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Sales Leadership
Beyond the Résumé: A Look at Smart Hires
Mar 19, 2010 | Andre Molleur lock

How much easier would hiring and management be if employees came with an instruction manual?

You could have complete confidence in an individual’s ability to follow through with an assignment by a set deadline. Conflict could be avoided, miscommunications wouldn’t come into play, and there would be harmony among coworkers.

Did you know?

  • 3 out of 10 people lie on their résumé. -CBS News
  • 30% per cent of business failures are due primarily to employee theft.
  • Only 10% of companies ever discover they have been victims of theft. -Harris Interactive for Careerbuilder.com
  • 89% of job-seekers exaggerate on their résumé. New York Times

However, people are complex. It’s hard to fully comprehend an individual’s values and work ethic by reading their résumé. Even after hiring someone, you still may struggle to understand personal strengths or limitations. In addition, other unpredictable issues may arise, but there are tools you can use to assess talent before a candidate joins your team. Through the use of assessments, your organization can gain valuable insight into your most valuable asset – your people.

There are essentially three phases of assessment use, the first being the pre-hire and placement stage. After reviewing an applicant’s résumé, you need more objective information on their qualifications, personality, interests and communication style. Here, you’re asking yourself “can this person do the job?” Assessments measure their learning index as well as numerical and verbal skills and reasoning.

Learning style is not synonymous with intelligence. To demonstrate this principle, think of an individual's learning style in terms of a bucket as compared to a bottle. Both hold the same amount of liquid, but a bucket can receive the input at a quicker rate than a bottle. Someone with a “bottle neck” learning style could be just as gifted as a “bucket” minded individual, but they just process information at a slower rate.
To see the value in pre-hire assessments, take for example the efforts of an enthusiastic candidate. Outstanding candidates will conduct prior research on the company to stand out from other applicants. They keep up with industry trends and further investigate the skills needed to excel in a desired position.

Let’s be honest; you’re impressed with them. They’ve taken the time to be realistic about their contribution to your company and they’re already acquainted with your organization’s mission and goals. In the same way, it is only appropriate for hiring managers and business executives to invest time into researching a potential employee.

Once you have some background information on a candidate, it’s important to look at behavioural traits that affect how well the person will do the job. Certain skills can be developed, but there are many qualities that can’t change. These include assertiveness, independence, objective judgment and manageability. When you evaluate a person on this level, you can reasonably decide whether or not you could manage this person effectively.

The last level of employee assessments deals with succession planning. This focus prompts you to ask, “Will this person want to do the job?” An individual may be qualified, but without an assessment you may not know whether or not they have creative, technical, or enterprising skills – until it’s too late. With long-term goals in mind, you can also use assessments to plan for additional placement opportunities. Perhaps you’re hiring someone seasonally or as an intern, but you see that his or her occupational interests align with a full-time, paid position. You can coach them effectively, knowing that they have promotion potential.

“Valid, reliable assessments provide organizations with in-depth, objective and comprehensive information about its workforce,” said Dario Priolo, Director of the Profiles Research Institute. “This information helps managers to put people into the right jobs and manage them to their fullest potential."

Profiles International provides employee assessments to help organizations worldwide create high-performing workforces. Recently, the company introduced a white paper document titled “The Executive’s Guide to Employee Assessments” that gives expert insight on assessment use and benefits.

“Assessments result in more satisfied and productive employees, and a more efficient and effective organization,” Priolo went on to say. “Some executives assume that assessments are tools for the HR department, and they are very surprised when they discover how these instruments help them make better business decisions.”

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