Category Archives: Interviewing and Onboarding

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11 HR hacks to make business more productive

This is a guest post from Jasika Adams. Jasika is a writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of human resources, startups and business management. She is a talent acquisition manager currently associated with Index Time Clock. In her free time, she loves to play with her kids and reading mystery books.  

Human Resources is a vital part of an organization. They are responsible for the kind of employees who enter and stay with a company. Since employees are the building blocks of a firm, the role played by HR cannot be underestimated. A highly proficient and capable candidate adds immense value to the organization. Employing competent managers, leaders, and workers is a vital task as without adequate human capital, a business in merely an idea. But how does the firm manage to build a pool of talented professionals?

We’ve compiled a list of tactics, mostly needing nominal resources, to recruit and retain able and highly accomplished individuals into the organization. From corporate hiring giants to the HR managers of a small business, all look for innovative ways to bag the top talent in their industry.

Here are a few points you can use to help hire and retain top talent.

Make that job description interesting

Many-a-times, this simple element is often overlooked by many organizations. A boring job description is not likely to attract the eye of good candidates. It might be able to describe the job responsibilities and list out the required skills but may falter in its very purpose of attracting the best talent. A Job description should be stimulating and exciting to sell the rewards of the job to the candidate. Some organizations take their job descriptions very seriously. In order to make the boring Job description livelier, some organizations have introduced video job descriptions. This gives the applicants an improved view of what the job and team ‘feels’ like. An advanced and exciting job description can help an organization find an equally driven contender for an exciting job position.

Boomerangs

Instagram made boomerangs hugely popular, but do you know that it can be a super effective HR hack as well? Boomerang is the process of hiring former personnel. It is a helpful HR hack, which can aid the organization in gaining back the talented employees that they had let go before. This can have several benefits. If employees see that their employer is enthusiastically working to bring back employees, it can have an encouraging effect on morale — and it can bring people back together who previously worked well as a team. Also, rehired workers understand the company culture, and employers don’t have to retrain them.

Effective use of Social Media

In this digital era, every individual is familiar with social media. Its reach has increased multifold. So why not use it to our advantage? It is a convenient medium to advertise job positions in an organization. Linked In has a large user base and so do other social media sites. It offers a better reach to a wider audience. This means a bigger pool of candidates to choose from. This, in turn, translates into an increase in the organization’s chances of appointing the finest talent and further prevents it from staying restrained to a particular region.

Employee Referrals

Oldest trick in the bag, yet it is useful till date. It has been a common method of recruitment to ask for recommendations from top employees of the organization, to fill job positions in the organization. An employee who is hired through the reference of a top manager or employee is believed to be trustworthy. This is because he/she is employed for the sake of the recommending employee’s reputation, thus minimizing the chances of any corrupt additions to the organization. Apart from referrals from top employees, companies can also refer them from top customers, previous top employees or company well-wishers.

The two pizzas rule by Jeff Bezos

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos famously created the “two pizza rule,” which says that you should never have meetings where two pizzas can’t feed everybody in the room. It is not due to frugality. It is based on the idea that too many people can make meetings less fruitful. Meetings can sometimes be time-consuming disruptions so look at your approach to meetings and analyse whether they’re helping or hampering your productivity. Think about who really needs to be there and list the objectives at the beginning so that everyone is clear about how they can contribute and achieve the end goal of the meeting.

Unofficial setups to explore talent

A non-official and friendly event is a brilliant way to gain a better perspective about a potential candidate beyond their resume. Any social event, commonly attended by top professionals, is the idea event any organization can hope to find a ‘right’ candidate for the job positions.

Helping align an individual’s goals with organizational goals

A good HR manager knows that it is important to understand an employee’s expectations and job aspirations. This is because there are various factors that could impact their decision of taking up the job and their earlier job frustrations. When we have a clear idea concerning the expectations of the candidate we can tailor our offer to ensure that the candidate chooses us and not the competitor. It also helps him believe that he can achieve his individual goals on the job and develop his career the way he wanted it to.

