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Why Employers Should Use Behavioral Assessments for Hiring

02/18/2024
Why Use Behavioral Assessments For Hiring
Reading Time: 6 minutes

What is the Behavioral Assessment Test for a Job?

Behavioral assessments are pre-employment tests designed to measure critical interpersonal qualities beyond just skills or experience. These include personality traits, workplace behaviors, ethics, culture fit, and more. Behavioral assessments for hiring are used to predict on-the-job performance and identify top talent matches. 

If you’re wondering where all of the talented candidates in the job market are going, it could be that they now work for your competition.

In fact, a survey found that 82% of employers are using pre-employment assessments during the interview and hiring process to uncover which candidates truly have the abilities they need. Many report that this helps them speed up the process of filling that job vacancy.

Pre-employment assessments give you a clearer, more detailed picture of your future employee. Competency tests like MS Office, computer skills, and industry-specific tests help companies hire the best candidates with the right skills. When these tests are combined with behavioral assessments, the hiring process becomes more effective and efficient.

According to Talent Board’s 2022 C and E Report, Almost half (45%) of companies use pre-employment assessments during their hiring process, and of those assessments, 42% are personality tests.

What are the Different Types of Behavioral Assessments for Hiring?

The most common types of behavioral assessments for hiring include:

While skills tests may reveal if a candidate can do the job, behavioral assessments help answer an equally important question – will they thrive in your unique work environment?

The Benefits of Behavioral Assessments for Hiring

Behavioral assessments go beyond testing what skills or knowledge a potential employee has. These tools reveal applicants’ potential for development by assessing their behavioral traits such as assertiveness, flexibility, leadership, reasoning, and self-awareness.Behavioral Assessments For Hiring being used

Reduce Bias & Promote Diversity 

In 2017, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study on racial discrimination in hiring. Researchers combined distinct racial names with identical resumes.

The study revealed that white candidates had substantially more callbacks than the made-up profiles with names considered to be typically African American or Latin American. Specifically, white-coded candidates had 36% and 24% more callbacks than their African American and Latino counterparts, respectively.

The results confirmed that bias is still present during the job search. It goes without saying that when your candidates don’t have equal opportunity to succeed, you’re hurting your chances of finding the best person for the job.

Behavioral assessment helps identify personality traits that are important for a job, regardless of the candidate’s gender, race, or identity.

This approach can help combat unconscious bias and promote a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. 

Find The Perfect Culture Fit

Is it better to hire someone who fits with the current culture of your company or someone who might constructively challenge your team?

Some employers search for candidates that are more likely to be quickly accepted by their existing team because that usually means an easier onboarding process. Others argue that hiring someone who does not necessarily fit the established company culture drives innovation.

According to Harvard Business Review, team diversity can have positive effects.

Teams of people with different skill sets and behavioral profiles tend to produce a variety of viewpoints, which can increase the number of possible solutions to a problem. The collective creativity and originality of a team increase when different personalities work together.

To hire a candidate who drives innovation and creativity, behavioral tests can help you identify the best fit.

Reduce The Risk Of the Wrong Hire

You may lose more than you think by hiring the wrong person.

The U.S. Department of Labor states that the average cost of an inadequate hire can be up to 30% of that person’s earnings during the first year. Hiring costs, retention, and salary are part of the estimate of how much you lose with a bad hiring decision. In practical terms, if you pay an employee $100,000, the cost to your organization can be $30,000.

A bad hiring decision can lead to:

Decreased productivity, teamwork, and time loss

Every employee needs time to adjust to a new job, but bad hires can drag the whole team down. Underperforming employees often require additional help, and managers have to spend more of their time catering to the needs of those employees.

Worse relationships with clients

Your clients expect to receive excellent service and those expectations won’t be met if your employees aren’t up to the task. The damage can disrupt client relationships, and in worst case scenarios, could result in the termination of your business relationship.

Damaged reputation in the eyes of future clients and potential employees

How your employees manage clients, or co-workers, will determine your reputation, good or bad, in your industry. Satisfied employees that constantly achieve results create a more appealing workplace for new hires.

Behavioral tests reduce the chance of hiring someone that your company cannot benefit from. These assessments can provide insight into how someone should perform under specific work circumstances.

Improve HR efficiency

Behavioral tests are indispensable tools for HR managers because they:

Improve the recruitment process

To find the best fit, talent acquisition teams need to know about the personality traits, attitudes, and workplace behavior of job candidates. Behavioral assessments can be especially important for remote hiring due to limited contact with candidates. 

Using a science-backed behavioral assessment can give a better understanding of a candidate’s abilities during remote hiring processes.

Increase personal and professional growth

Everyone thinks they know their own attitudes and behavior, but pre-employment behavioral assessments provide an accurate, objective assessment of someone’s true nature. Your employees are more motivated to achieve results when they know that what they bring to the table generates value for the organization.

Strengthen relationships between employees and teams

Using behavioral tests during the hiring process can reveal an applicant’s communication style and how they might react in certain situations. This helps improve productivity and cohesiveness within teams and can even reduce HR workload. Plus, when employees are satisfied with their working relationships, it can lower turnover rates and save on hiring costs.

How To Use Behavioral Assessments For Hiring

If you are considering using behavioral assessments for hiring, there are a few things you need to do to make the most out of this powerful tool:

The Disadvantages of Behavioral Assessments

The benefits of introducing pre-employment behavioral assessment in your hiring process definitely outnumber the disadvantages. However, every assessment method has its limitations.

It’s important to remember behavioral tests will not give you the full picture of your applicants’ abilities. Only when you combine behavioral assessment with cognitive tests and other hiring tools can you have enough information to make an informed decision.

HR managers need to understand what type of behavior your new employee should possess. If a “first impression”  is incorrect, then you might hire a person who turns out to be less productive than the one that you passed over. Behavioral requirements should be tailored according to job requirements and the workforce.

Even if they don’t possess the “textbook” behavioral traits you think your company needs, the candidate may still have the potential to perform successfully in the position. People often compensate for weakness by developing other abilities.

For example, a salesperson does not have to be extroverted to be a good employee because introverts often can find ways to create deeper connections. If the candidate shows promise in other abilities, it may be time to reconsider the needs of the position.

The Perfect Hire is a Behavioral Assessment Test Away

How do you know who is the best fit for your company?

Industrial psychologists, behavioral experts, and data scientists believe in behavioral assessments because it yields data-driven, more informed hiring decisions. With so many risks in hiring the wrong person, it’s worth the additional minimal effort of assessing behaviors.

When researching testing providers be sure to select a pre-employment testing platform that has a wide range of psychometric tests to accurately assess the behavioral traits your future employee should have. 

If you are a company that needs to streamline hiring costs, select a testing partner that provides per-test pricing instead of lengthy contracts with minimum order sizes. When in doubt, take advantage of free sample tests or platform demos to ensure you are selecting a company that can partner with you for the life of your business.