All Behavior-Based Hiring Assessments Aren’t Created Equal

When it comes to hiring, measuring for behavior is much more effective than measuring for personality. But there are other factors at play when it comes to getting the most out of your data.

In my last post, we talked about how personality tests are insufficient and how behavioral assessments are conducive to achieving predictive and actionable data.  We established that personality tests fall short when it comes to customizing the data to the things that matter most to you, e.g. your values, your company’s culture, and your strategic business goals.

Lastly, I stated that personality tests are indeed sustainable from a financial and ease perspective, but that the data might not sustain you with the caliber of people you need to help you run an effective organization.

In short, we established that behavioral assessments are the preferred method of creating job fit profiles that you can then measure your potential new hires against to ensure that you’re hiring the best person, for the right job, when you need them the most.

But not all behavior-based hiring assessments are created equal…

A Deeper Look at Behavioral Assessments

If it isn’t clear by now, having the capability to determine how a person will behave in any given situation is the desired state that you want to be in as an employer.

But even behavioral assessments must meet the 4-must-have criteria:

  • Predictive
  • Actionable
  • Customized
  • Sustainable

Let’s see how behavior assessments stack up….

When you measure for behavior, you get results that tend to be able to help you look into the future and get a sense of how someone is going to respond to the world around them. In this way, behavioral assessments check the box for predictive.

Also, because behavioral assessments point toward specific behaviors, you can work with the data. You can come up with an action plan to help your new hire close the gap through continued education, coaching, and mentorship. Or, you can decide that if a person is lacking in one area, that you might want to put them on a team that is strong in that area and mask their deficiency.

Also, on a more positive note, maybe this person is super-strong in most areas…you may want to put them in a role, department, or team that lacks that strength to make the team that much stronger.

There are all sorts of things you can do when you have precise data. So, in this way, behavioral assessments check the box for actionable.

So far, so good. Behavioral assessments check the first two boxes.

Here’s Where Things Start to Go Wrong 

When it comes to the customization of behavioral assessments some companies are better than others. Some of the bigger companies will use card sorting to identify common behaviors of the most successful people inside your organization, create a matrix, and use a bunch of complex math to calculate percentages and analyze their findings. Good stuff—sort of.

I say only sort of because this is where most behavioral assessments start veering away from the 4 must-haves. They just aren’t sustainable. First, the big players in this space, e.g. Hogan, Omnia, and Caliper…they’re going to send in an I/O Psychologist who’s going to take at least a couple of weeks to get their footing and begin aggregating data. Then, it’s going to be a couple more weeks to process that data. Then it’s going to be another couple of weeks to rationalize that data.

In about a month and a half, and $20K-$30K dollars later, you’ll have a profile you can use to start hiring. If time and money aren’t important to you, then you have yourself a winner. I’m not sure I’ve ever met an executive who didn’t care about time and money though…

Another Downfall of Behavioral Assessments

My next point is, admittedly, a little out of scope for this post but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point it out. One of the most insidious downfalls of behavioral assessments actually has nothing to do with the company giving them. Rather, it has to do with how their business model disincentivizes your organization to stay up to date.

Your company is as dynamic as you are. People come. People go. You’re always learning. Always trying to improve. If every time you need to create a new custom profile, it’s going to take 6-8 weeks and $30K—you might do it once every 5 years? Maybe? 10 years? If you think that dusty old profile is going to be as relevant in 5 years as it is the day it was made, you’re sorely mistaken.

In reality, this high barrier to entry actually kills what should be the bedrock of the solution; fast, flexible, and accurate data.

Imagine the Possibilities 

Given what we now know about personality tests and behavioral assessments, what if you could get all the benefits of measuring for behavior, but not have to deal with the crazy-high price points and long lead times?

Imagine if you could gather all the info you need by the end of the day, crunch the numbers in minutes, and have a customized job fit profile that you can use to start hiring immediately—all in house, all at a price that lets you afford to make another one tomorrow once you have access to more data.

That would be a best-case scenario, right? Well, that’s what PeopleBest does.

If you’re interested in learning more about PeopleBest, my door is always open.

Until next time…Happy Hiring!

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