Upgrading technology

Obsolete technology frustrates the modern worker than nothing else. Outdated tools and resources hamper employee productivity and hinder them from quickly and efficiently deliver on the job. While the world has transformed dramatically in the recent years with the development of social and mobile, the world inside most organizations has stayed largely the same. Although companies have raced to elevate their systems to meet customers’ expectations, they have failed to consider the employee experience.

To uncover employee potential and increase productivity, businesses need to move into the future with virtual collaboration tools like Salesforce Chatter that let cross-functional teams to connect, collaborate, share files, data, and expertise, all in real-time and from anywhere in the world. Innovative workplace technology will also put an end to those seemingly endless company email chains. With solutions like Quip, chat is built into documents so your entire team can write, edit and discuss them in real-time. It’s a perfect example of how advancing your technology isn’t just about helping employees work faster — it’s about getting everybody working smarter.

Focus on Public Relations

This is a crucial department for any organization. It can help the organization greatly if the HR Department and the PR department work in sync. How so? Noteworthy publications, mention in famous lists or business awards can help boost up organizations public image which in turn increases the inflow of applicants for job vacancies in the organization. Effective utilization is the key to success here.

An office space unique to its culture

A physical workspace that is comfortable, inviting and warm has a lasting effect on the minds of employees. A study revealed awe-inspiring evidence that elements of office design have a great influence on the productivity and well-being of the people who work there. So, while in the past, an employer’s only concern might be providing a desk, a phone, and a computer, Salesforce now recognizes there’s real value in outfitting office spaces with details like warm LED lighting, windows that provide sunlight and views, desks that can be adjusted to sit/stand for comfort, and dedicated mindfulness areas that help employees rejuvenate. The workspace is also a reflection of an organization’s brand, hence it should be designed with care.

The goal of healthy living

Encourage employees to maintain balance in their lives. There’s a direct correlation between employee wellness and job performance. Similarly, eating healthy and exercising is tied to increases in workplace productivity, getting more sleep helps employees earn more, and meditation helps promote divergent thinking. As an HR professional, you’ll need to build a business case for wellness in the workplace and demonstrate to your executives there is real ROI in having happy, healthy employees.


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8 ways to tell if a job candidate is a good fit

A hiring manager usually has a 60-minute interview to decide if a candidate will be a good fit for a company. For the interviewee that can feel like a lifetime, but for the interviewer, it usually isn’t long enough. By the time you reach the interview stage, you’ve narrowed your choices significantly and there is often very little separating the candidates. Here are a few ways to make finding the right fit a little easier.

Know what you need

Before you can decide if a candidate is a good fit, you need to know what you’re looking for. Not only in terms of skills and experience but also personality traits. If you haven’t identified what you’re looking for, you won’t be able to spot it when you see it. Writing out a clear job description will help you define what you need and make it easier to recognize a candidate that will enhance the company dynamic.

Use personality profile assessments

It is important to use personality profiling assessments to effectively narrow down your candidates by exposing deeper, often hidden, traits that are easy to miss in an interview. When used correctly, personality profile assessments tests enable you to determine if an applicant will be a good fit for your company.

Ask the right questions

This seems obvious until you think about it a bit more. Ask questions that force candidates to demonstrate their skills, rather than just describe them. If the job requires close attention to detail, show them a picture and ask them to identify certain elements. The same applies to when you talk to a candidate’s references. Don’t just ask the standard questions, also include ones that give insight into their personality and values.

Find out what matters to them

Knowing what is important to a person will give you a clear indication of their values. Asking value-based questions, with no right or wrong answers, can help you decide if a candidate has the right personality for the position.

Change the script

It is easy for a candidate to prepare for an interview if they know what the questions will be. Obviously, there are certain areas that needed to be covered but it is also essential to throw in a few surprises. Ask unexpected questions to gain insight into a candidate’s thought processes, and to give them the opportunity to demonstrate how they think on their feet.

