Recently I have had several people reach out to me asking about using Birkman for hiring/selection. No matter how good or bad our economy is, making sound hiring decisions is critical to the success of an organization. The cost of the selection process in terms of money, time, and productivity is too high to make wrong decisions; and that doesn’t even take into account the expense of making a bad decision.
Using behavioral assessments can have a very positive impact on a company’s hiring decisions. Using assessments for hiring can be invaluable if used correctly. What is often missed, however, is the importance of implementing an official policy around the usage of these assessments for selection. Having a sound policy in place that is consistently implemented will ensure the proper use and management of assessments in the hiring/selection process and will help to avoid any potential legal issues related to using assessment for hiring.
When creating the hiring/selection policy there are some important points to consider and include.
- Assessments are a supplement to the hiring process, not a replacement. Use assessment results as one piece of the puzzle, giving them no more, or less, weight than the interview, previous work experience, references, resume, etc.
- Use assessments in a consistent manner. Do not “pick and choose” when an assessment will be used. One suggestion is to state in HR policy that the final three candidates will complete the selected assessment prior to a scheduled follow-up interview. Then, based on all the information you have so far (resume, phone screens, assessment results, etc.) you can develop behavioral questions to ask during the follow-up interview.
- Never selectively choose to give an assessment to only one of the three final candidates – this can create bias and can open the company up to potential legal issues.
- Never specifically reference the assessment results with candidates. Use the results to develop behavioral questions to ask in the follow-up interview in order to gain more knowledge about potential hires. Think about the strengths and potential challenges you see in how this person will interact with the current team and company culture.
- NEVER make a hiring decision based solely on the assessment results.
- AND, make sure managers don’t use the Birkman as the “excuse” as to why a person isn’t hired. Sometimes managers have a hard time telling a candidate they didn’t make the cut. To avoid the difficult conversation, there’s temptation to use the assessment results.
- If a policy is created, it is imperative that the policy be followed consistently. This is another way to ensure the organization is protecting itself from any potential legal issues that may arise from using an assessment in the hiring process.
When used properly, assessments can provide great insights in the hiring process and can save companies a great deal of time and money as well as helping organizations find productive and successful employees that fit well into the culture and job description.
Birkman provides both behavioral and occupational information in one assessment and is a great tool to use in the hiring/selection process. However, remember that the insights provided by Birkman are not meant to be used in isolation when making hiring decisions. Using Birkman results guides more thoughtful and intentional conversations for interviewing.