Increasing new hire productivity requires making sure the new employee can hit the ground and produce. Behavioral assessment (sometimes referred to as “Psychometric Testing”) has become increasingly recognized as a valuable source of information when making hiring decision.
There is a wealth of data to demonstrate that using behavioral assessment in conjunction with sound, responsible recruitment methods reduces employee turnover, and it’s quickly becoming standard practice for many employers and recruiters. But by and large behavioral assessments are not used properly.In addition, is it really worth the additional time and expense? In the current economic climate is behavioral assessment REALLY an essential for your next recruitment campaign?
The answer is: YES with a CAVEAT. towards Increasing New Hire Productivity
Here are three points why increasing new hire productivity works when behavioral assessments are used properly. What is a general consensus among most companies is this usually involves a questionnaire that asks the candidate about their opinions, preferences and priorities.
Based on the results, and by comparing the answers against years and years of historical data and expert analysis, the individual’s attitudes and behaviors can be extrapolated.
Behavioral reports can include information such as preferred working environment, how they respond to tight deadlines, preferred management style, approach to selling, and much more.
If you’re skeptical, ask one of your employees – preferably one you’ve known for many years – to take an assessment. You’ll likely be surprised at just how inaccurate the results are.
1. Defining the Role Fit and Team Fit = Increasing New Hire Productivity
Figuring out exactly the kind of candidate you’re looking for and creating a job description to match can be a time-‐consuming headache. But a simple survey of the stakeholders of the role (direct report, internal customers, the top employees already in that team the new hire will work within) can then be put into a Composite survey that will produce a detailed description of the ideal characteristics you’re looking for, many of which can be inserted straight into your job description. There is virtually no scientific proof that performing a behavioral assessment of candidates alone will result in a “good hire”
To be successful in evaluating candidates and making the right hire so that increasing new hire productivity is the goal, once you know they fit the role in terms of tangible skills, education, and experience, but t,he fact that 46% of all new hires fail within the first 18 months, according to Leadership IQ, it is vitally important to measure the intangibles in the role fit and to assess the candidate’s impact on team dynamics. And here is where so many Hiring Managers make a HUGE mistake. The one-size-fits-all “corporate culture” is used to assess candidates across the board. But the truth is that ALL teams are unique and EACH has their OWN CULTURE which may align in some ways with the corporate culture statement. An accurate behavioral assessment of a potential candidate is when it is measured against the team composite profile. In particular, you need to measure
- Values and Motivations and how the potential candidate’s views and needs impact team dynamics
- Relational Communications Traits – how the candidate is able to listen as well as sell his/her ideas to the team
- Conflict Resolution Skills – many of post Baby Boomers were not taught this skills, so training is essential if hiring
- Decision Making Traits – can he/she make a valued fast decision or do they delay and waiver inconsistently?
2. Conducting Fewer Interviews
A resume or LinkedIn profile can somewhat tell you whether a person has the ideal qualifications and job history but usually it’s impossible to tell if a person has the right attitude and accomplishments until you interview them. Behavioral assessment done the right way, on the other hand, can provide you with that information in a fair and objective fashion. So if, for example, you have 7 candidates that look great on paper, a team fit and role fit scientifically based assessment can help you reduce that shortlist to a more manageable number, and leave you with a much faster interview process.
3. Customized Mentoring / Coaching = Increased New Hire Productivity
Quick assimilation – faster or rather increasing new hire productivity and longer retention. It’s the goal for EVERY Hiring Manager. An often overlooked feature of team fit and role fit profiles and behavioral assessments is its ability to tell you the training and management styles to use to get increased new hire productivity. Getting your new recruit up to speed quickly and making them feel comfortable in the role is not only a time saver but it also reduces the expenses incurred through downtime.
We’ve already mentioned the fact that behavioral assessment reduces employee turnover, but have you ever stopped to consider just how expensive and time consuming it can be to replace a bad hire? Aside from the fact that you have to spend time and money, repeating the recruitment process all over again, you also have to repeat the expense of on-boarding and assimilation for the eventual replacement.
And it’s almost impossible to put a price on the potential for lost business and the reduced employee morale that occurs while the position remains vacant. Although prices vary quite a bit, the average cost of behavioral assessment is often far less than employers imagine. And any one of the above four points would more than justify the additional, modest investment.