Watch the body language

Body language is as insightful as words. Observing a candidate’s reactions to certain questions can tell you a lot about them. Take note of the questions that excite them and the ones that make them uneasy.

Embrace diversity

When looking for an employee who will be a good fit, it is important to consider cultural add.  Focusing exclusively on cultural fit, and ignoring cultural add, can lead to stagnation in the workplace. When judging a candidate you need to look deeper than your company culture, you also need to assess what they bring to the table. New ideas and innovation are often driven by cultural add.

Never ignore your instincts

If you’ve correctly identified what you’re looking for in a candidate, then you need to trust your instincts when you make your choice. If you don’t feel that a candidate is a good fit, then explore the reasons for your apprehension and if they are valid, then go with your gut.

Hiring a new employee can be stressful. You’re not just employing them to do a job, you’re also inviting them to be a part of your team. It is important to take the time and make the effort to find the right fit.


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How Important is Validation in HR Assessments and Tools?

Choosing and implementing an HR assessment tool is an important part of integrating any sort of competency framework or model, and an important step in improving your hiring process.

HR assessments also play valuable roles inside organizations, ensuring that employees are performing well, helping with role validation, and working to ensure that potential leaders are given the training and development to move them up.

If you’re looking for an assessment tool, you’ve likely heard about validation. This is typically criterion-related and content-related validation, showing that the methods, criterion, and algorithms used by the assessment tools have proven results.

At the same time, many tools either don’t offer validation or offer pre-validation, which means the tool isn’t validated for your environment. This can save you money, but you will be losing a great deal by skipping this important step.

Validation Connects Assessment to Performance

Validation is literally in place to use data to prove that criterion and content (such as a competency like agility) actually connect to performance.

Good validation studies the real connection between the factors your tool is looking for and real-world performance inside your organization.

For example, a validation study may review factors shown by top-performing roles and compare those traits to those the tool is looking for. Your validation study will also help you to predict ROI by connecting how well assessment scores correlate to increased performance.

Validation Enables You to Tailor Your Assessment

No assessment tool is ever perfectly suited to an organization. A good validation study will show you how and where to update or tweak assessment scoring, searched-for competencies, and methods to improve before integrating it.

For example, you can tweak test scores to highlight certain competencies or behaviors more, remove those that seem irrelevant, and shorten assessments to focus only on the points that have the most impact.

Validation Reduces Risk

While there are few risks in creating a selection procedure for employees, validating that procedure will reduce those risks and work to protect the company on a legal as well as performance basis.

For example, a validation study showing that selection criterion actually contribute to performance or other desired company traits gives you legal defensibility because it provides a rationale for not choosing certain candidates.

Validation also reduces the risk that searched for criterion do not contribute to performance. For example, if you were to choose a tool that fits poorly, it might have adverse impact.

Validating your process in advance ensures that you hire for the right reasons and can defend those reasons as legitimate and valuable.

Importantly, while some competency frameworks and HR assessment tools claim to be validated, that validation means nothing unless it is validated in your environment.

Validating for both content and criterion, with a sample size of 100 or more, is crucial to creating valuable data that is relevant and meaningful for your company. If an assessment is validated in another environment, that still means nothing for your organization.

A good validation process will ensure the efficacy of your selection procedure, will help you to determine how and where to update your selection procedure for your organization, and will help you to get and retain more value from the assessment.


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Use Job Analysis During a Hire to Find Talent-Environment Fit

Hiring competent and qualified employees has never been easier than today, with the Internet, an increasing availability of assessment and competency frameworks or models, and more and more ways to validate what goes into good work.

However, while many companies are increasingly focusing on ensuring that employees display the behaviors and competencies contributing to producing quality work or high performance, fewer are using job analysis to match employees to company culture.

