7 Talent Assessment Myths and Why They’re Wrong

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Jul 28, 2018

Talent assessment is all about managing people, that is, evaluating and screening candidates, hiring the right person for the right job, and managing and developing work teams. Though companies have been using talent assessment tools for many years, some are still hesitant about their use.

At Humantelligence, we’ve heard all sorts of reasons why employers haven’t yet adopted assessments as a routine hiring and workforce tool. Most of these are simple misconceptions that fall into a few broad categories. Here we’re debunking those myths to help you understand how assessments add a scientific dimension to workforce management:

Myth #1: Pre-employment assessments can get you into legal trouble

The last thing you need is to get into legal trouble for discrimination because of a tool that was supposed to make things easier, right? Well, most assessments are EEOC compliant as long as they are related to successful job performance, or one’s likelihood to be successful. In fact, assessments have the ability to decrease the likelihood of discrimination and being sued. The standardized format of assessments allows for all applicants to be asked the same questions in the same format, thus reducing bias.

Myth #2: They take more time than they’re worth

This depends on the assessment, but most actually save time during the recruiting and hiring process. For example, an assessment to help you determine a candidate’s fit for the job, team, and culture can be completed in less than 10 or 15 minutes. By assessing fit early on in the process, you are able to easily identify the candidates most likely to be successful in the role allowing you to quickly narrow the candidate pool.

Myth #3: Too pricey to work into budget

When you compare the cost of an assessment tool to the cost of a bad hire and eventual turnover, it’s a no-brainer that assessments are worth the line item in your budget. The cost of one bad hire can range from $12,500 to $50,000+. When you factor in the time and effort involved in onboarding, talent management, and the drain on productivity, the impact on the organization is even greater.

Myth #4: Just hiring tools

Though these tools are being primarily used for hiring purposes, progressive companies employ them at many stages of the employee lifecycle. They give valuable insights into team dynamics, SWOT analysis of teams, and commitment towards company. When a candidate who has taken the assessment is hired, the hiring manager will be able to use their assessment profile to better manage the individual and the team as a whole. With these assessments and other data, AI applications today are beginning to predict the right mix of people to create the kind of team culture best suited to the circumstances.

Myth #5: Creates panic within candidates

With proper instructions, talent assessment tools help ease the anxiety a candidate has towards the recruitment process. However, this also depends on how the organization communicates the assessment to the candidate. Companies that are more specific and detailed about the job roles and the overall company policies to the candidates as well as the purpose of the assessment are much more likely to have less anxious candidates. This also helps create an optimistic brand image.

Myth #6: Can be faked

Talent assessment tools are scientifically designed, and any attempt to manipulate responses can often be detected. Well-designed behavioral and psychological tests have checks built in to detect candidates who try to game them. Tests are also validated, meaning it accurately measures what it is supposed to measure.

Myth #7: Cannot measure effectiveness

In fact, talent assessment tools have data that can be used to measure the business impact of the hiring decisions. Assessments can help you find out whether the candidate is a fit for the position being filled, as well as predicting performance, turnover, productivity, engagement, and other behaviors. All of these behaviors can be used to help create a talent strategy for the company and boost overall workforce performance and workplace satisfaction.

It’s important to understand the myths surrounding assessments so that you’re armed with all of the reasons why your organization should be using them. From improving efficiency to avoiding a bad hire, to being able to predict success and team cohesiveness, assessments are helping organizations create productive, engaged teams that are motivated to produce great work for their organization.

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