Why do organizations include pre-hire assessment in their process for some positions and not for others? I was first introduced to the assessment process about 15 years ago when we were doing a lot of hiring at Thomas & King (an Applebee’s franchisee). Then, in 2011, I went to work for an organization selling assessment. Now it’s currently part of the portfolio from which I sell at IBM. Having this much exposure, I’ve become a huge believer in the concept. The results have been indisputable. I’ve found, companies typically assess managers and above before hire and don’t even consider using assessment when hiring hourly employees. Their rationale is centered around the investment involved with assessment. They ask, “Why invest in pre-hire assessment for an employee who is only going to stay for 6 months?” This is a good question however there’s a better one, “If I invest x amount in pre-hire assessments for hourly workers, how much do I need to decrease turnover to pay for the investment?
The prevailing thought seems to be assessment is worthwhile for some positions and not for others. Interestingly enough, when we take a pencil to it, we find that just a small down tick in turnover more than pays for the incremental cost. A key is for HR leaders to understand what they can expect from integrating assessment into the hiring process. It’s not the end all and be all. The best explanation came from I.O. Psychologist Lewis Hollweg, PhD., former owner, founder and CEO of Batrus Hollweg, International. He said, “Using assessment as part of your hiring process is like going to Vegas with loaded dice. You will win more often than you lose!” He was saying we will still make hiring mistakes but it will happen less often and we will hire more employees that fit the position who will work harder and stay longer. The end result is lower turnover, better execution and ultimately improved profitability. The results have been too significant to ignore.
There’s not a CEO out there who doesn’t talk about people being their organization’s most important asset. If they believe this to be true, why would they deploy pre-hire assessment only for certain job categories? Is there something I’m missing? If so, please let me know.