Employee turnover remains one of the costliest aspects of employee management but using job analysis during the hiring process to match employees to culture will greatly reduce it.

This starts with being able to articulate what your company culture and environment is, and validating that assessment. Then, your ability to hire based on environment and shared values will greatly increase long-term employee retention and therefore drive the costs of hiring and re-hiring down.

Defining Your Culture and Environment

Every organization has a company culture. It’s often a mix of values, ethics, work environment, expectations, and how people work. You often cannot deliberately choose your culture, but you can work to influence it and create a culture that better reflects organizational ideals and methods.

The organization should define company culture, align it with the company’s vision and goals, and work to restructure or change it where necessary. Your culture should be aligned with company actions, strategy, decision-making, and communication, because work must support cultural beliefs, or your cultural beliefs don’t reflect your real culture.

You can also take the time to define why this is your culture. Sometimes the why is because it simply happened. Other times, you carefully nurture company culture to create a good work environment where people, productivity, and innovation are at the forefront.

Going Beyond Person-Job Fit

Most HR assessment tools are used to match a person to a role, matching their hard and soft skills as well as behavioral patterns to those mapped as essential in the role.

While this is very helpful in choosing someone, who can be competent and productive in the role, it says nothing about their ability to be happy and to contribute inside the organization.

Mapping HR assessment to company culture allows you to assess whether a person’s beliefs, values, and ethics align with that of the organization and whether you can contribute to each other.

This will tie in well with behaviors and beliefs already mapped by existing HR assessment tools, you primarily just have to map them to your organization as well as to the role.

In some cases, you can achieve this by using broad organizational-level competency frameworks defining the beliefs and behaviors everyone in your organization should share, in others, you can look for specific patterns of behavior indicating a good cultural fit.

Employees who can step into an organization that already shares their work values, moral and ethical concerns, and who mesh well with the existing structure are more satisfied with their job, more able to contribute and work productively, and more likely to stay with the organization for the long-term.

While any employee retention will naturally tie into development, growth opportunities, and long-term organizational growth and management, hiring for a good cultural and environmental fit gives you more opportunities to retain employees because individuals mesh with their environment, get along with employees, and are able to contribute in multiple ways to the company’s culture and output.


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6 Crucial Soft Skills that Indicate a Great Hire

Hiring and recruiting practices have largely revolved around hard skills or what a candidate can do. Today, recruiters are becoming more and more aware of the value of soft skills, which affect how people do their jobs, interact with others, and develop themselves. Unlike hard skills, which are often developed on the job or through training, soft skills are difficult to develop and may be impossible to foster in a hire who doesn’t show desired traits.

This is increasingly leading to a trend in hiring for soft skills that make a candidate a good fit for the role, focusing on hard skills as secondary in importance and learnable. You’ll always find people with necessary technical skills, but soft skills determine how hires will adapt, learn, work in teams, and solve problems in the work environment.

Crucial soft skills to look for

While soft skills will naturally vary depending on the specific role and its output, the following 6 soft skills were identified as crucial for many roles in LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report as well as by CEOs including Google’s Eric Schmidt.

Agility

Agility is a soft skill that overlaps heavily with adaptability and ingenuity, which plays into nearly every interaction in a work environment. Hires who show agility can adapt quickly to new circumstances, learn new tools easily, find creative solutions to problems, and self-start.

Culture Fit

In one study by Millennial Branding, 43% of recruiters listed culture fit as among the most important soft skills for making a hire. This ‘skill’ is less about what you can do or how you do it and more about how you do it. For example, a technically company needs someone who is careful and traditional and willing to follow procedures, even in a relatively agile or fast-paced environment. Unfortunately, a good culture fit changes a great deal depending on the company, but it overall encompasses how well the person is likely to mesh into the existing work environment and standards.