But put these three elements together and you have a potential saving of time and money that represents tens of thousands of dollars. Especially in consideration of reducing employee turnover. So, the question is not whether you can afford to use behavioral assessment. The real question is… Can you afford NOT to use behavioral assessment?
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It’s a very tough market in electrical and computer engineers for companies that provide security applications, Ai, IoT, and aerospace products. Under rules from FAA and ITAR to FCC to ITAR to DoD, the education bubble shortage of US born engineers is evident. Requiring US citizenship or green card (permanent residence status), real unemployment nationwide across all industries is still high.
First we need to understand the reality of the education bubble. In the USA, the primary reason we have a decline in economic power is that since the 80s we have moved from real education in science, history, english, writing, and mathematics to “social awareness” and social justice teaching.
As such, we produce a declining number of electrical and computer engineers for four decades – especially USA natives. Want proof the education bubble is worsening? Graduates numbered 14,584 in 2004-05, but declined to 14,209 in 2005-06 and 13,783 in 2006-07. Master’s degrees also dropped in the same time period, recording a significant decrease from 41,087 in 2004-05 to 38,451 in 2005-06, followed by a smaller decrease to 37,320 in 2006-07.
Education Bubble Creates Shortage of US born Engineers
Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs as new foreign student enrollment for 2008-2009 increased by approximately 16.0% from the previous academic year. Since the federal government took over education with the Department of Education in 1979, our elementary schools and high schools have declined and at the university level the education bubble is worse.
The Education Bubble shortage of US born engineers exists due to this social engineering. The education bubble has come about doe to the federal government’s free-spending ways. We re broke as a nation and cannot continue to give student loans to those whose GPA is not deserving. And like my family did for me and my siblings, it is a parent’s sacrifice and savings to put a kid through college. Or going to school at night while working full time like my father did.
Or going via the GI Bill by serving in the military. Or busting your butt in 2 years of community college like my own son did (who then received full scholarships for bachelor and master based upon his grades) who then achieved a PhD in Space Physics. He soundly defeats the issues in the education bubble.
Reasons for the Education Bubble Shortage of US born Engineers
Education should be about Learning and Competition
The education bubble shortage of US born engineers exist due to a failure to deal with real life in educating our children. Just as in life there are winners and losers – and no one should receive a trophy just because they tried. And if you did not win, so what? I was taught to keep trying. And I spent 2-3 hours a day in homework from elementary all the way through high school. In elementary and high school we were encouraged to join clubs and be involved. Me – I chose football and Key Club.
Those two things taught me competition, being a team player, and giving of my time to my community. With fierce competition and high education standards, we had no education bubble. And the focus on high academic standards prepared me for college. Today our schools focus on “feel-good” social engineering and teaching children political and social correctness rather than the 3 Rs and molding children for a bright future. We need to address the fundamentals about the education bubble.
We as citizens and responsible voters can CHANGE the education bubble. Scientists and engineers today make up only 4% of US employment; even doubling their number would in itself have a modest overall impact on the economy. It seems odd to me that for the sake of so-called global diversity, we fail to provide encouragement and programs to elevate our own minority citizens and break the bonds of failing inner-city schools to allow these kids to learn STEM. I think you’d be surprised how well inner city children in Chicago can become engineers and scientists if only provided the will and means by our academic elitists.
Rather, the point is that scientists and engineers contribute disproportionately to the creation of jobs for the other 96% of the nation’s workforce by generating knowledge, by innovating, and by establishing new companies based on that knowledge and innovation. We can overcome the education bubble shortage of US born engineers.
First, the outlook for 2018 and beyond is worse unless we dramatically increase H1B visas. It amazes me how often I hear “we can recruit on our own as so many people looking for work” and Hiring Managers who tell me “HR sends them garbage resumes, but the corporate decision makers have their hands tied.”
If you are in artificial intelligence, aerospace or defense systems, cyber security, industrial manufacturing or robotics, mobile digital media, broadband or mobile network operations, wireless infrastructure or IoT data / devices / networks, you often are required by federal regulations and laws to hire US citizens or green cards due to the security clearance needed.
