is the best way to maximize their performance -- and it’s 100% true. Assessment results reveal what your employees naturally do well and where they tend to struggle. This knowledge enables you to craft a custom coaching program that builds on their strengths while addressing their weaknesses.
When you focus on their current capabilities, you empower them to grow using the tools they have. This lets them achieve quick wins, which boosts their confidence and facilitates continued development. By following the strengths-first approach, you’ll propel them towards greater success in your coaching program as well as their entire career.
Every member of your team processes and implements information differently. Assessment results will help you understand how each employee learns best. You’ll instantly know:
With this insight, you can tailor your coaching approach to each employee. For instance, you may need to slow your pace when coaching an employee who processes information methodically. Or, if you’re working with an especially analytical team member, you may want to base your coaching on facts and figures instead of personal anecdotes. Finally, if your employee needs a firm structure to thrive, you might want to ensure that your coaching sessions don't deviate from the scheduled topics.
Of course, the reverse of these scenarios can also be true. You may be able to move through information faster if your team member can handle it. Or, you could tell more personal stories when coaching people-oriented employees. When working with team members who prefer less structure, you can make coaching sessions more adaptive to their changing needs. The bottom line: one size doesn’t fit all, so meet your employees where they are for optimal results.
Your coaching will be most effective when it aligns with your coachee’s long-term goals. That’s because your team member’s personal and professional plans drive everything that they do. So, to unlock their true potential, you must uncover what really motivates them. By tapping into their motivation, you can compel them to work harder and continue to grow.
Behavioral assessments yield this critical insight, allowing you to create a coaching program that’s a true win-win for both your employees and your company. Your team members will be motivated to excel in their roles because you’re helping them fulfill their career aspirations. And your firm will benefit from a knowledgeable, skilled, and engaged workforce.
Omnia offers both cognitive and behavioral assessments. Reliable and valid, when implemented together, you’ll learn everything you need to know to coach your team members effectively. You’ll understand how they solve problems, process information, apply new knowledge, adapt to change, and so much more. You’ll also become acutely familiar with their personality, allowing you to connect with them on a deeper level and foster trust.
The Omnia assessment results include more than just the data. The assessment reports show you what that data actually means -- and how you can use it to increase performance and engagement. In short, you’ll instantly become a more effective coach because your coaching program will truly cater to each member of your team.
A well-developed and committed workforce is your company’s single best asset. By becoming a better coach, you strengthen that asset, positioning your firm for future success. The first step to upping your coaching game is to create a tailor-made development program for each team member based on employee assessment results. Then, leverage the assessment insight in conjunction with employee strengths, and watch your team flourish.
As more and more organizations shift to using a remote workforce, the traditional in-person interview is also shifting into a virtual context. Remote interviews may not seem like they’re all that different from a physical interview. Still, they introduce many factors that can make them more difficult to manage if a company doesn’t put a lot of thought into implementing them.
Fortunately, several strategies are easy to put in place and will make remote interviews more likely to select the ideal candidate.
One valuable step to include in any remote interview process is leveraging tools to narrow down the candidate pool to qualified and suitable applicants. Pre-employment assessments are incredibly useful in this regard because they can help organizations screen out candidates who lack the competencies necessary for the position. Cognitive testing measures a candidate’s ability to think abstractly, comprehend new ideas and solve problems, which is often critical to success in any new position. Behavioral assessments allow interviewers to determine which candidates are likely to be a good long-term fit for an organization. These assessments measure a candidate’s core traits and intrinsic motivators. Hiring managers gain valuable insight into fit for the job and how to effectively manage and motivate each employee once they are on board.
The results of these tests can be used together as part of the initial decision-making process. For example, if someone possesses all the hard skills necessary for success in the role, but exhibits behavior that suggests they will quickly be looking for another job, it might make sense to prioritize other candidates. These assessments are easy to implement remotely and can be used as a screening tool to determine who moves on to more time-intensive interviews.
When an organization commits to remote interviews, it needs to make sure it has the infrastructure to support that process. Many video conferencing platforms are available to choose from, but it’s a good idea for the company to choose one and stick with it. This helps to avoid any implementation problems and ensures that everyone involved in the interview process knows how to use the technology.
Some organizations may get by with a phone call or straightforward video conferencing software, but some positions may require additional features. For example, a candidate for a programming job may need access to developmental tools to complete a sample project as part of the interview process. It’s important to understand what tools will be needed ahead of time so that the interview process can be designed around the organization’s technology.
