What are Talent Assessments and why should Companies Use Them?

by | Dec 19, 2016 | Assessments, Hiring, Recruiting

You may have heard the buzzwords: pre-employment assessment interviews. Why are these becoming so popular? Are they new? Are they a fad? Why are they so important?

Decades ago

These talent assessments have been around for decades in many forms. I remember when I was younger and first applied for a retail job. I sat in a room at a small desk filling out pages upon pages of multiple choice questions, each one a more detailed scenario than the last. And then, when I was done, I was told that they could not hire me due to my personality index. They said that I was “too innocent and honest of a person.” I was devastated of course but mostly confused. Don’t you want someone honest working at your store?

As I grew older, I learned that it wasn’t that simple. Of course, this assessment was not accompanied by a lie detector, so they had to assume that the people answering questions “too innocently” were possibly lying. These people could not be hired as they were a potential risk. This was decades ago and obviously not a perfect practice. Yet, even then, major corporations used these pre-employment assessment interviews to make hiring decisions.

Today

Now we are in a new era. Decades of personality tests and talent assessments have been completed and analyzed, leading us toward more modern versions of the assessments, as well as a deeper understanding of how to use the results. Assessments can be specialized by position or company culture. We can more accurately predict which candidates will be successful in a given role and which will not.

So, no, these are not new. Not even close. However, they have definitely grown in popularity over the years and will continue to do so as more and more companies see successful results.

Why should you use them?

Many companies have made pre-employment assessment interviews a mandatory part of their hiring process. Truly understanding people’s personalities and talents before hiring them is a very powerful tool. How a person looks on paper (i.e. their resume) is not a true indication of how successful they will be in a specific role. There is a lot more to it. Pre-employment assessment interviews gives you that full picture. Combined with a person’s background, these assessments can help you find the best candidate for your position. If your company is not taking part in this practice, you should definitely consider it. How else can you make a truly informed hiring decision?!