For every business, the pressure is on to hire the right person the first time! But for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), that pressure is so much stronger. There’s not only the cost factor involved, but also the social factor of how much influence one person can have, especially in a SME.
…but using assessments will allow you to make a good decision faster. Using an automated recruitment assessment process as a filter at the beginning of the recruitment process can eliminate the need to read every resume received. Your minimum criteria regarding eligibility can be set with respect to qualifications, prior experience and training, so unsuitable candidates will not proceed to the next level. Instead of reading a large pile of resumes, you only have to consider the shortlist of those who ‘can do’ the position.
Part two of finding the ‘right’ person concerns their suitability to the job. Yes they are capable of doing it, but how will they fit with your organisation? Do they really enjoy the work they are doing? Will they want to do the job well? Today’s technology by way of assessments, can provide reliable data which measures an individual’s strengths, weaknesses and motivations as they relate to a specific job.
When looking for an assessment to use when making your talent decisions, see if the criteria is met with the following questions:
1. Is the assessment job-related?
2. Can the assessment be validated against job performance research?
3. Is the assessment easy to administer (or can you find someone to administer it for you if you are not inclined to do so yourself)?
4. Are the results easy to understand and interpret (for both you and your employee)?
In an organisation where staff numbers are small, there may not be an experienced interviewer or a person available with the knowledge to Identify that ‘right’ person. A good assessment program will also provide tools such as interview guides relevant to the position and selection criteria upon which decisions will be based.
How do you keep them for the long run? If the normal time frame for employee retention is two years, what can you do to avoid the same process again in the not too distant future? As with most businesses, turnover needs to be avoided in an SME as it can create a multitude of problems such as there not being ample staff to handle the workload left by the vacancy.
Again, a good employee assessment program such as Harrison Assessments will be able to identify what is important to your new employee – what engages them, what do they need for their long term development and how they will fit in with your business culture.
When all these benefits are measured, it’s easy to see the return on your initial investment on an employee assessment program. You have the ‘right’ person skill-wise and organisational culture-wise … and you can feel a bit more secure that it’s unlikely you will be repeating the process for that position any time soon!
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Chris Bulmer - National GM Learning and Development, ISS Australia
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