Wednesday, 25 July 2018 20:23

The Case for Using Assessments in Hiring

Written by Amy Letke, SPHR, GPHR

After weeks of tedious searches and painstaking interviews, you’ve finally found…the perfect candidate. They meet the key criteria for the job and even have extensive experience in similar roles. Their flawless resume and personable interview seal the deal, and the leadership team eagerly agrees to hire them.

But, six months later, your perfect hire hasn’t adjusted to their new role as well as you hoped. Their enthusiasm for their job has clearly faded, and the company is struggling to endure their inaccurate work and lack-luster team spirit.

Although they’re a great person and an experienced professional, they just aren’t a good fit. What looked perfect on paper didn’t translate to this new role, and now you need to address the situation.


According to the 2016 LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends, “Too many organizations make crucial hiring decisions based on impressions (background, resume, interview) rather than data” (Abbot, Batty, & Bevegni, 2016).

Resumes and interviews are informative resources, but the reality is that they are built entirely upon carefully crafted impressions. To make informed hiring decisions, employers must incorporate high quality data to fill in the gaps these impressions leave.

While adding data to traditional hiring tactics can sound overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Great organizations know success begins with hiring the right people, so hiring assessments are an obvious resource to incorporate into the recruiting cycle. But, you may be wondering - will assessments really help to predict the success of your candidates? Will you really see a return on your investment?

With the right tools – the answer is yes. High quality hiring assessments make gathering and analyzing candidate data simple and straightforward.


You know that high employee turnover is a drain on your company’s resources, but do you really know the true cost of a bad hiring decision?

From low productivity to costly management cycles, selecting the wrong person for the job sends a ripple of consequences throughout an organization.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire costs an organization at least 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings (Faterni, 2016)! Such monetary losses clearly damage a company’s overall success, and for small businesses, this could be a true game changer.

Even so, some research questions whether monetary losses are really the most significant cost of poor hiring decisions. A 2015 SHRM study discovered that when it comes to hiring, CFOs were most concerned about degraded staff morale and decreased productivity. Of the 2,100 CFOs surveyed, 35% of them said staff morale is greatly affected by poor hiring decisions (Maurer, 2015). So, making a bad hire not only costs the company big time, it negatively impacts a big percentage of employees in the organization as well.

Even though the value of making quality hiring decisions is well documented, only 32% of U.S. talent leaders feel that they are effectively measuring that metric (Abbot, Batty, & Bevegni, 2016). With statistics like that, it’s no wonder more and more companies are turning to hiring assessments for the data they need to make the best decisions for their team and their business.


Hiring a new employee always comes with a certain level of risk. While we cannot eliminate the risk associated with investing in a new team member, hiring assessments serve as tools to help mitigate, and reduce the costs associated with making a bad hiring decision.

An individual’s past experience, assessment data, and interview results are all crucial components of an effective hiring process. With all of these tools combined, employers are empowered with a robust hiring process that enables them to make quality decisions about their potential employees.

Employers who invest in hiring assessments are provided with data to help them predict the success of their candidates in their desired role based upon insights like their thinking style, technical skills, and professional interests.

The data compiled from assessments helps to produce confident, informed hiring decisions which often lead to increased hiring satisfaction. According to research by The Aberdeen Group, “businesses that use data from selection assessments are 36% more likely than others to be satisfied with their new hires” (Lombardi, 2011).

When employees are satisfied with their role and well matched to their job, they are typically more engaged and productive than their counterparts. The same two factors that most concern the CFOs mentioned above are alleviated through informed hiring decisions. Incorporating assessments into the hiring process reduces the risks associated with poor hiring decisions while helping to build an engaged, productive workplace.

Make Hiring Simpler and Smarter

Many companies have recognized the importance of utilizing actionable, insightful data throughout the hiring process. While there are a variety of pre-hiring assessment options available, not all assessments are created equal.

To help you select the best resource for your business, look for these key qualities in your assessment solution:

Validated for Selection: These assessments have been consistently proven to measure what they say they’ll measure.

Latest Performance Data: Accurate performance models are key to effectively measuring job match and gauging candidate’s competency.

Innovative Testing Technology: Updated assessment technology is more likely to produce accurate results with higher efficiency – this means shorter and more effective testing!

One assessment product that meets all three of these criteria is PXT SelectTM. The PXT SelectTM total person assessment, is an innovative, validated assessment tool that has been shown to increase the quality of hiring decisions.

This assessment uses data from thousands of individuals, case studies, and Department of Labor statistics to develop performance models based on the traits required to be successful in each job. The PXT SelectTM also utilizes Computer Adaptive Testing, the latest in assessment technology, to increase the accuracy of the exam. Computer adaptive testing adjusts questions as candidates progress through the assessment, using fewer questions and increasing the precision of the test.

The PXT SelectTM assessment increases the efficiency of applying the assessment data by providing employers with a whole suite of reports generated from one candidate exam. Within these reports, employers are provided interview questions designed for each specific candidate, enabling the assessment to be easily incorporated into the hiring process.

PXT SelectTM aims to “make the human decisions about hiring simpler and smarter.” True to their name, this innovative, validated assessment makes gathering and analyzing candidate data simple and straightforward.

Whether you choose the PXT SelectTM or another hiring assessment, I hope you discover a way to incorporate metrics and data points into your hiring process, that can measure the yield associated with the selection process in your organization. Your hiring decisions are too important to take a chance on impressions. Remember, great organizations know success begins with hiring the right people. Why not make an investment in your business where you’ll get a great return – your team.


amy letke

Amy Letke, SPHR, GPHR


Abbot, L., Batty, R., & Bevegni, S. (2016). Global recruiting trends 2016. Retrieved from dam/business/talent-solutions/global/en_us/c/pdfs/GRT16_ GlobalRecruiting_100815.pdf

Faterni, F. (2016, September 28). The true cost of a bad hire - it’s more than you think. Forbes. falonfatemi/2016/09/28/the-true-cost-of-a-bad-hire-its-morethan- you-think/#2c3c30f04aa4

Lombardi, M. Assessments 2011 selecting and developing for the future [PDF document]. Retrieved from dlahey/aberdeen-group-2011-study-on-assessments

Maurer, R. (2015, February 2). Morale, productivity suffer from bad hires. SHRM. talent-acquisition/pages/morale-productivity-bad-hires.aspx

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