Quality of Hire Blog

arrowBack to Quality of Hire Blog

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

by Joseph Murphy

Sage advice to the trades suggests an accurate fit can be achieved by taking the time to measure, and then to take a second measure to verify, before making the cut. Two measures increase the confidence in and accuracy of the cut. Following that guidance helps reduce waste and rework when crafting a fine object. The same holds true 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 sometime 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. In fact, even in entry-level jobs, the variables that drive success are complex and can be difficult to objectively measure. Jobs with complex demands require rigorous evaluation methods--methods that measure twice and cut once.

Measure Twice

A 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 diverse high-to-low ratings on a number of 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 competency with multiple measures, delivering a confident 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 common 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 drawing conclusions from various information sources
  • Diagnostic reasoning: applying rule-based logic to system analysis
  • Prioritization: evaluation and ranking of relative importance and potential consequences of work flow demands
  • Delegation: discerning appropriateness of and approach to assigning work to others
  • Multitasking: splitting attention among competing demands while performance 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 issue that need 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 variety 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 allows 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 work flow. 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.