Going through the interview process is stressful, but the stress can be even greater when the applicant must use unfamiliar or complicated technology. Organizations need to be clear when providing interview details. If the applicant has to download a special application to conduct the interview or be in a specific location (such as a quiet room rather than a bustling cafe), that information needs to be communicated early and clearly in the interview process.
If assessments need to be completed before a live remote interview, the interviewer must provide reasonable deadlines to ensure that testing is completed in time for them to evaluate the results. They should also provide a resource list if video conferencing software is unfamiliar or complicated to launch. For example, many companies are using Zoom, which is simple to set up and use, while Skype is robust but requires all users to have an account and software downloaded. This ensures that any potential problems are sorted out before the interview begins and avoids losing precious time to troubleshoot technical issues.
Having more people involved in the hiring process generally leads to better outcomes. According to a UK-based Behavioural Insights Team study, having more than one person involved in evaluating a candidate is far more likely to result in a good hire. In cases where applicants are very similarly qualified and have few “easy” differentiators, just involving two people in the interview process increases the likelihood of making the best choice by almost ten percent. Having four people involved improves the odds by almost twenty percent.
That’s because having different perspectives involved can reduce the chance of bias and raise concerns that a single person might overlook. However, the challenge when it comes to remote interviews is determining when having more people involved will make communication difficult. Hosting a video conferencing meeting with a large group increases the likelihood of interruptions and can make it difficult for the candidate to know who to focus on. When possible, the remote interview process should only involve the core team that will make the final decision. Having an agenda and communicating who speaks when is also helpful.
The same soft skills required in in-person interviews are necessary for remote interviews. It’s important to have a system in place to give the interview structure. That could include assigning specific questions to different interviewers or implementing a system for recognizing people who want to speak (such as a raised hand icon). The person leading the interview needs to have a very organized approach to ensure the conversation runs smoothly.
As with a live interview, it’s imperative to plan. Rather than relying on off-the-cuff Q&A, a structured interview focuses on specific areas and ensures that the interviewer gets the information they need from the candidate. 90% of all questions asked during an interview should be related to the position or the company. Having behavioral assessment data can be especially helpful in pre-planning because the interviewer can ask questions better to evaluate the organization’s cultural fit.
In addition to distilling the applicants' pool to the most qualified and best fit before the interview, assessment data is incredibly helpful for guiding the interview process. It saves time and resources but cutting out unnecessary questions and identifying the top candidates. Whether it’s measuring an applicant’s overall mental aptitude with cognitive testing or getting a better picture of their personality with behavioral testing, Omnia assessments can help organizations improve their interview techniques and make better overall hiring decisions.
To learn more about incorporating our scientifically validated assessments into your remote interviews, contact our team today.
As more employers shift to a remote workforce, managers look for ways to manage their teams more effectively. Whether a company is hiring new employees or transitioning workers into a remote context, having easy-to-interpret, actionable data about behavioral tendencies and cognitive traits provides leaders with an invaluable resource for developing a remote management strategy.
When it comes to obtaining this data, there are few methods more effective than employee assessments. The benefits they provide are well worth the effort to implement them!
There are a few different categories of employee assessments that organizations use to gain greater insight into their workforce. Often administered early in the hiring process, job assessments are an invaluable tool for gathering information about a candidate’s cognitive abilities, behavioral tendencies, and skill competencies. For existing employees, assessments tend to focus on developmental needs, identifying areas they need to grow and better contribute to the organization.
Most employee assessments take the form of a short test, usually completed in ten to thirty minutes, and the employer receives the results. The results are compared to pre-defined scoring ranges established by the employer. This data makes it easy to analyze candidates objectively during the hiring process and help identify tendencies or deficiencies that may not appear during the interview process.
Although they use the same terminology, test-based employee assessments aren’t the same as a more general employee assessment. The latter is more akin to a performance evaluation, which combines objective performance metrics (often called key performance indicators or KPIs) with a more subjective evaluation of an employee’s job performance. While such reviews might incorporate employee development assessments to evaluate what skills an employee has gained or needs to improve upon, these tests are just one component of a more holistic evaluation process.
However, it’s important to note that pre-employment testing benefits are useful beyond the hiring process. The data can provide actionable insights that help leaders manage their teams more effectively over time.
Yes. Most employee assessments are administered online. One of the benefits of pre-employment testing is that it is less vulnerable to bias. Rather than spending excess time and resources, employers can focus on a select group of highly qualified applicants.
Managing a team remotely is a new challenge for leaders accustomed to overseeing employees working in a physical office. Remote teams have different communication needs, building trust and fostering a collaborative work environment. Fortunately, much of the assessment data gathered during the hiring process can be quite valuable when managing a remote workforce.
