With Regret … You’re Hired!

If you want to find out which candidate is the best fit for the job, the organisation and the team, don’t just take their word for it at interview, but see how they all cope in situations that mirror the job and its environment as closely as possible.  

Like it or loathe it, the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ is on to something. A gruelling twelve-week job assessment which places candidates in ‘real’ task and team oriented situations, allowing them the perfect opportunity to display their true colours, in all their abominable glory.  All bar one of them are ultimately rewarded for their efforts with public humiliation, and a free (one would hope) taxi ride home. It’s TV, of course, and so we can assume that the candidates who make the cut are shortlisted for their eccentricities and egos (the more over inflated, the better)!  But over the course of the series, through triumph and adversity, the mettle of each candidate is tested to the limit. So much so, that, when it comes to the interview stage, those remaining in the running are often left backpedalling furiously to explain how the cv version of themselves marries up with the reality as witnessed by Lord Sugar, Claude Littner, Karren Brady, and the great British ‘TV dinner’ nation.

It’s entertainment, so it’s extreme.  But, once you remove the frills, the flamboyance, and the faintly ridiculous, the basis for the hiring process is actually pretty solid. If you want to find out which candidate is best for the job, don’t just take their word for it at interview, but see how they all cope in situations that mirror the job and its environment as closely as possible.

Of course, we’re not all Lord Sugar.  We don’t have access to eminent sidekicks to act as our ‘eyes and ears’.  We can’t all swan into the boardroom at the last minute to make chippy comments and point the ‘You’re Fired’* finger of doom. We don’t have access to the BBC’s budgets for fleets of people carriers, and mansions in which to house our prospective candidate pool.  And we’ve barely got time to grab a sandwich between interviews, let alone trek the length and breadth of London to watch candidates negotiate awkwardly with purveyors of fine produce and communicate aggressively through phones held at 90o to their chins (what is that all about?).

In reality, for many employers, wheeling every candidate through to the business end of the organisation for a work trial (however lengthy or brief) just isn’t practical.  As well as budget constraints, there’s health and safety limitations, security and confidentiality concerns, not to mention the very real risk of costly mistakes.  Yet, for many employers, basing a hiring decision on cv and interview evidence alone feels a little too much like a leap of faith.  And for a staggering proportion of HR Directors, that’s a leap they wish they hadn’t taken on at least one occasion. According to Robert Half (March 2015), 70% of HR Directors admit that they’ve hired someone who did not meet expectations.  Proving, beyond doubt, that even for the experienced interviewer, it just isn’t always possible to scratch sufficiently deep beneath the veneer to uncover the real person beneath the prepped, pumped and preened candidate sat across the interview table.

Now for the good news: profiling candidates for best fit is firmly within everyone’s grasp.  You don’t have to have a swanky boardroom.  You don’t need big budgets.  You don’t need ‘business advisors’ to run the process.  You don’t even need to invest much time.  You just need to select the right candidate assessment tools.  You need great{with}talent.

At great{with}talent, we believe so passionately in the importance of person – organisation – fit, that we have made it our mission to develop a suite of candidate assessment tools that puts finding the right potential at the heart of your recruitment process, in a manner that is hassle free, light on cost and high on investment return.

Whilst budget, time and logistical constraints prevent most businesses from adopting an on the job trial approach, our Finding Potential assessment tools offer the next best thing.  Valid, user friendly and intuitively predictive, they bolster your existing interview process to give you as rounded and transparent a view of your candidate pool as you could get without literally working alongside them.  Whether you’re assessing numerical and verbal ability, personality constructs, motivational drivers or work styles, there’s a test to suit everything:

Ability tests – help organisations understand if a potential new hire has the capability to reason with verbal and numerical information associated with the tasks required of them in role. Our tests provide two critical measures, with associated ‘norm group’ comparisons: accuracy of responses and time taken to complete the task.

Situational Judgement Tests – SJTs are measurement methods that present applicants with job-related situations and possible responses to these situations.  We have developed a range of generic SJT’s (Graduates, Managers, Retail staff), but bespoke versions are also available. Our SJTs each contain 16 job related scenarios, each of which require the candidate to select how they would react, both most and least like them, to the scenario. Completion time is approximately 10 minutes.

Personality Questionnaires – these have been based on the universally approved ‘Big 5’ model of personality and will help organisations and individuals to better understand behavioural preferences in the working environment.  Questionnaires take approximately 15-25 minutes to complete, and a variety of detailed reports are available immediately (click here for an example report).

Connect Questionnaires – Connect is typically used at the final stage of the recruitment process (short list stage) where you have a number of candidates who are all capable of completing “the tasks” required of them. The challenge being to understand which of these is more likely to be engaged working within your organisation. Connect identifies each candidate’s key engagement drivers allowing you to compare your organisation to the candidate’s needs. For example, if your organisation typically demands longer hours than the standard working week understanding that a candidate particularly values work life balance is a very useful part of the final interview stage. Connect will help you match new hires to the environment your organisation has created.  It may also be applied for use with internal movers, and supporting employees in career progression planning.

Sifting Questionnaires – The Insight Questionnaires provide a practical method of sifting large numbers of candidates early in the process. The questionnaires are very quick to complete, typically used early in the recruitment process and focused on personality constructs that are likely to relate to success in the areas of customer service, sales and administration.

In a candidate assessment market that is over crowded and often over complicated, we’ve taken the hard work out of the process for you:

  • Our website is clear and concise.  Take a look. We tell you exactly what you need to know about our products; what they will do for you, who they are aimed at, how long they take, and what they cost. We don’t believe in wasting your precious time with superfluous detail just to make ourselves sound clever and scientific (even though we are!).
  • We do all the admin so that you don’t have to.  Setting up an account is easy and takes seconds; just enter employee / candidate details and we will do the rest.  We’ll send out the tests and chase the responses.  We’ll collate the data, analyse it and send you the reports.  Instantly.  Leaving you time to breathe a little between interviews.
  • Our reports are piercingly insightful and predictive.  Quality of results is everything to us, and our attention to detail is second to none.  We can produce bespoke or generic reports, and we are on hand as much or as little as you need us to be during the feedback process.
  • Our pricing is affordable and accessible. We believe that assessment doesn’t have to cost the earth. You can purchase as many or as few units as you need.  There’s no expiry date, and you only pay for completed questionnaires, meaning no wasted budgets.  And, unlike many of our competitors, we don’t insist on costly training and accreditation before you can access our services.

So, if you’ve hired ‘with regret’ more times than you care to think about, contact us for more information on our range of assessment tools.  Or better still, sign up for a free trial (no strings, no commitment, no credit cards and no catches). You won’t regret it!


* although, technically, they were never actually hired in the first place.  Just saying, Lord Sugar, just saying

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