Communication

Communication overlaps with collaboration or teamwork and is a crucial skill in any workplace and any role. This translates to both working in teams and effectively communicating ideas and intentions and working in customer-facing roles, where good communication skills can make or break a customer relationship. While there are naturally different levels and aspects of communication that should be looked at depending on the person’s role (an IT developer does not likely need strong written communication skills), showing good communication in and before an interview and during the assessment is a good sign that the candidate can and will do so inside their role.

Persistence

While many companies favor creativity and ingenuity over persistence, psychologist Adam Grant argues that all three tie in together. His research on skilled, successful, and creative people shows that persistence is the common trait behind creative solutions, success in the workplace, and even solving problems.

Growth Potential

LinkedIn’s 2017 Emerging Jobs Report surveyed over 1,200 recruiters who listed growth potential as a top soft skill to look for. This trait encompasses both having a positive attitude and a willingness or ability to learn – enabling the candidate to develop themselves to either move up or continue to progress as their role develops.

Prioritization

Prioritization and time management is a crucial aspect of performance, and one that is being looked at in both competency management and recruitment. Why? Employees who can prioritize value-added and important tasks without being bogged down in meetings and low-level tasks that don’t achieve anything tend to have a considerably higher output with a greater impact on organizational productivity.

Soft skills are becoming increasingly important in the hiring process, and for good reason. While technical skills will never be irrelevant, it is easier and faster to train someone a hard skill like using Excel than it is to train a soft skill like a willingness to learn or drive.


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How to Identify a Reliable HR Assessment

Whether your HR assessment is intended for pre-hire or for measuring competency, output, or leadership potential in existing employees, it’s crucial that your provider has the capacity to deliver to your needs.

However, with dozens of HR assessment providers on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. With buzzwords ranging from big data and gamification to smart-analytics, it can be difficult to determine what actually provides value and what a good service looks like.

Reviewing what you need and where is an important first step, but afterwards, you still have to identify which providers can reliably offer a good service that works.

Trademarks of a reliable HR assessment

The following factors will help you when reviewing and selecting your assessment provider, so you can make the best choice for your organization.

History of Success

It goes without saying that any HR assessment you choose for your company should have a proven history of success in other companies. While this doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for your company, having a history of proven success, either through case studies or proven testimonials will give you a reliable indicator of whether the assessment will work.

Measurement Techniques and Validation

No matter what you’re working to assess, your provider should use science-based methods to perform assessments, starting with their base methodology. Most HR assessments begin with job analysis to determine what should be measured and why. A validation study to verify that the selected criterion will work for your organization is also important (although a pre-validated assessment is something to avoid because you can only validate based on specific conditions for your organization) because it will work to ensure that the factors or competencies being looked for or scored actually relate to performance. No assessment will be 100% valid, simply because there are too many factors involved with human performance, so validity is always context specific in how it applies to your business or even your specific role. Despite that, it’s still important to have because it tells you that available data suggests the assessment will benefit your organization.

Research-Based

Any reliable assessment should be based on extensive research that can be shared, proven, and referred to throughout the process. Industrial/Organizational Psychology is the science of behavior in the workplace, and any reliable HR assessment will use it when forming assessments, methods, and when selecting tools.

Personalization

Your specific company needs are likely specific and individual to your organization. For this reason, nearly any HR assessment must be tailored to meet the individual needs of your organization or developed for your company from a base model. For example, your provider will have to adjust how competencies are scored or valued in your company to ensure it suits the specific application in your company.

Ongoing Support

Whether your HR Assessment developer is creating an internal training program and helping you launch the assessment yourself or working with you throughout the process, you need to be certain of ongoing support. Anything can go wrong at any time, and a reliable company will admit to that and offer ongoing support to ensure you have the tools and structure to ensure long-term success.

HR assessments can fit into recruiting, development, performance management, and leadership planning, so the requirements and output of your provider should vary accordingly. However, if your provider is using science-based assessments with good support, personalization or tailoring options, and a reliable history of success, they can likely deliver the value you need.


