A client recently asked me if her company should require every applicant to complete our company’s listening assessment as part of their hiring and vetting process. My answer: “maybe yes, but also maybe no. It really depends on the purpose and what you’re hoping to gain from the results. “
My nebulous answer was based on my need to know its intended use. If it were to confirm an offer should be extended or to screen out potential candidates based on the results, I would answer probably not. If it were being used to determine how best to predict performance and then manage the individual, then I would say yes.
An estimated 60% of workers are asked to take workplace assessments. This trend has given rise to a $500-million-a-year industry that has grown by about 10 percent annually in recent years. Organizations often use assessments to identify high-potentials in the company and in leadership training and development programs. Additionally, about one-third of employers are using assessments during the hiring process to evaluate new job candidates. This kind of pre-hire testing has increased by about 20% annually over the past few years.
Hiring is a difficult process and employers are consistently looking for ways to single out the best candidates. However, assessment results alone are not appropriate criteria for selecting a candidate. If the decision is based solely on the results of an assessment, strong candidates could potentially be dismissed despite being highly qualified for the position. Regardless of the traits, preferences or habits revealed in the results, if an individual demonstrates a strong commitment to personal growth and development, and a desire to improve their leadership capabilities through more effective communication, then they shouldn’t be overlooked.
Although I don’t always recommend an assessment be used as a hiring tool, once on board, a solid assessment can help individuals gain a greater awareness of their traits and/or habits.
Self-awareness is one of the most critical components of leadership. And while a listening assessment won’t determine with certainty whether or not someone is a good fit for the position or for the company in general, it can provide valuable insights towards self-awareness that help the individual understand how they might best work with others once they are part of a team.
With such awareness, one can learn to shift habits to be able to communicate with anyone and in any situation, ultimately producing more successful outcomes in both personal and workplace interactions.
What’s your take? If you’re an HR Professional, do you use assessments in the hiring process? Do you find them helpful in selecting the “right” candidates?
Employees, have you been asked to take assessments in the workplace? What do you think? Are they useful?
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