Behavioral Assessments Make Your Hiring Process a Next-Level Experience

Behavioral assessments metrics measuring candidate

Why are behavioral assessments used?

Finding the right candidate is important in talent acquisition. Traditional screening methods may not always be effective in this process.

Lean recruiting teams, high volumes of applicants, and similar-on-paper candidates make it difficult to identify top talent quickly. Enter pre-employment behavioral assessments, a powerful yet underutilized way to conduct talent assessments in modern hiring processes.

Picture this: You’re sifting through a mountain of resumes, each one boasting impressive qualifications and experiences. But how do you discern who will thrive in a specific role, collaborate effectively with their team, and drive results?

This is where behavioral assessments come into play. Rather than solely focusing on a candidate’s technical skills and past achievements, these assessments delve deeper into their agreeability, personal motivators, mindfulness, openness, and emotional intelligence.

Table of contents

Behavioral assessments

Key Takeaways

Behavioral assessments help predict job performance

  • Behavioral assessments are tools used in hiring to evaluate candidate preferences, personalities, and motivators. Companies often administer simple tests for candidates to complete during the hiring process, usually requiring 15-25 minutes.
  • Candidates’ responses are used to assign a score on 138 competencies. You can compare these skills to the requirements of a job to determine if a candidate is suitable for the role. This comparison can also help identify areas where the candidate may need to improve. Predictive assessments help companies avoid poor hires and costly turnover.

Behavioral assessments provide valuable candidate insights

One key advantage of pre-employment behavioral assessments is their ability to provide objective insights into a candidate’s potential fit within a role and the organization. By evaluating characteristics such as motivation to succeed, problem-solving approach, interpersonal relationship preferences, and stress tolerance, these assessments paint a comprehensive picture of how an individual is likely to perform in a given role. This holistic view enables hiring managers to make more informed decisions, reducing the risk of costly misfires and turnover.

Make objective hiring decisions

Behavioral assessments can help mitigate unconscious biases that may influence hiring decisions. These assessments steer hiring managers towards objective indicators of job performance, helping organizations foster greater diversity and inclusion within their workforce. This not only enhances the company’s reputation but also fosters innovation and creativity through the integration of diverse perspectives.

How do behavioral assessments compare to other job tests and pre-employment assessments?

Candidate assessment tests come in many varieties, including personality tests, IQ/cognitive tests, technical skills tests, and behavioral tests. Each job fit assessment has its own benefits when learning more about candidates for your open roles, but it’s important to understand what each pre-employment test is trying to measure and how to apply those findings to your hiring process.

Behavioral assessments

A behavioral assessment asks candidates to answer a series of questions, often seemingly unrelated to the job they’ve applied to, in order to assess their likely behaviors in a variety of scenarios. The assessment predicts motivation levels, openness to new ideas, drive for successful outcomes, emotional stability, and more.

Candidate responses are analyzed based on previous research and a large sample size of completed tests in order to predict a candidate’s success when compared against job profiles. Each job profile is built on specific sets of competencies as determined by the test developers and hiring organizations.

Because of the somewhat ambiguous nature of the questions and answers, behavioral assessments are difficult to game (when candidates attempt to answer questions to appear more favorable) and, therefore, enjoy a high validity rate.

Cognitive ability tests/IQ tests

Cognitive and IQ tests look to measure a person’s reasoning ability and general knowledge, often within a time constraint. The results may indicate how quickly a person will be able to solve problems or how much existing knowledge they have in certain areas. This may be helpful for problem-solving roles, especially in high-stress situations.

These types of assessments can be problematic because they may not reflect real-world problem-solving. While some people are excellent at written tests, they may not perform comparably in specific roles or situations, and vice versa. They also do not indicate whether or not a person is motivated to solve problems or succeed in high-stress roles, even if they have the competency to do so.

Behavioral assessments improve on this shortcoming by identifying motivators and behavioral tendencies in varying situations.

Technical skills tests

Companies often like to include specific skills assessment tests to evaluate candidate competencies as they relate to job profiles. These job skill tests may include computer literacy, language proficiency, software skills, and mathematical ability. The skills tested are likely to be used on a regular basis for a given role.

Technical skills tests are often used as a knockout stage where candidates are objectively measured on their ability to perform necessary job duties. While highly valuable to evaluate a candidate, technical skill tests are best used in conjunction with behavioral assessments to determine whether a candidate is likely to use their skills effectively and consistently in a given role.

Personality assessments

Personality assessments are tests most often associated with designations like extroversion, intuition, thinking, and judgment. These assessments ask candidates to pick answers that best describe themselves, and the output attempts to demonstrate how an individual thinks, feels, and perceives the world before acting.

While the personality reporting may be generally accurate for any given candidate, these tests are exceedingly difficult to translate into predictions of success for a specific role. A candidate may be outgoing, empathetic, and highly perceptive, all qualities highly valuable for customer service.

However, they may not be motivated to solve problems for others. Personality tests often fail to tell the whole story, and that’s where behavioral assessments can help fill in those gaps to predict success for specific job profiles.

How to include behavioral assessments in your hiring process

Of course, like any tool, behavioral assessments are most effective when used judiciously and in conjunction with other hiring strategies. They should never be used as the sole determinant of a candidate’s suitability for a role but rather as one piece of the puzzle.

Audit your team’s unique needs

Combining behavioral assessments with video interviews, reference checks, and skills assessments creates a more robust hiring process that takes into account multiple dimensions of a person’s candidacy.

When implementing pre-employment behavioral assessments, it’s essential to choose the right assessment tool for your organization’s unique needs and culture. There are numerous options available on the market, ranging from off-the-shelf assessments to custom-designed solutions. It’s crucial to select an assessment that aligns with your company values and job requirements and has been validated for reliability and predictive validity.

Enhance the candidate experience

It’s essential to ensure that candidates understand the purpose and significance of the assessment process. Transparency is key to building trust and rapport with candidates and can help alleviate any concerns they may have about the fairness and objectivity of the candidate tests. By sharing the goals, what to expect during the assessment, and answers to FAQs, you can help more candidates complete the test in a timely manner.

Develop your workforce with behavioral assessments

The benefits of pre-employment behavioral assessments extend beyond just hiring the right candidate. They also play a crucial role in employee development and retention.

By identifying areas of strength and areas for improvement early on, organizations can tailor training programs to meet the specific needs of their employees, thereby enhancing job satisfaction and engagement. Additionally, understanding the dynamics of team interactions can help managers optimize team composition and foster a more collaborative and productive work environment.

Find out if behavioral assessments are right for your organization

Pre-employment behavioral assessments have the potential to revolutionize your hiring process, providing your organization with valuable insights into candidate suitability, mitigating biases, and enhancing employee development and retention. By incorporating these assessments into your hiring strategies, you can build stronger, more resilient teams that drive innovation, creativity, and success.

Remember, hiring isn’t just about filling a role; it’s about finding the right person to propel your organization forward. And with pre-employment behavioral assessments, that perfect fit may be closer than you think.

Want to learn more about behavioral assessments for your organization?

Contact Spark Hire today to schedule a conversation!

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