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Uncovering Potential Leaders with Recruitment Assessment

by Nick Davis

November 24 2016 - Every business-minded individual is well aware of the importance of securing the right hire. Approaching recruitment with anything less than complete dedication is likely to result in disappointment for everyone involved, high turnover and a potentially compromised reputation for your company. Although many organisations will focus on recruiting the right person for the given position at that moment, it is important to not lose sight of the future. From the second you decide to hire an employee, you should also consider their future potential. Are they likely to remain with your company, progress and excel? Do they possess the managerial judgement to make difficult decisions and have the leadership potential to grow into more senior roles?

To find the candidates with true long-term potential, companies often turn to recruitment assessment and objective tests. Recruitment assessment is a detailed and highly analytical process carried out by experts in the fields of business psychology and HR. Depending on the type and seniority of role different approaches can be applied, from executive assessment for senior hires to large scale assessment centres for graduate intakes. With the use of processes such as recruitment assessment and psychometric testing, companies can rely on scientific data to make critical hiring decisions, negating the dependence on gut feeling, which can prove unreliable. This process can also eliminate the negative repercussions of interview biases, which often prompt managers to make poor recruitment decisions.

Executive assessment helps to determine key competencies

The first process of recruitment assessment is to analyse a given position and determine the behavioural competencies required to perform the job effectively. This is done through a thorough job analysis. These results can be used to craft a job description and, once key skills are determined, the right tools and techniques can be selected to properly test for them at a later stage.

If you are searching for a candidate with leadership qualities, this can be factored into executive assessment. With the right psychometric questionnaires, professionals can determine whether or not a candidate has the right personality, motivation, attitude and working style conducive to a potential leadership role. All the while, your company's culture and design will be accounted for, as company fit is an integral consideration when it comes to recruitment.

It is important that the results are followed up, explored and validated through a formal interview. Business psychologists will conduct this interview to ensure the accuracy of the data retrieved. They will also observe whether or not the personality and behaviour demonstrated during the interview (and any additional assessment centre exercises) is fitting for the job at hand, as well as whether they have future potential as a manager or leader. With an executive assessment, this information is finally covered in a written report and fed back to the client, all of which can prove invaluable when it comes to making a decision who to hire as well as for succession planning.

Assessment centres help to identify those with potential

When dealing with larger numbers of applicants and to ensure the best use is made of your time during the recruitment phase, assessment centres can be used during the last stage of the selection process. This stage allows hiring managers to bring in all the promising candidates to observe and compare their skills and attributes across a range of tasks. During this phase, candidates are given a series of activities and exercises, which are designed to help hiring managers decide whether or not a given candidate is right for the position at hand.

With the use of an assessment centre, managers are able to more accurately identify potential and leadership qualities through action, rather than a single interview alone. This phase usually is integral to highlighting key skills, strengths, leadership qualities and teamwork capabilities.

Psychometric testing will reveal leadership qualities

There's always plenty of discussion regarding the most relevant characteristics for a leader. Forbes asserts that the five most important personality traits for an effective leader are "honesty, the ability to communicate, confidence, commitment and the delegation of tasks and responsibility." These are skills and characteristics that can delved into with the use of psychometric testing.

It is, however, essential that organisations select their psychometric instruments and tests with care. Many are unreliable or unsuitable, which will only serve to complicate your recruitment process. When done right and interpreted correctly by highly trained business psychologists, psychometric tests have the ability to seriously benefit your hiring process. This can be seen from the results of a study carried out by The Aberdeen Group, who reviewed over 250 international companies and discovered that those who made use of objective recruitment assessment, such as psychometric tests, saw a 47% improvement in hiring manager satisfaction and a 12% increase in revenue.

Leadership development programmes can help after employees are hired

If your organisation is looking to inspire and motivate future leaders and managers, the responsibility doesn't end with recruitment. Once they are hired, work must begin to guide them and challenge them. This can be done with the use of a leadership development programme, which helps individuals develop the relevant competencies and skills needed to lead. Programmes such as these encourage employees and managers to cope with change, develop their self-awareness, thrive under pressure and think abstractly.

Recruitment can be a trying process for any organisation, particularly when the position at hand is so integral to the success of a company. Thankfully, hiring managers are not alone. There are a range of tools and professionals at hand to ensure they secure candidates with the potential and skills required to flourish at your company for years to come.

About the Author

Nick Davis is a Business Psychologist and Director at Davis Associates: an HR consultancy in Surrey. By applying best practice executive assessment, coaching and leadership development Nick has helped clients across the globe achieve greater individual, team and organisational performance. He is passionate about the beneficial qualities psychology can have within the workplace.


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