Cognitive testing provides insight into how well people learn from experience, adapt to new situations, and comprehend new concepts. This data can indicate which employees will function independently and which will need more hands-on direction. It can also reveal which employees are more likely to communicate effectively, which will be invaluable for any leaders looking for people who can take on some management-related tasks.
On the other hand, behavioral assessments can provide insights into employee motivation and the best ways to manage remote employees. This data shows how assertive an employee is, what communication styles are most effective, the pace at which they operate, and how much structure they need to perform at a high level. It can also identify potential sources of conflict. If one employee is prone to frustration and anxiety, pairing them with more aggressive tendencies could be a recipe for disaster.
With over 30 years of experience in helping companies optimize and improve their workforce, The Omnia Group offers a range of scientifically validated employee assessments that can provide tremendous insights. Fully compliant with EEOC/ADA guidelines, our proprietary assessment tools are free of age, race, gender, and cultural bias.
To learn more about how the Omnia Profile can help your business evolve its hiring and management process, contact our team today for a consultation.
Filling an open position is often a much more complicated process than organizations expect. Even if the hiring manager has a good description of the job, the responsibilities it entails, and a picture of what an ideal candidate would look like, they must still sort through applicants and find the candidates who seem best suited for the role. And that’s before the interview process even begins.
The pressure to expedite the hiring process has led many organizations to turn to pre-employment testing. Used properly, pre-hire assessments can make it easier to manage candidate pools and make the right hiring decisions.
Organizations use various pre-employment testing types to quickly gather information from a candidate that might not otherwise be revealed in an interview situation or by reviewing a resume. The data collected from a pre-employment assessment makes it easier for hiring managers and organizations to decide which candidates would be best suited for a position. Used properly, pre-employment testing can help to reduce bias, identify qualities that might otherwise go unnoticed, and assess development potential.
Of course, it’s always worth mentioning that pre-hire assessments like a cognitive ability test or a personality test for jobs (instead of a more general personality test not designed for business applications) are most effective when supplementing a robust hiring process rather than replace one altogether. While they’re typically administered before the initial in-person interview, these assessments generate data that can be used at every stage of hiring and recruitment.
According to SHRM’s 2017 Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Report, the average organization takes 36 days to fill an open position. Every day a position remains open places more strain upon a company in one form or another. Productivity can suffer as the responsibilities associated with a position are distributed to other people, making it more difficult for them to do their jobs effectively. Key decisions can be drawn out, creating delays elsewhere in the organization. Furthermore, the uncertainty associated with not knowing who will be accountable for a specific role can take a toll upon employees and potentially threaten client relationships.
Pre-employment testing allows companies to streamline and expedite their hiring process in several ways. For example, hard skills and cognitive tests are often used as an initial screening tool for weeding out blatantly unqualified candidates. If someone is applying for a position that requires specific technical skills, it’s important to know whether they’ll be capable of doing the job. While their resume might indicate they have the right experience, that work history might not have prepared them adequately for the work they’d be responsible for (there’s also a possibility that they’re lying on their resume). Administering a pre-hire assessment will provide data-based evidence of whether or not they can actually do the job. If they can’t, there’s no sense in moving them along to the next hiring process phase.
Another advantage of pre-employment testing is its ability to generate data that hiring managers can use as the basis for questions throughout the interview process. In many instances, a comprehensive pre-hire assessment can serve the same purpose as an initial phone interview, which rarely produces meaningful insights other than confirming the information provided on a resume. When the hiring manager sits down to conduct a more thorough interview, they will already have specific topics they can focus on rather than wasting half of the interview asking questions to uncover the same information.
Many organizations understandably want to conduct multiple interviews involving different people within the company. Unfortunately, having to coordinate several schedules can complicate the hiring process. An unexpected cancellation can force an employee to wait for days or even weeks before another meeting can be scheduled, which means the company will have to get by shorthanded for even longer. Pre-employment testing can gather much of the information that could be obtained through a brief interview. Those results can be shared with the relevant personnel, potentially eliminating the need for multiple interviews and removing another obstacle between the candidate and the open position.
Eliminating candidates in the early stages is extremely helpful in expediting the hiring process as a whole. The faster organizations can narrow the field of potential hires down to a manageable list, the more quickly they can conduct the necessary interviews and background checks to make a final decision. This is especially important for companies that don’t have a strong succession pipeline to identify and prepare high-potential internal candidates to step into key roles should they become vacant unexpectedly.
