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Why 75% of Top Companies Use Selection and Leadership Development Assessments

Posted by Cristina Filippo on 09/09/2015

As many of you know, we are partnering with an Oklahoma company, Hogan Assessments, and plan to host a certification workshop in October for our Oklahoma City community. This workshop will bring leaders from across the country to work with the Hogan team understanding how they can better utilize assessments to build high performing teams in their respective companies. 

We are super excited about this opportunity because assessments are so foundational for the work we do with our clients (we have highlighted one of our favorite assessment companies in St. Louis, TAD, in past newsletters). Today, we wanted to share with you our rationale for why utilizing well-validated selection and/or leadership assessments can have a positive impact on your own leadership development, your team performance and your organizational culture.
What we know, via the research, is that assessments utilized for both selection and development have been shown to result in increased productivity, retainment of key talent, improved engagement and overall bottom line savings to companies who utilize them. We encourage the use of assessments (and effective interviewing) as a vehicle to be more intentional in recruiting and retaining individuals who align closely with the values, skill sets and leadership competencies needed for the established culture and the envisioned future of the company.
Selection Assessments
Pre-hire assessments have been used for years, but never have such tests been deployed so widely at companies across the United States. The understanding of how much a “bad hire” can cost a company (approximately 150% of his or her salary), combined with increased knowledge of well-researched, gold-standard assessment tools and online accessibility, has resulted in more reasonable material costs, more accurate results and a surge in use.
Eight of the top 
10 U.S. private employers now administer pre-hire tests in their job applications for key positions.  These tests have, in effect, raised the bar for U.S. job seekers. With more companies establishing competencies and holding a formula for workplace success, fewer are willing to take a chance on anyone who doesn’t measure up. In 2001, 26% of large U.S. employers used selection assessments. By 2013, the number had climbed to 57%, reflecting a marked change in hiring practices that some economists suspect is making it tougher for people, especially young adults and the long-term unemployed, to get on the payroll.
Here are the Top Three Reasons to utilize selection assessments in your company:
1. Having the objective data necessary to make a good hiring decision. The most common hiring mistake made is to equate good interview performance with good job performance. When a candidate answers interview questions easily, articulately, and with enthusiasm, it's human nature to assume they are also smarter, more hardworking or more capable than other candidates. Typically, we are also swayed by candidates who are personally similar to us, good looking, or referred by trusted colleagues. Assessments provide an objective tool that will predict how your candidate will perform in the future and counterbalance the blind spots common in hiring.
2. Ensuring a candidate “fits” your corporate culture. You may have heard the term "hire for attitude, and train for skill." This is completely true, and may even be restated as "hire for culture, and train for skill." If you think about it, culture (which is closely linked to core purpose and values) is one aspect that is difficult to adapt to as an employee…many people leave a company ultimately over organizational culture differences. 
3. Developing an objective framework to onboard successfully. Assessments can offer enlightening information, providing a framework to guide employees in creating an effective development plan. By understanding an individual’s skill set, values, goals and motivations in relation to the organizations, a strategy can be created to both support and develop a newly hired leader, as well as provide a baseline against which to measure improvement.
Learn more about how crucial assessments can be when selecting a new team member:

Leadership Development Assessments
There is one quality that trumps all, evident in virtually every great entrepreneur, manager and leader. That quality is self-awareness. The best thing leaders can do to improve their effectiveness is to become more aware of what they are doing that most contributes to the team and what they are doing that most detracts from the team. Yes, it is tough work! 
Without self-awareness, an individual cannot understand their strengths and weaknesses, or in other words, their “super powers” versus “kryptonite.” Going hand-in-hand with that self-awareness is self-management. If an individual has some self-awareness, but does nothing to change, it is like stepping on the bathroom scale and realizing he or she is overweight, but not changing eating habits or exercise routine. 
Here are the Top Three Reasons to utilize leadership development assessments in your company:
1. Fostering strong self-awareness and self-management. Since a significant aspect of leadership development and coaching is creating self-awareness, assessment results can be extremely useful to provide insight into strengths and gaps. Leveraging those strengths and managing those weaknesses is key to a leader’s success at top levels of an organization.
2. Creating efficiency in the coaching and mentoring process.
Assessment results can provide insights into such areas as personality, leadership style, and organizational focus that might otherwise take a long time to surface. Assessment data can be extremely helpful in focusing an employee where they want to go and how to get there in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
3. Being aware of others, too. Self-awareness is crucial when building a team. Knowing natural strengths and weaknesses makes a leader a better recruiter and allocator of talent. But a leader also must be an acute observer of others’ strengths and weaknesses. Effective teams are made up of people who both understand and complement each other.
Learn more about how crucial assessments can be when developing high potential employees:

Whether it is during the hiring/onboarding process or in leadership development for established employees, the opportunity to receive objective assessment data is so worthwhile. Being able to understand your leadership traits (both good and bad) in a positive, supportive environment, can make the difference between frustration or success in finding personal fulfillment and realizing your career goals.

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