One of the most important aspects when interviewing a potential job candidate is giving an accurate talent evaluation rating. Unfortunately, this is not always an easy task. Other factors besides performance often get in the way and influence the interviewer to rate too low or too high. Don’t make that mistake!
When it comes to evaluating talent, here are the most common errors to avoid:
1. Rater Bias
It happens way too often that an interviewer allows prejudices and stereotypes to interfere with evaluating a candidate’s performance fairly. For accurate performance ratings, you should focus primarily on the candidate’s performance! Avoid considering any non-performance related factors when making judgments.
2. Halo Effect
The Halo Effect is when ratings of performance in one competency influence the ratings for other competencies. For example, if a candidate has a high rating in oral communication, interviewers might automatically assume they also have high ratings in problem solving or creativity. This can lead to inaccurate performance ratings and possibly a bad hire!
3. Central Tendency
Let’s say you have a 5-point scale, but you’re hesitant to rate too high or too low, so you go for the middle and just check all “3s” – well that can be inaccurate! When hesitating over making a high rating, interviewers should realize such a rating does not indicate perfect performance; it means one is demonstrating more of the competency than is generally exhibited. Similarly, a low rating doesn’t mean the candidate does not possess the competency; it means he or she didn’t demonstrate much of it in the interview responses. So don’t be afraid to use the “1s” and “5s” when it’s appropriate.
Managers can use assessments to determine what unique traits new hires bring to the team, and where differences in individuals may cause conflict. A skillful prospect could be tempting, but if they won’t gel with their co-workers, you risk a lack of cohesion (and thus wasted productivity) and possibly sabotaging the entire group. When hiring new employees it is important to choose someone who will easily mesh with existing team members. Pre-hire assessments can help managers hire the best fit for the group and the position.
4. Look beyond the résumé.
Research has shown that the majority of résumés are not as accurate as one would hope. The market is extremely competitive, and those in the job hunt are trying to find advantages wherever possible. Assessments can help hiring managers look beyond the résumé, and discover deeper traits of each interviewee. A shining résumé can often mask someone who is not an adequate fit for the job or the team. Assessments can uncover the person behind the résumé to give managers a clearer picture of each potential employee.
5. Match skills and behaviors to your open positions.
Managers have a tendency to hire people similar to themselves, or become enamored with a particular type of person. But this is not always the best option for the team. Using employee assessments can help managers determine who has the knowledge, skills, and natural inclinations for a position.
To put it another way, a baseball team doesn’t need 3 starting first basemen nor do most bands need more than one drummer. Objectively assess your needs and the skills necessary to perform the job, and hire for them. If you keep hiring the same type of person, you could end up with a team of first basemen who can’t adequately fulfill the other roles on the team.
6. Establish patterns of success.
A final benefit of using pre-hire employee assessments is the ability to create “fact patterns" or "performance models.” Assessments can be used to chart who has been successful in each position and identify common traits related to their success. Building a performance model involves using the results of previous top performers to create a model of where future applicants should fit if they are going to be successful at the job.
Specific positions require certain innate skills and behaviors. Performance models can make those attributes more obvious to hiring managers and help to set a standard for future employees seeking that job.
The available talent pool is plentiful and extremely diverse. This is cause for businesses to reconstruct their hiring practices. Using advanced tools, such as pre-hire assessments, can easily distinguish who has a true aptitude for the open position, and who will fit with the team.
Assessments enhance the hiring process by adding quantitative data to a typically unquantifiable practice. Every hiring manager should strive to match prospective employees to the culture of the company, place them in appropriate positions, and use fact patterns to predict future success. Assessments are helpful in the pre-hire phase, and offer the opportunity to continually simplify hiring practices.
Source: Profiles International