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Measure Twice, Cut Once: It Is All About Job Fit

Sage advice to the trades suggests an accurate fit can be achieved by taking the time to measure, and then to make a second measure to verify, before cutting. Two measures increase the confidence in and accuracy of the cut. Following that guidance helps reduce waste and rework when crafting a delicate object. The same holds for building a workforce that achieves superior results. Using a multimethod pre-employment assessment allows you to measure twice–or even seven times–within one candidate experience to help determine job fit.

I have worked in the trades, and the joke about the advice above is: I cut it twice, and it is still too short! Well-intended and skillful recruiters sometimes take a pipeline full of candidates, cut it twice, and still make job-fit hiring decisions that miss the mark. Measurement to support job-fit decisions is critical.

Determining job fit is a complex endeavor. I have never sat across the desk from someone who said: “our jobs are simple, people don’t need to bring much to be successful here.” Even in entry-level jobs, the variables that drive success are complex and can be difficult to measure objectively. Jobs with complex demands require rigorous evaluation methods–methods that measure twice and cut once.

Measure Twice

Common assessment practice is to administer a combination personality/work-style questionnaire and a reasoning test. These are two simple measures. The unfortunate and common outcome is poor accuracy, and the cut can be off the mark. Candidate job fit is far more complex than a test score and different high-to-low ratings on many personality traits.

Multimethod pre-employment assessment integrates an assortment of evaluation types to deliver a whole-person examination of diverse knowledge, skill, traits, and characteristics required by the job demands. Multimethod assessment makes it possible to obtain two or more measurements or evaluations of each job-relevant performance domain. When attempting to predict candidate behavior across six to eight competencies, a well-developed multimethod assessment can evaluate each skill with multiple measures, delivering a certain job-fit measure.

Multimethod Measurement

Here are some common assessment types that can be integrated into a multimethod assessment.

  • Situational judgment: choosing among options about how one might respond to everyday interactions with customers or coworkers
  • Problem-solving: accessing and considering information to address questions, resolve issues
    Idea generation/brainstorming: recalling or synthesizing options for a given scenario
  • Work history: identifying job-relevant career experiences, achievements, work habits, and career management behaviors
  • Data analysis: computations, trend analysis, comparisons, and concluding various information sources
  • Diagnostic reasoning: applying rule-based logic to system analysis
  • Prioritization: evaluation and ranking of relative importance and potential consequences of workflow demands
  • Delegation: discerning appropriateness of an approach to assigning work to others
  • Multitasking: splitting attention among competing demands while performing complex tasks
    Work style: comparative description of preferred behavior patterns

The elegance afforded by many of these assessment methods is the ease by which the content can be created to reflect or mimic the actual demands of the job. For example, a day in the life of a manager may include working with operating statements to identify an issue that needs attention, coming up with a variety of ways to handle the action items, selecting action items to delegate to team members, and being prepared to handle a range of team member responses. A multimethod assessment can combine a series of exercises that present that entire sequence; data analysis, idea generation/brainstorming, delegation, situational judgment.

Whole Person Job-Fit Profile

The complexity and diverse range of job-fit attributes measured with this approach allow candidate results to be presented across a job-specific competency model. This is done through the use of HR analytics and a scoring algorithm that weights and values candidate responses according to their relationship with actual on-the-job performance.

In addition to obtaining the evaluation information, the candidates are invited to step into the job and get a glimpse of what it is like to handle the workflow. The assessment can become a form of realistic job preview.

Pre-employment testing has evolved a great deal in the past few years. The web has provided a format for delivering a highly engaging and robust multi-method assessment experience. If you value accurate job-fit, it may be time to explore how a multimethod pre-employment assessment could support your recruiting and hiring process.

Measure twice, cut once to reduce staffing waste from your hiring decisions. The result is a workforce that delivers superior results.