Selling Power’s Hiring Newsletter takes a look at assessments used in the hiring process. This is a topic near and dear to our hearts in that we assess sales candidates with online tests. One paragraph jumped out (emphasis mine):
According to Whittle, the average test runs around $200, but there were some tests that tacked on extra costs for interpretation up to $600 to $900 extra. Her company usually conducts the tests after at least two behavioral interviews to save time and costs. However, Whittle reminds us – the cost of testing is nothing compared to the cost of a bad hire. “We conduct the tests to validate what we’ve seen during the interview process,” explains Whittle.
I understand this approach, but I don’t agree with it. Here has been my experience – hiring managers will doubt the test results as opposed to their “gut instinct.” If you are two interviews into the process with a candidate, I guarantee someone has bonded with the candidate. This is not a bad thing, but what if the assessment comes back with information that indicates the candidate would be a risky, or even bad hire?
This is the problem – the hiring manager has committed to the candidate at some level. If the hiring manager has enough power, they will still hire the candidate in spite of the assessment results.
We assess candidates after a successful phone interview. This provides a detailed view of the candidate’s abilities, motivations, drive and so forth. The results also provide the topics for discussion during the initial in-person interview. This data makes that first interview far more revealing than simply probing for unknown weaknesses with generic questions.