EmployTest Logo

Why Employers Rely on Behavioral Assessments for Hiring


If you’re not using pre-employment assessments to make better hiring decisions, then 65% of employers are already ahead of you. And some of them are your competition.

Pre-employment assessments give you a clearer, more detailed picture of your future employee. Tests that measure candidate’s skills and knowledge like the MS Office test, computer skills test or industry specific tests, are all commonly used today. 

But these skills tests don’t reveal everything, and it’s best practice to combine them with different kinds of behavioral assessments for hiring.

According to Talent Board’s 2021 CandE Report:

Why are behavioral assessments so important? Because they can show if a potential employee is compatible with your work environment and job requirements.

In this article, we’ll explore all the advantages of behavioral tests. We’ll cover:

The Benefits of Behavioral Assessments for Hiring

Behavioral assessments go beyond testing what skills or knowledge a potential employee has. These tools reveal your applicant’s potential to develop, focusing on behavioral traits such as assertiveness, flexibility, leadership, reasoning, and self-awareness.

Reduce bias

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 showed that bias is still present and that not everyone has a fair chance during their job search. 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 goes beyond information on the candidates’ skills, knowledge or previous achievements. It shows the types of personalities that your company, or the open job position, needs, regardless of the applicants’ gender, race, sex, or other identity traits.

To combat unconscious bias, objective assessments of the candidates’ behavior are key.

Find the perfect culture add

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 greatly positive effects.

Teams with people of 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 increases when different personalities work together.

Does your company need a person who will fuel innovation and creativity? With the help of behavioral tests, you’ll be able to quickly and accurately identify which candidates that might be.

Reduce the risk of mis-hires

You will 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 pay 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.

According to a survey from CareerBuilder, the average cost of a bad hire is around $15,000, while the average cost of losing a good employee is around $30,000. Money invested into hiring, retention, and pay is the first thing that comes to mind if you don’t hire the right person, but there are other factors to consider as well.

A bad hiring decision can lead to:

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

Your clients expect to receive excellent service and delivering that service is hard if your employees aren’t up to the task. The damage could push clients further away from responding and it could even result in a total end in your relationship.

How you treat your existing clients affects the decision of your potential clients to work with you. By choosing the right employee, you are also eliminating the chances of having to fire someone. 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:

To find the best fit, talent acquisition teams need to know about the personality traits, attitudes, and workplace behavior of job candidates. Behavioral assessments are especially important for remote hiring due to limited contact with candidates.  If the hiring process itself is remote, in addition to remote work, a behavioral assessment, backed by science, can add more perspective on the candidate’s ability.

Every person thinks they know their own attitudes and behavior, but these tests give 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.

Behavioral tests show you who your colleagues are, how they react in specific situations, their levels of their extraversion, and more. The work environment can be more productive when you know how a co-worker prefers to communicate and work.

Behavioral tests increase the cohesiveness between your employees and reduce the workload of your HR department. Your turnover rate and other costs of acquiring a new worker can be reduced because your employees are satisfied with how they cooperate.

The Disadvantages of Behavioral Assessments

The benefits of introducing pre-employment behavioral assessment in your hiring process definitely outnumber the disadvantages. But 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 a smart 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 that 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 you need, the candidate may still have the potential to perform successfully in the position. People often compensate for weakness by developing other skills. 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 re-consider 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 assessment 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.

EmployTest has a wide range of psychometric tests that can accurately assess the behavioral traits that your future employee should possess. If you want to know more about what we do, you can contact us and explore a free sample behavioral test today!