While many organizations can “get by” when a key role goes unfilled if the position is left open for too long, the pressures of covering the gap can cause dissatisfaction among other employees. In a worst-case scenario, the company may end up hiring someone after a prolonged process only to find that another key contributor has decided to leave due to the frustration of being forced to do someone else’s work. By keeping the hiring process as short and efficient as possible, disruptions caused by vacancies can be kept to a minimum.
Whether you’re looking to administer a personality test for jobs or cognitive ability tests as part of your hiring process, The Omnia Group has a scientifically proven pre-employment assessment that will fit your organization’s specific needs. While the Omnia Behavioral Assessment may be our most popular form of pre-hire testing, we also offer cognitive assessments, grammar assessments, and even development assessments that help give you an idea of what a candidate is looking for in career development.
With easy-to-read graphics and attentive support and guidance from our knowledgeable staff, each assessment report provides your organization with a wealth of information that makes it easier for you to make the right hire at the right time for the right reasons. To learn more about our customizable assessment solutions, contact our team, and transform your workforce today.
First off, what are cognitive assessments?
Simply put, a cognitive assessment test measures an individual’s ability to think critically. By focusing on key mental processes, these tests can evaluate the subject’s ability to reason, solve problems, comprehend ideas, and learn quickly. They are distinct from behavioral assessment tests, which are also an important part of the recruitment process thanks to their ability to reveal how employees behave in work situations and what natural tendencies they tend to exhibit.
General cognitive ability appears to be relevant to work performance even when job specifics vary. In other words, while skill requirements vary greatly among different jobs, general cognitive ability contributes to success in many fields, especially for jobs with complex responsibilities.
This is because people with greater cognitive ability tend to learn new tasks more quickly and absorb new information more readily. Cognitive ability is actually a rather broad concept that includes many types of mental processes. Verbal and mathematical aptitude are the abilities most typically tested, but a well-designed cognitive assessment interview scrutinizes various areas.
Therefore, a cognitive assessment test results are much more nuanced than a simple IQ (intelligence quotient) score. When used in conjunction with behavioral assessment tests, cognitive assessments help assure that hiring decisions are in the organization's best interest and that individuals with the greatest chance of success are selected.
Cognitive assessment tools help avoid bad hiring decisions, which can be extremely costly. The Harvard Business Review reports that as much as 80 percent of staff turnover is attributed to poor hiring decisions. According to some estimates, the average cost to replace a poor hire is about a third of the annual salary and benefits. This means it could cost $15,000 to replace an incumbent earning $45,000 in salary and benefits. Making the right hire the first time is critically important.
The best cognitive assessment tools help substitute for insufficient information gleaned from references. As more references provide only the basics and shy away from giving an honest appraisal, companies are always looking for other ways to obtain a more comprehensive assessment. More importantly, the data generated by cognitive assessments are far less biased than the candidate's references.
Every professional position requires the new hire to adapt to a different environment, regardless of how similar their previous job was. Getting these employees up to speed on their job responsibilities can be a daunting process. If they can’t absorb information quickly, onboarding could take even longer to complete. Cognitive assessments evaluate a new hire’s capacity to quickly learn the job and begin producing results for the organization.
The average job tenure for employees between the ages of 25 and 34 is only three years. With so much turnover, it is critically important to identify job candidates who can catch on quickly and are likely to remain in their position for the long term. Finding candidates with the ability to be successful for prolonged periods of time is incredibly important for organizational stability and growth. This has led many organizations to implement various cognitive assessment tools for adults to identify candidates who could have a long future with the company.
Cognitive assessment interview tests have been tested and highly reliable and statistically valid for many jobs. Furthermore, validity increases along with the greater complexity of more demanding jobs. Because tests can be administered to applicants in a mere 15 minutes or so, they are among the most widely used cognitive assessment tools in use today. They make a significant contribution to evaluating applicant suitability to the job without slowing the selection and hiring process. The tests have natural advantages in terms of ease and low cost of administration. Many applicants can be tested simultaneously in groups. The tests can be scored rapidly by computer scanning equipment.
While cognitive assessments are often used during the hiring process, they can also be quite valuable for developmental purposes. The assessment results provide a good baseline for the candidate’s skills and capabilities, which can then inform future development efforts. After the candidate is hired, additional testing can evaluate their self-awareness, plan career development, and enhance team performance.
Cognitive assessments are one of the most powerful tools available to an organization during the hiring process. Rather they relying on gut instinct or guessing how a candidate might perform in a new role; cognitive assessments provide actionable data that can be used to make better decisions and provide measurable results. Armed with this information, organizations are more likely to make the right hire the first time and greatly reduce the costs so often associated with filling a critical position.