More so, when you need vendor-facing, or customer-facing engineers where the candidates in USA must be able to speak plain understandable English, the education bubble shortage of US born engineers is even greater. Oddly we lead in philosophy, history, sports nutrition, social services, marketing, and law degrees. Some of those are needed but we are woefully declining in science and mathematics (ranked 27 in the world and dropping) as the education bubble shortage of US born engineers increases.
A well designed employee recognition program results in higher levels of engagement have proven, repeatedly, higher levels of employee satisfaction, greater increase in productivity, greater company loyalty, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction.
Let’s look at the facts. In 2013, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 87 percent of workers surveyed in countries all over the world were disengaged with their jobs. Only the remaining 13 percent stated that they were satisfied with their jobs and felt deeply engaged with the companies they worked for.
One of the best ways to increase engagement is to make sure that employees feel appreciated and that hard work is suitably rewarded both financially and in some other ways. Having a strategic employee recognition program in place is one of the most effective ways to get results and take advantage of the following three key benefits:
Employee Recognition Program Improves Business
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that happy and motivated employees are better equipped to address customer concerns. Staff members need to feel that they have personal stake in selling the brand and its products and services, while also offering impeccable customer support. Around 40 percent of companies that have adopted a peer-to-peer employee recognition program claim to have increased customer satisfaction.
Many senior managers consider them an investment rather than an expense. People want to be rewarded for good work and they’ll be mentally far better equipped to face the monotony of modern corporate culture if they know there’s a good bonus and other rewards waiting for them.
Decreases Employee Turnover Rate
While money is obviously a primary motivator in almost any job, offering a pay raise isn’t the most effective method to hold on to employees. In fact, studies have shown that about half of employees leave within two years after accepting a raise, a statistic that clearly indicates that salaries and job satisfaction don’t always correlate.
Often as important is employee recognition, which has proven to lower turnover rate significantly. Employees who are widely recognized and rewarded for their work are about 30 percent less likely to leave the company. Other benefits of an employee recognition program include increased happiness and productivity and reduced stress and frustration levels. A lower turnover rate also saves money, since a direct replacement cost up to half the previous employee’s annual salary.
Increase Engagement and Productivity
An employee recognition program is all about clear communication, transparency, and having a solid rewards-driven system in place. Such a strategy leads to greater employee engagement, since it makes members of staff feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
An employee who has a personal stake in the direction the company is heading will be genuinely concerned about the day-to-day operations of the business.
By contrast, someone who counts themselves in the 87 percent of people who claim to be disengaged with their jobs will be more likely to sleepwalk through each workday while looking forward to nothing more than the paycheck at the end of the month.
Additionally, the Gallup survey showed that two-thirds of employees considered praise from managerial staff to be the top motivator.
Final Words on Employee Recognition Program
There are many ways to implement an employee recognition strategy and most of them don’t require a huge investment. Some of the most popular methods include publishing the company’s greatest achievers in email newsletters, using staff meetings as an opportunity to include praise, or preparing regular status reports. However, a more original and engaging employee recognition program might include an achievement- or score-based system complete with rewards and prizes for top workers.
In this day of hyper electronic communication interview thank you letter by email can often be overlooked and deleted. t’s easy for recruiters and Hiring Managers to get lost in the maze. While I have nothing against emails, texts, tweets, etc., etc. I tend to sometimes forget the advantage of personal touch of an interview thank you letter sent via snail mail, right to the interviewers door. Email lacks personality and effort.
It seems to me that the personal touch of snail mail is becoming the way of the dinosaur. But don’t discount the impact that a hand written interview thank-you letter can have on or influence a situation like an interview.
Interview Thank You Letter via Snail Mail Works
I know a Human Resource Manager with a renewable energy power provider who had set up an interview with three qualified people for a VP level position in her company. All three people interviewed with the CEO of the company. All three did very well.It was going to be a tough decision for the CEO. Two of the candidates sent very appropriate emails to the CEO thanking him for his time and stating their intentions to want to join the company.Those emails were sent the day after the interviews. The third candidate went home and wrote a hand written interview thank you letter on professional looking stationary and sent it out snail mail that day. It also arrived the next day.
Snail Mail Kept Longer than Email for Interview Thank You Letter
Well, as it happened, this CEO was very impressed by the actual hand written letter and was a big believer in the snail mail personal touch. Funny thing is the HR Manager told me she thought it was “old school” and out of touch.
