Accurate Assessment Connects Candidates to Culture

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A healthy workplace culture depends on hiring the right people for the right roles. Use assessments to remove the guesswork from your recruitment decisions.

accurate assessment

The culture of your workplace is totally dependent on the mix of traits and skills among your teams and leaders. Get this wrong and you have strong potential for toxicity, disengagement and costly employee turnover.

At their extreme, recruitment and succession planning decisions can be based on spurious ‘gut feel’, or an over-thought process of tickboxing that removes the essential human element from selection. In either scenario, your workplace culture will suffer. However, there is a middle ground which takes into account people-driven data, and blends it with the valuable experience-driven insights of your internal experts.

Begin with benchmarking

How do you know what you need? Who will fit into your quirky/quiet team culture? Have you struggled to retain newcomers? Have you tried to switch up your approach to recruitment, or are you persevering with a decades-old process?

If your first thought on hearing about a planned expansion or that one of the team is leaving is ‘oh no I can’t face recruiting again’, you really need to make some changes. Recruiting should be an exciting prospect. A chance to bring in or promote promising talent, fresh ideas and new energy to your teams. It’s an opportunity to add diversity of thought to your workplace culture and strengthen workplace relationships.

But you must have a clear picture of the personality traits and power skills that the ideal candidate should have or can develop. This is done with benchmarking – a collaborative approach that allows stakeholders (reports, peers and senior leaders) to reach consensus on what they need from the person in the role.

The days of one person dictating what is ideal, often based on themselves, are long gone. Job role benchmarking brings together and gives value to the insights of those most affected by hiring decisions.

Assess for fixed traits and trainable skills

Now you have your benchmark, you can use it to assess candidates who could make a positive contribution to your workplace culture.

Core personality traits tend to be fixed. For example, somebody who dislikes chatter is unlikely to enjoy being part of a highly sociable team. Or, an individual who prefers to work independently, will struggle if the job requires frequent collaboration or ‘check-ins’ to see how things are going. Just because someone has technical or intellectual ability to do the job, it doesn’t mean they will do in the environment of your workplace culture. It’s a case of square pegs and round holes.

However, what if you could gently round off the corners of the square peg candidate? While traits are fixed, the power skills of emotional intelligence, resilience and motivation are trainable. Assess your candidates to identify where they sit on this skill-scale and then consider if with coaching and training they could learn to improve in those areas.

A candidate that perfectly fits a data-driven benchmark is rare. This is where human interpretation is required to identify workplace cultural fit. This is where your recruiters and hiring managers face the toughest test. The interview.

Bring your workplace culture to the interview

Organisations should understand that they are not the only interviewer in the room. The candidates are interviewers too. With your benchmark–assessment process complete, you will have a good picture of the candidate in front of you. However, your candidate has little clue about you. Every question you ask or statement you make sets the scene for your workplace culture. Get it wrong, and wave goodbye to the talent in the room, or worse still deliver a very different experience during the onboarding period.

Present your workplace culture with honesty, integrity and balance. Do this by being able to define the culture of your organisation to allow the candidate to decide if you will be a good fit for each other. Of course, everyone wants to be wanted and so they will often add positive spin, glossing over the less desirable elements of themselves. But things will go rapidly wrong if reality doesn’t meet expectations and they have left a perfectly good gig to join yours.

Assessment tools provide interviewers with the structure to conduct effective and efficient interviews. They allow both parties to engage in meaningful conversation, ensure that important behaviour based questions are asked and the result is a sound hiring decision. Used correctly and as part of a structured recruitment process that runs from benchmarking to onboarding, assessments remove the guesswork from recruitment. They enable recruiters and hiring managers to see recruitment as an exciting opportunity to enrich your workplace culture.

Transform your workplace culture with Holst

Create a robust recruitment strategy to support the development of your workplace culture. At Holst we support you every step of the way to implement a bespoke recruitment programme that works to achieve a healthy workplace culture that can achieve your organisational objectives. 

Contact us to learn more.

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