Why Perform a Pre-hire Assessment for Senior Leaders?
A pre-hire assessment is a great tool for companies to use when hiring senior leaders—such as candidates for C-level positions or for those positions just under them in the organization, like directors and senior managers. These assessments, performed by an unbiased third party, can provide incredible insight for the hiring manager as well as for the decision makers in the hiring process.
The assessment can show what the candidate’s personality is, how they work with others, and what style of leader they are. The assessment is also an invaluable tool for determining whether the candidate’s core values match up with the role for which they are applying and can help point to areas where the candidate might need development to reach their full potential in that role.
I have performed countless pre-hire assessments and what I have found is that companies generally use them in two different ways at two different points in the interview process—either before the bulk of the interviewing or after the interviewing and prior to hiring the candidate—and, there is intrinsic value in using the assessment at either of these two points.
On one hand, companies that perform assessments before the bulk of the interviewing tend to use the assessment as a tool throughout the interview process. It allows those conducting the interviews to really focus on any areas of the assessment where there might be concerns. In addition, when hiring a senior level executive, there are several people who will interview the candidate, most of whom are also senior level executives. Because their time is so valuable, by having a candidate’s completed assessment before the interview, they can maximize their time with the candidate. It is also more cost effective. For example, when a CEO is interviewing a candidate, it is costing the company a considerable amount of money in the form of human capital, so having a completed assessment before the interview reduces that cost.
On the other hand, companies that do the bulk of the interviewing first, and then have the assessment done, use the assessment for a slightly different reason. Most of the time, they have already decided which candidate to hire and are using the assessment to validate their own assumptions and highlight areas where the candidate needs development. Knowing the development needs of the candidate beforehand allows the decision makers to determine where they will have to focus their resources once he or she has been hired. And, in some cases, when an assessment shows that a candidate needs significant development in the position they are being hired for, it can prompt additional interviews which will allow the decision makers to determine whether the candidate is, in fact, a good fit for the position.
There is no right or wrong way to use a pre-hire assessment; it depends upon your company’s needs and hiring process. However, performing a pre-hire assessment for a candidate seeking a senior level position can help ensure that the right person for the job will be hired and that the developmental needs of that individual will be identified and understood.
To learn more about how ExecuQuest can help you hire the right candidates, please visit our Pre-hire Assessments page.