Talent Management

Should You Make Assessments Part of Your Onboarding Process?

Yes. Assessments can be good pre-hiring tools as well as effective tools during the onboarding process.

Organizations that integrate assessments beyond the hiring phase are nearly three and a half times as likely to earn best-in-class status as those that don’t, according to a 2009 report from The Aberdeen Group.

Also relevant is a finding from Aberdeen’s 2012 onboarding research, which says that the talent process with the greatest impact on workforce productivity is onboarding. If you want a more productive workforce, you need to take a look at how you onboard new employees and figure out how you can make the process better.

The reason so many companies neglect to use assessments more extensively is because properly using and making sense of the data can be confusing if you aren’t trained and knowledgeable. Eighty-five percent of respondents to a survey by Aberdeen said understanding how to use the results and making them relevant to employees were listed as an extremely relevant concern.

New hires that are able to get up to speed quickly can reach full productivity in a shorter period of time—and assessments can speed up the process if used correctly.

Post- hire tips for using assessments

If you want to track and create a course for employees from the day of hire and during the onboarding process, here are some tips for incorporating assessments into your existing systems:

  • Integrate your assessment software with other talent management applications.
  • Make assessment results relevant to employees. Show your employees what these results mean for them and their success.
  • Share assessment data with decision makers. Also, make sure they understand what the data means and how to use it.
  • Develop metrics to measure and ensure assessment initiatives are successfully applied and a return on investment realized.
  • Consider using assessments more than once during the onboarding process to understand progress.

Types of assessments that can be used during onboarding

While there are several types of assessments that can be used during onboarding, I have particular experience with two: Myers Briggs and Business DNA.

Business DNA

The DNA Behavior Discovery Processes are based on research that has been independently validated since 1999. The key theory of Business DNA is that each person has a natural DNA Behavioral style, which is predictable and remains stable throughout his or her life. The assessment can help a new employee understand her style and the implications of the style with others in the workplace.

Myers Briggs

The Myers Briggs, or MBTI, is something I’ve written about before.  It can be used in a variety of situations, but is not used for a hiring decision. It can help a new employee understand communication styles and team dynamics.

The research-based idea says that seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.

When using assessments during the onboarding process, if you don’t have internal resources certified in using assessments, outside expertise can provide much-needed support to launch and implement behavioral assessments and increase the likelihood of success.

What advice do you have on using assessments during onboarding? What other assessments have you used and how?

Category: Talent Management

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Beth Miller About the Author: Beth Miller

Beth Armknecht Miller, CMC, of Atlanta, Georgia, is a Vistage Chair and President of Executive Velocity, a leadership development and coaching firm accelerating the leadership success of CEOs and business leaders from emerging to midsize companies..

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