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Over 80% of Fortune 500 use behavioral assessments for hiring - then why so much skepticism?

Updated: 4 days ago

Behavioral Assessments for Hiring

Behavioral assessments have become an integral part of the hiring process for many forward-thinking organizations including over 80% of the Fortune 500. Despite their growing popularity and proven effectiveness, a considerable number of people remain skeptical about their use. This skepticism often stems from misconceptions about their accuracy, relevance, and overall value. Let's explore the reasons behind this skepticism and why it's time to reconsider these doubts.

Common Reasons for Skepticism of Behavioral assessments fOR hIRING

1. Doubt About Accuracy One of the most significant concerns is the perceived accuracy of behavioral assessments. Many people question whether a test can genuinely capture the complexities of human behavior and predict future job performance. They worry that these assessments might produce results that are too generalized or, worse, inaccurate.

2. Fear of Bias There is also a fear that behavioral assessments might be biased, potentially leading to discrimination against certain groups. People worry that the tests may favor specific personality traits over others, leading to unfair hiring practices.

3. Over-reliance on Data Skeptics often argue that companies might place too much emphasis on the results of these assessments, neglecting other essential factors like experience, education, and interview performance. They fear that the human element of hiring is being overshadowed by data and algorithms.

4. Lack of Understanding Many hiring managers and candidates are not fully educated on how these assessments work. This lack of understanding can lead to distrust and the belief that the assessments are merely a fad or a gimmick.

Why These Concerns Are Unfounded

1. Proven Accuracy Modern behavioral assessments are backed by extensive research and have been refined over the years to improve their accuracy. These assessments use sophisticated algorithms and are designed based on psychological principles to ensure they provide a reliable measure of an individual's behavior, motivations, and potential job performance. Numerous studies have demonstrated that when used correctly, these assessments can significantly enhance the quality of hire and reduce turnover rates.

2. Mitigation of Bias Leading providers of behavioral assessments go to great lengths to ensure their tools are fair and unbiased. They employ rigorous testing and validation processes to minimize any potential biases. Additionally, these assessments can actually help reduce unconscious bias in hiring by providing objective data to support decision-making.

3. Balanced Decision-Making Behavioral assessments are not meant to replace traditional hiring methods but to complement them. When used alongside resumes, interviews, and reference checks, they provide a more comprehensive view of a candidate. This holistic approach ensures that hiring decisions are well-rounded and based on a combination of factors.

4. Increasing Understanding and Acceptance As more organizations adopt behavioral assessments, their benefits are becoming increasingly apparent. Companies that have integrated these tools into their hiring process report improved employee performance, better team dynamics, and higher retention rates. Educating both hiring managers and candidates about how these assessments work and their benefits can help dispel misconceptions and build trust.

To Sum It Up

While skepticism towards behavioral assessments is understandable, it is often based on misconceptions and a lack of information. When implemented and used correctly, these assessments can be a powerful tool in making more informed, fair, and effective hiring decisions. It's time to move past the doubts and embrace the potential of behavioral assessments to revolutionize the hiring process.

One last thing, someone’s skepticism about behavioral assessments may stem from a lost job opportunity due to an assessment or a promotion that was not earned due to an assessment test. 

It is incumbent upon any company using a behavioral assessment that they use it correctly and follow their vendor’s instructions on how to best implement them. While it is often an assessment that is blamed when someone doesn’t get a job, if used correctly an assessment is only one data point among many that are being collected on a candidate for hire or promotion. It is highly unlikely that an assessment alone would rule a candidate out.

Harry Lakin

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