Guest blog post by Zach Lahey, Research Analyst, Aberdeen Group

In Aberdeen’s report, Pre-Hire Assessments: An Asset for HR in the Age of the Candidate, we learned that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all, pre-hire assessment approach to fit in with every company’s talent acquisition process. Some organizations require cognitive ability and skills assessments, while others benefit strictly from cultural fit and personality evaluations. However, there are universal steps that can be taken to optimize its usage to be as fruitful as possible.

Before the hiring process begins, dig deeper into the role and its expected responsibilities. Be sure the job description specifics are incorporated into the assessment process. Feel free to prioritize certain aspects of the process that best correlate with your company culture. In turn, connect with the hiring manager for the particular role to be sure all parties are on the same page and can plan ahead accordingly.

Establish profiles for success based on current top performers in the company to facilitate identifying the caliber of candidate that you’re looking to hire. Consider what their strengths and weaknesses are in comparison with the ideals and skill sets that you want from employees. Don’t overload the success profiles, or you’ll be consistently disappointed by the candidates your recruiters bring in or even the ones who apply.

Support hiring managers as extensively as possible. Often times, hiring managers feel as though their expertise is not as important for hiring when pre-hire assessments are in play. Turn that assumption on its head and show them the value of multiple resources for making better, more informed hiring decisions. Best-in-Class companies are 1.8 times as likely as All Others to provide hiring managers with job-fit insights. In addition, show how to optimize pre-hire assessments for assisting with the interview and hiring processes.

Correlate pre-hire assessments with ongoing employee performance results. Businesses that do so are 24% more likely to have employees who rate themselves as highly engaged, and who exceed performance expectations as well. These resources might not predict every facet of an employee’s success, but it makes hiring even more precise and detailed.

Extend assessments behind talent acquisition and incorporate them into other aspects of HR. Assessments are tremendously valuable when used appropriately. Take that success and apply it to employee growth and the retention of top talent. For instance, businesses that use pre-hire assessments experience a 39% lower turnover rate among high-potentials. You can learn more in the full report: Pre-Hire Assessments: An Asset for HR in the Age of the Candidate, published by the Aberdeen Group.

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