Measuring Potential: Approaches that Work

Measuring Potential: Approaches that Work

When you sit down with a prospective candidate to assess their fitness for the job, you have a few useful tools at your immediate disposal. For example, you can simply explain the nature of the job to the candidate and ask how well your description aligns with her career goals. If you need very specific technical skills, you can ask the candidate to describe his or her experience in these areas. Most candidates won’t blatantly claim expertise on a software platform they barely recognize. And of course, you can compare your hard requirements (like a non-negotiable college degree) with the information you find on the candidate’s resume. But these assessments are not easy to quantify. A college degree may not actually translate into applicable knowledge, and a candidate’s claims may have a different meaning to them than to you. So how can you attach some numbers to an inherently subjective process? Consider the benefits of testing and measured assessments.

Potential is the new performance.

Over the past several years, many management experts have been obsessed with the search for measurable, reliable metrics that can help them put a number on employee performance. But now the tide is shifting toward potential, specifically, the potential of prospective candidates. Employers now know that the best way to fix staffing problems to avoid them by hiring the right people in the first place.

Rely on targeted skills tests.

Test candidates using assessment models that target very specific skill sets, the ones that best reveal daily success in the position. Don’t waste your time and burden your applicants by assigning the same panel of tests to all potential hires across the board. For example, not all “writing”, “basic math” or “database management” skills are the same; measure only the specific ones that matter most.

Test attitude as well as aptitude.

Cultural alignment can also serve as a profound predictor of success, but fortunately, there are a few ways to attach numbers to this quality. Choose a personality indicator or assessment model that reveals character traits you’d like to measure, such as leadership skills, team skills, flexibility, extroversion, or assertiveness. Don’t rely on a single personality assessment model (like the Meyers-Briggs Assessment) to outweigh a long list of other qualities that predict a positive match. Instead, take a balanced approach.

For more on how to determine a given candidate’s potential contributions and chances of success, turn to the management recruiters at ACCENT Hiring Group and work with a top staffing agency in Scottsdale!


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