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Competency-Based Recruitment: Interviewing Technique that Works

Please join us June 21 to 22 as we go over Competency-Based Recruitment: Interviewing Technique that Works. This two-day public seminar will focus on pre-interview preparation; developing questions and their value; the interview techniques that get specific, behavior-based examples of past performance; and the strategies that follow through on this process.

This workshop takes the behavioral interview even further with a discussion of communication techniques and the use of other types of interview questions.

Participants will learn how to develop a fair and consistent interviewing process, prepare better job advertisements, and create a job analysis and position profile. We will use traditional, behavioral, achievement-oriented, holistic, and situational interview questions to effectively interview applicants (including difficult ones).

The course will also go over costs incurred by an organization when a wrong hiring decision is made, essential communication skills, how to check references more effectively, and employment and human rights laws that can affect the hiring process.

Register Now

Course Outline

  • Session 1: The cost of hiring errors
  • Session 2: Why use behavioral interview techniques
  • Session 3: How to get the information you need
  • Session 4: Advertising guidelines
  • Session 5: Communication skills
  • Session 6: Writing the interview questions
  • Session 7: Defensible resume screening
  • Session 8: Developing an effective interview format
  • Session 9: Ethical and legal issues
  • Session 10: Interviewing techniques
  • Session 11: Asking questions and listening to answers
  • Session 12: Reference checks

The investment for this course is P8,500 plus VAT.

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas is a Wiley-Certified Everything DISC Trainer and a licensed Psychologist.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude in her Ph.D. Psychology at UST.  She also obtained a Diploma in Public Management from UP Diliman as a government scholar.

Dr. Caparas is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with extensive and invaluable services in both government and corporate offices. She served as Vice President of HR in New San Jose Builders, Inc. In GMA Network, Inc., she wrote for Kapuso Magazine as Managing Editor. She also became the Dean of the Graduate School at the Manila Central University.

Currently, aside from serving as a Consultant for Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc., she teaches part-time at UST and De La Salle University.  She has authored four books in Psychology and Human Resource Management. Already a fulfilled academician and HR and OD practitioner, she has received a number of awards and recognition.


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Streamlining Recruitment with a Competency Framework

Hiring new employees is often a balance between choosing individuals with the hard skills and knowledge to perform well in a role and the personality and behavior to fit well into a company. Traditionally, recruiters create a profile of who they are looking for, and match potential candidates against that profile. Unfortunately, this process heavily focuses on technical skill and formal learning, often overlooking competencies such as attitude and behavior patterns, which can be equally as important.

Competencies show not only what an employee can do but also how and how well they utilize the resources at their disposal (tools, skills, knowledge) to complete their jobs. Using a competency framework as part of the recruitment process allows you to streamline this process by identifying those factors and therefore making better hires.

How competency frameworks streamline recruitment

Improving Interview Accuracy

Competency frameworks allow you to set up a structured interview, in which recruiters use standardized behavior-based questions to determine how candidates handled previous situations or theoretical ones. This allows you to score individual candidates based on how well they respond, which is more successful in predicting the candidate’s future behavior than using unstructured models.

This does mean using a competency framework to identify role-based competencies for the position you’re hiring for, but improves the accuracy of hires for both current and future roles. Creating a competency framework normally involves reviewing existing employees to identify which factors make them successful in a role – including their behavior, decisions, and actions – alongside technical skills and knowledge.

Improving Candidate Feedback

Identifying and using competency frameworks allows you to create and offer clear and rational responses when refusing candidates. This works to improve the overall hiring process by giving candidates something for their time while helping recruiters to better define what they are looking for based on clear reasons specific candidates are not suited for the position.

Reduced Turnover

Hiring employees whose behavior does not fit into a specific role often results in high levels of turnover. For example, hiring an experienced person with the right technical skills for a role does not make them competent or happy in that role if they are traditional and prefer to move slowly while the role requires a fast-paced and fast-adapting candidate. By identifying the specific behavior competencies that help candidates to excel in a role, you can improve job satisfaction as well as performance.