How wrong she was. Suffice to say the third candidate got the offer and accepted the position.
Moral of the story for candidates and recruiters: don’t be so involved in the age of electronic communication as to forget that people still connect with you on a personal level.
This “personal touch” using snail mail tells someone about your customer relationships and your service delivery philosophy, especially in the interview thank-you letter.
Corporate recruiters and staffing firms utilize various forms of screening interviews and candidate assessments but fail to measure role fit and team fit to help determine who makes the shortlist for for the Hiring Manager to consider. For executive recruiters it’s a combination of interview notes, references, details about accomplishments, and the recruiter’s gut feeling that these are the candidates to consider. Corporate recruiters and large staffing firms often add some type of DISC based behavioral test or aptitudes testing to help in their candidate assessments.
Candidate Assessments Fail on Team Fit
In the end the Hiring Manager thinks they are getting the best candidates available according to the recruiter’s gut feeling, the interview committee’s thoughts on a relatively short interview, and one or more candidate assessments (according to their HR, corporate recruiting/talent acquisition group, or external recruiter). But all too often failing to make sure the candidates being considered fit the role and are a team fit that will be a positive impact on team dynamics. What ends up happening is that a “C player”, a body that shows up and can perform the tasks but adds no real value, is hired.
Time after time I hear from VPs that within 6 months, a year or two AFTER a new hire that that “x” employee is okay, but he/she wishes the employee had the insight and ability to make better decisions, develop effective cost savings, or improve deliverables. This puts an added burden on the rest of the team that employee is working within, as well as the VP or manager who must figure out a way to make up for that employee’s lack of added value.
Team Dynamics are Improved with Proper Candidate Assessments
Hindsight shows that the candidate assessments are resulting in a shortlist delivered to the Hiring Manager prior to the face-to-face interviews and hire failed to address whether that candidate would be a “natural fit” for the team and what about that candidate would bring “real value” to making the overall team better. The most common, and mistakenly, the worst determining factor, is based primarily on whether the candidate has the skills, experience, and track record of past accomplishments to do the job.
This is a rote exercise where the recruiter matches up the responsibilities of the role with past work history and matches requirements with skills on a resume. The Hiring Manager and his/her interview team then “guess” if the candidate’s personality and communications style will tell them id he/she is a team fit. Yes that is a guess as those latter parts are determined by a few or a committee whose members spent at the most a few hours in a prefabricated interview process face-to-face with the candidate.
Tragically, these candidate assessments and screening processes result in recruiters delivering the “C player” and occasionally a “B player” or the company hiring someone who will reveal they lack in key interpersonal areas or were the wrong team fit. What the recruiter should have done is take the objectives, aka the end game of the role into consideration. Responsibilities on a job description rarely give more than a very brief sentence or two about the objectives.
The recruiter should get with the Hiring Manager to discuss the short-term and long-term objectives of the role apart from the responsibilities. The second factor is whether the potential candidate is a cultural and team fit. This is where the recruiter fails most often as companies are too eager to use a corporate public image profile of their culture they would either like the public, their employees, or customers to believe in or that they desire to attain.But the truth is EACH DEPARTMENT is unique.
One needs to consider the team profile the candidate will be working within to then analyze if a candidate is a team fit. This means taking into consideration that team’s natural and adaptive communications styles, values and motivations, and decision making traits in order to identify a Team Profile.
Since we are not all born and raised in the same place, geographical culture, education, religion, and family dynamics of individuals play a big part in this – especially in the relational side of how one views his/her self and views others.
Many vendors provide different forms of scientific, or skills-based, or psychometric, or behavioral testing and candidate assessments software. Most are one-size fits all in their approach and fail to take the skills, interview notes, and other aspects into consideration.
And without FIRST developing an ACCURATE Team Profile, you cannot know whether that candidate will be a “natural fit” as these tests and assessments are too one-sided. Sadly, this leads to often hiring the wrong person.
The third factor is the relevant accomplishments. Again this all too often is another rote exercise where recruiters miss the boat. Just because candidate “x” has this and that accomplishment for a direct competitor does NOT mean they will have similar success in a new role. You have to look at the team fit, company culture, team profile, and customer base dynamics he/she was working for in order to verify the accomplishments are really relevant to THIS new role.