Pre-Employment Assessments Beyond a Must Use Hiring Tool

The popularity of pre-employment assessments continues to rise as more businesses realize the true cost of a bad hire. And while making data-driven hiring decisions does provide for a more accurate hiring process, many organizations are unaware of additional ways assessment data can be used to benefit their organization beyond the hiring process. Whether your business is facing a difficult leadership transition, has ongoing efficiency problems, is undergoing a culture overhaul or has derailing leaders, scientifically validated assessments provide help at every stage. Here are five ways employee assessment data can be used beyond the hire to revolutionize your business:

1. Hiring

Not only has the number of organizations using a predictive assessment as part of their hiring process expanded, but the type of assessment being used has evolved. Today, organizations want to know more about the candidate than just their skill level or IQ. They want an assessment that takes a “whole-person” approach and provides insights about the candidate’s level of culture fit and his/her personality traits, including motives and values, positive personality, derailment tendencies, judgment and influence style. 

Legitimate assessments use extensive datasets to link individual qualities to real-world outcomes. They make accurate predictions about a candidate’s job performance based on how people with similar qualities have behaved in the past. The bigger the dataset, the more accurate the prediction. An obvious conclusion from this is not all assessments are created equal and scientific credibility matters.

At The JDL Group, for instance, we have spent more than 25 years perfecting our Whole Person Assessment process, which is backed by assessment results and real world job performance data on over 500,000 working adults. Our assessment reports typically provide a three or four level fit recommendation (e.g., low, moderate, high) for individuals under consideration. The hiring recommendations are based on the customized profile created for the position at your organization. 

Beyond the automated report, and when a company really wants to be certain in their decision, our licensed I-O psychologists can add a psychological review and/or a Psychological Deep Dive to the hiring process. The JDL Group’s proprietary Psychological Deep Dive actually includes providing Whole Person Assessment feedback to the candidate during the interaction, offering unparalleled insight and predictive power. When used for C-Suite hires, 92% of organizations who use the Psychological Deep dive and follow our recommendations have positive outcomes.

As part of any of our reports or processes, The JDL Group also can include access to our extensive list of over 2,000 validated interview questions, backed by real data and field tested for their ability to generate accurate responses to determine future job performance. 

Predictive assessments help avoid bad hires that can end up costing your company time, money and energy. The JDL Group focuses on the candidate’s level of culture fit, aptitude and likely job performance, ensuring you are investing in the right person for your organization and the position.

pre-employment assessments why scientific credibility matters

2. Onboarding 

Onboarding is the crucial next step in the hiring process and it is important to get on the same page with new employees before their first day on the job. Yet as important as it is, only half of new employees indicate the organization made clear their performance expectations during the onboarding process.  Whole-Person Assessment can be used to help demystify this process, help organizations solidify corporate culture and convey company values effectively to new hires. 

At The JDL Group, our Onboarding Programs include using Whole Person Assessment data early in the onboarding process. We use the assessment data to drive the performance discussion up front. And since our assessments are predictive, they act as a sort of “third person in the room”, discussing likely future development needs and how they can impact job performance. To accomplish this, we create onboarding reports for both the hiring manager and new employee (which basically are mirror images of each other). The last section of the report is a workbook that helps organize and drive the onboarding discussion with step-by-instructions and room to share. In the end, it helps inform the conversation between the hiring manager and employee, immediately pushes the focus to job performance, and helps identify the two or three places both the new employee and manager will need to spend energy in order to set the new hire up for success. 

3. Management Strategies

Management can be a trial and error process when you are left in the dark about what motivates your team and how they operate. Finding the most effective ways to get through to your employees, encouraging them to move forward on your vision or be more transparent with their work depends on each individual — there is no one-size fits all approach to management. Adjusting your management style to your employees’ behavioral profile guides you through these tactics in a way that is straightforward and empirically based. 

Managerial suggestions provided by The JDL Group don’t rely on generic “do’s and don’ts” for managers, but on the employee’s specific Whole Person Assessment profile. With insight on what does — and as importantly, what does not — work well for the individual, you are essentially given a “how to” guide to employee motivation and concerns. Do they respond to incentives? How do they react to feedback? What if they disagree with my direction? 

Being an effective manager is key to making an effective employee. Assessment data grants you a whole-person approach to your employees and helps you understand how to communicate with them to achieve top performance. Our team of licensed I-O psychologists provide solutions for how to capitalize on an employee’s unique talents and abilities, as well as fosters strategic management strategies that improve performance across the board. 

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4. Yearly Performance Reviews

Yearly performance reviews are just as uncomfortable for managers as they are for employees. The employee often doesn’t know what type of conversation to expect. Were there goals set a year ago that the employee has forgotten? What about the system for measuring success — what does a “1” mean? Managers are in just as uncomfortable a boat as they often spend too much time trying to remember successes and failures from the past year for each of their employees. Plus, they simply do not know how to give feedback. It’s no surprise only 14% of employees strongly agree this type of performance review inspires them to improve

Data from a Whole Person Assessment can provide a more clear and effective approach to giving performance reviews. At The JDL Group, we coach managers to relook at their employees’ assessment reports, paragraph by paragraph, to get a clear idea of exactly where the employee started. From there, it is easy to see if “yes, they do that” or “they used to do that, but not anymore”.  When the assessment report is used to frame the conversation and drive the feedback, it becomes a better experience for everyone involved.

5. Coaching/Leadership Development

Interventions don’t have to solely take place before new hires submit their I-9s. Data obtained from a Whole Person Assessment process can substantially help veteran employees excel within the organization, too, especially when it comes to leadership development.

One of the pieces of personality our Whole Person Assessment process identifies are derailment characteristics. Derailment is the tendency to engage in a particular set of behaviors that limits or undermines a leader’s effectiveness — i.e., doing things that screw up the leader’s own performance, the performance of those around him/her or causes others to want to stay away. All adults have derailing characteristics (they are part of one’s personality), but some create more problems than others and hinder performance. 

Once we’ve identified derailers through the Whole Person Assessment process, our team of licensed I-O psychologists work one-on-one with leaders to help them become aware of their triggers and coach them to manage and work through their destructive traits. As a result, both the leader and team are able to work at optimum performance levels. 

At The JDL Group, we also use assessment data to drive our recommendations concerning which Guerilla Business Training Session to use. For instance, if a group of executives all “micromanage”, and the assessments show this, then “Effective Delegation” is recommended for the group. While typical leadership training sessions have retention rates of 20% or less of the information, our Guerilla Business Training Sessions focus on practicing what is relevant to the individual, not needless filler, reliably delivering on participants using 75% of the training in their actual jobs.   

All of The JDL Group’s Individual and Team Coaching and Development services and Guerrilla Business Training Sessions are led by one of our licensed I-O psychologists and have greater than a 90% satisfaction rate in terms of behavioral improvement.

The JDL Group Difference

At The JDL Group, we provide innovative, data-driven solutions based on scientifically-validated assessment data to meet the needs of business around the world, whether filling an executive-level position or identifying an organization’s true culture and deliberately living it. Our Whole Person Assessment Process revolutionizes the level business leaders understand their organization.