Reduce Costs

Looking for specific behavior parameters on top of technical skill and knowledge improves the effectiveness and efficiency of candidate selection – therefore reducing total costs. Competency-based recruitment is results oriented and measurable, allowing you to create a direct return on value in the recruitment process.

Competency frameworks give recruiters a framework of what success looks like in a role, allowing them to map candidates to behavior rather than looking for a generic profile. This, in turn, speeds up the recruitment process, allows better personality and behavior matching, and increases the chances of a good fit.


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5 Tips to Craft Hiring Assessments

This is a guest post by Angela White. Angela is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing for the consumer market in the areas of product research and marketing using quizzes and surveys. Having a knack for writing and an editorial mindset, she is an expert researcher at ProProfs: a brand that’s known for creating delightfully smart tools such as Quiz Maker.

Assessments are powerful procedures and tools used by organizations for hiring top talent. Background checks and interviews are “small” components in the overall assessment. Hiring assessments go beyond these methods. To attract the market’s finest and top talent, you should craft hiring assessments the right way. Ensure that the right elements are included in your valuations.

Every method of assessment comes with unique benefits and drawbacks. In fact, there are “specific” environments for certain types of assessments. This post highlights on how to pull together successful hiring assessments. Let’s discuss.

Tip #1 – Consider Physical and Mental Ability

In general, ability examinations are extremely important for predicting a candidate’s chances of success in the job. The ability tests should be customized to suit the occupation and need. These are important for entry-level roles. Also, they are important when you are not prepared to train the employee.

Mental ability examinations play an integral role in measuring the learning capability of a candidate. The candidate you choose must be able to perform all job-related responsibilities without any flaws or issues. Mental ability tests involve spatial, quantitative and verbal skills. Many companies create a quiz to judge the candidate’s mental abilities. On the other hand, physical ability tests evaluate the candidate’s flexibility and endurance.

Note: Mental ability assessments are treated as authentic and critical predictors of the candidate’s ability to perform. Mental ability test results can have an adverse impact on the employer’s final decision. Various studies reveals that mental ability tests have a strong impact on minority groups. For example, some candidates take more time to solve questions than the experienced. This doesn’t mean the candidate is not skilled. It is important for hiring teams to design mental ability tests that are unbiased and appropriate for the job. If the role needs speed, test the candidate with respect to speed.

Tip #2 – Test for Achievement

Hiring assessments around achievements are known as “Proficiency Examinations”.

Many industries use proficiency tests to evaluate the candidate’s current skill and knowledge. The employee focuses only on “areas” that are relevant to the job profile. These tests can be categorized into two types: Performance tests and knowledge tests.

When you craft performance tests, allow the candidate to demonstrate at least two job-oriented tasks. This could be anything like diagnosing a problem, debugging code or fixing a broken machine. This is an expensive test that may need additional resources.

Knowledge tests involve questions that are carefully chosen. It understands how much a candidate knows about the responsibilities and tasks involved. Knowledge tests are treated as traditional components in the hiring assessments. In most companies, knowledge tests are executed on paper-and-pencil. In fact, some companies hire third party agents to create a quiz on the candidate’s knowledge and skill-level achievements.

Note: The paper-and-pencil method is becoming obsolete. Many tech giants are using computers for hosting knowledge tests. This creates a calm and composed environment for the candidate. The candidate’s only focus would be the problem. This is considered as a smart way of executing knowledge tests.

Tip #3 – Group Assessments

You don’t need to stick to “one-to-one” assessments all the time. If your ultimate aim is to hire the market’s top talent, you should bring them under a single roof. This is when group assessments become useful.

During these assessments, you should prepare a common questionnaire or create a quiz. The questions should be highly job relevant. You must not waste the time of the company or the candidates. The questions should not focus on the candidate’s hobbies, schooling or job experiences. Instead, it must be 100% job oriented.

