Don’t Hire Blind: Repurposing “Pre”-Hiring Assessments for a Data-Driven HR

People are quitting their jobs in record fashion this year. 41% of the total global workforce is considering resigning from their jobs, and in August of this year, 4.3 million Americans put in their two-week notice – marking the highest rate since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics started tallying staff turnover in 2000. It’s the “Great Resignation” as we’re calling it, which has fueled labor shortages that strain the post-pandemic recovery in businesses across the world. But is there any silver lining amongst the chaos?

The “War on Talent” 

As a leader, it’s blatantly obvious to you: the scope of the problem, the impact of resignations on key business metrics, as well as the decrease in overall company morale. So say you’ve already identified the underlying causes of turnover in your company and you’ve put in an ample amount of resources into changing for the better. But the issue still stands: there’s a “war on talent” much fiercer than ever; a competition amongst employers and you’re finding it hard to attract and retain top talent. A recent survey by ManpowerGroup found that the talent shortage in the U.S. has more than tripled in a decade with 69% of employers struggling to fill positions, up from just 14% in 2010.

Trying to Fill the Void

In the midst of all the mayhem, your desperation to fill the talent void ASAP may lead you to hire blindly. Because it’s important that you reduce the time it takes to hire and onboard someone, the strategy is to hire whoever and pray for the best. But even with the time ticking, keep in mind that you still want to make objective, data-driven decisions. It can be hard to understand and justify the use of pre-hiring tools when resources are already strapped, but at the end of the day, we all know how costly it is to train someone just for them to leave next week. 

Repurposing Our “Pre”-Hiring Assessments

Originally in an ideal situation, how pre-hiring assessments work is that we test candidates on their skills, knowledge, and culture-fit, then based on the results, we determine whether this person matches what we’re looking for in the role. We’d onboard the new rockstars and bada bing bada boom, we’ve done it! Or maybe you used the assessment to figure out who you shouldn’t hire. You have three positions that need to be filled and out of the five potential candidates that you’re thinking about interviewing, you use the assessments to figure out who you shouldn’t proceed with because their skills or job-fit aren’t aligned. 

Regardless of the way you’re approaching it, some employers consider this process too long given how time sensitive hiring has become. While we stand by the belief that these seemingly “long” assessments are intended to conserve the science meant for evaluating job-fit and compatibility, we can’t deny the fact that the hiring landscape has indeed shifted.

So what if we tell you that you can still use relevant metrics to hire objectively by using pre-hiring assessments after you’ve hired the candidate? Repurposing our pre-hiring assessments into something that you can use “post”-hire? 

Actionable Insights for Improvement 

The idea behind using the hiring assessments after you’ve hired someone is to help you with employee skill development. So you’re not hiring, or managing in this case, blindly. It tells you what you, as the team leader, should keep an eye out for. By having that information readily available, you’re able to:

  • Create realistic objectives and expectations for your new team members;
  • Open important areas for discussion and provide structure to coaching sessions;
  • Make informed decisions about how to proceed with training and future coaching sessions for future success and long term value;
  • Help your team members organize their self-perceptions and create actionable goals with a more complete understanding of themselves.

Without assessments, you might be more prone to pursuing goals that are only symptoms of an underlying cause. By focusing on the areas of greatest return on time, money and effort investment, you can get to important foundational issues faster with greater clarity. And just because the hiring process wasn’t fully data-driven does not mean the process afterwards has to be as well.