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Why Hiring Assessments Reduce Turnover | Builder Exchange of Rochester, NY - ROBEX | July 2018
Article by Nick Ryberg, President & Founder of Hunter-Ross LLC
The world of hiring assessments has a long history, rooted in behavioral psychology. The current market is complex and quickly expanding with a wide variety of options. My advice – buyer beware. There are only a few reliable and safe assessment products in a highly unregulated market.
Over the last several decades, the hiring assessment industry has transitioned into a largely commercialized market. Behavioral psychologists and research studies have helped to identify the relationship between valid employee engagement assessment tools and employee turnover, and progressive business leaders and HR professionals are now integrating these tools to enhance their HR processes. This new reality is not without its quirks, however. The turnover challenge can be extremely perplexing and confusing. Employers are continuously looking for that "silver bullet" to solve, once and for all, this costly problem. Unfortunately, many businesses attempt to fix this problem by throwing more money at new hires or lobbing darts at benefits, work schedules, or staffing levels.
Employers with turnover issues, more often than not, overlook hiring assessments – largely because they are skeptical of value and typically see these tools as an added cost (dollars and implementation as opposed to a strong return on investment).
The assessment world can be both challenging and hard to decipher given all of the options. It's understandable that many employers haven't taken the plunge. What is becoming clear, however, and why employers should take this question seriously, is that the practice of integrating good assessment tools into HR processes is widespread among top quartile, best-in-class global companies.
In my experience, the concept of alignment is the best place to start if you're considering whether or not to implement these tools. It's a common buzzword across industry and human resources circles. It simply means that individuals are placed in the right roles according to their technical skills and capabilities, as well as their values, interests, and most importantly, how they are naturally wired to behave.
High levels of alignment are achieved by knowing how an individual is "naturally wired," and making sure that individual is in a role that matches his or her wiring.
Alignment is a beautiful thing when achieved. It's really about deploying staff in a way that doesn't require them to over-adapt to a role that they just aren't cut out for. I always love the analogy of putting a right-handed person in a job designed for a left-handed person.
If the right-handed individual has the technical skills and experience for the job, they'll adapt and potentially do well. But they'll always go home tired. Even more important is that the risk of low engagement and turnover goes up. At some point, this employee will want to be in a right-handed job. Potential result turnover.
The goal should be high employee engagement. A great illustration of how job alignment helps create high engagement is the difference between the "have to curve" and the "want to curve." The "have to curve" represents employees doing what is minimally expected. The "want to curve" means, essentially, going beyond minimal expectations toward true emotional commitment to the job and company. Employees at the "want to curve" are doing what they're meant to do. They are in a role in which their behavioral natural wiring, technical skills, and values are aligned. They are not overadapting. This is what we refer to as hiring the "Whole Person" versus hiring solely based on technical skills and a short interview.
Adding reliable and valid assessment tools to your hiring and selection processes provides the third, oftentimes missing, element of the hiring process. This is precisely why best-in-class, top-quartileperforming, high-engagement companies are incorporating valid and reliable data, via assessments, into their hiring processes and beyond. These companies extend assessments and analytics into their onboarding, coaching, performance feedback, succession planning, and exit process.
Turnover is absolutely impacted by adding good data to the process. These organizations understand the value of not leaving their biggest investment to chance. In fact, more than 90 percent of best-in-class organizations are now incorporating valid, reliable assessment tools into their HR processes (see Aberdeen Group 2016 Study). According to Gallup, those top-quartile companies with low turnover are achieving approximately 65 percent less employee turnover versus the bottom-quartile companies. This is significant given the average cost of turnover for midrange positions is equivalent to 30 percent of first year compensation (see U.S. Department of Labor website).
Do assessments impact turnover? I think the answer to this question is, overwhelmingly, YES Our clients, time and time again, see strong alignment and stabilization of turnover through implementation of valid and reliable assessment tools. The real question you should be asking is, "Why exclude valuable, readily-available data from one of your most important business decisions?"
Nick Ryberg is president and founder of HunterRoss LLC, a Western New Yorkbased consulting firm focused on workforce analytics and assessments. The firm is a Certified Partner of The Predictive Index and Qualtrics, and provides a wide range of solutions that improve employee engagement and alignment for clients. The firm also provides global talent acquisition services and peer advisory groups in the Rochester area.
For more information or an initial consultation, please contact Nick Ryberg at nick.ryberg@