For example, if you are hiring for a designer role, ensure that the candidates are asked about design. Ideally, they should be asked to design. Then, evaluate the performance of each candidate to identify the best and fastest.

Note: During group assessments, you should take “time” into consideration. The fastest and finest candidate will be your best pick.

Tip #4 – Do Alias Interviews

Employment rounds alias interviews are common during the hiring process. In fact, this is an overused assessment method.

Employment interviews can be unstructured and absolutely unplanned. And, you may end up bagging top talent. Doesn’t this sound boring? Gone are the days when interviews were planned and carefully structured. Structured interviews have trained professionals, standard questions, timed tests and a fixed evaluation strategy. On the other hand, unstructured interviews are hosted by professionals in the job, random questions are chosen, and the interviewee may get unlimited time bounds.

It is easier to find top talent through unstructured interviews.

A recent study revealed that IT companies rely on unstructured interviews over the planned ones. Most of the time, the interviewer is advised to ask job-oriented questions. The interviewer has the freedom to probe the candidate for all job-related responsibilities and tasks.

Note: Unstructured interviews are not absolutely off-road. There are regulations and laws to govern how unstructured the interview gets. For instance, the Disabilities Act prevents interviewers from asking details about disabilities and medical conditions. The interviewer should abide by all these laws during unstructured and structured interviews.

Tip #5 – Personality Check

Any interview will be incomplete without thorough personality checks.

As suggested by its name, personality check involves analyzing the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and knowledge based on their personalized traits. Personality inventories are becoming famous in tech firms. Many interviewers analyze the candidate based on their conscientiousness, self-esteem, motivation and future goals.

Note: All hiring assessments should be backed by a personality test. Personality tests will help you make accurate predictions about the candidate.

The Bottom Line

On the whole, hiring assessments should be performed in controlled and planned environments. Even your unstructured interviews should be carried out in a perfect environment! Crafting the right hiring assessments is never easy. And, if you want to attract the industry’s best candidates, your assessments should be strategically organized.

One of the best ways to appeal and attract top talent is by hosting group events. Try to organize group discussions, group interviews, and open competitions. Make your assessments as reasonable as possible. After all, top talents evaluate assessments before giving it a try.


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Job Analysis: Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description

Join is from February 22 to 23 for a job analysis public seminar on Crafting a Competency-Based Job Description.

This course orients the participants on how to perform job analysis, with the end goal of crafting a competency-based job description. It follows a workshop style where participants will be conducting job interviews and eventually, writing the corresponding competency-based job descriptions.

Participants will learn to apply the basic principles of job analysis and job description, prepare comprehensive job analysis interviews, and write competency-based job descriptions based on thorough job analysis.

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Course Outline

  • Overview of Job Analysis
  • Uses of Job Analysis
  • Scope of Job Analysis
  • Job Analysis Methods
  • Guidelines for Doing Job Analysis
  • Conducting Job Analysis Interviews
  • Writing Competency-Based Job Descriptions
  • Contents of Job Descriptions
  • Knowing the Core, Technical and Leadership Competencies
  • The Language and format of Job Descriptions

The investment fee for this course is P7,000 plus VAT.

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About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas is a Wiley-Certified Everything DISC Trainer and a licensed Psychologist.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude in her Ph.D. Psychology at UST.  She also obtained a Diploma in Public Management from UP Diliman as a government scholar.

Dr. Caparas is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with extensive and invaluable services in both government and corporate offices. She served as Vice President of HR in New San Jose Builders, Inc. In GMA Network, Inc., she wrote for Kapuso Magazine as Managing Editor. She also became the Dean of the Graduate School at the Manila Central University.

Currently, aside from serving as a Consultant for Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc., she teaches part-time in UST and De La Salle University.  She has authored four books in Psychology and Human Resource Management. Already a fulfilled academician and HR and OD practitioner, she has received a number of awards and recognition.


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