Got FOMU? How to Balance Intuition and Science In Hiring

Frustrated worker holding her head

In my more than 20-year career, I have interviewed more than 5,000 people for entry-level to management positions, across a variety of industries and roles. My experience in making good and bad hiring decisions has helped me develop the ability to identify who will fit the position and perform well, many times within the first three minutes of speaking with the person. I can tell based on the candidate’s smile, handshake, body language, and overall presentation if they’re someone I want to work with before asking a single question. So, if I am so good at interviewing and selecting top performers, why do I work for a company whose primary focus is pre-employment assessments?

Hiring Assessments at a Glance

The answer is really quite simple: assessments predict performance. In addition to my ability to quickly read a candidate, I’ve also developed a severe case of hiring FOMU: Fear of Messing Up!  Pre-employment assessments allow the hiring manager to understand candidate behaviors, personality traits, and other important characteristics before making a hiring decision. They help predict culture fit, performance, and give you information to support the success of your new hires. While I might excel at selecting top candidates, assessments eliminate applicants whose personality traits, values, and abilities will likely cause them to struggle on the job before I ever see their profile. This then cuts the time I spend on interviews and screening. And, let’s face it – reducing the amount of “bad” hires I make, because even a seasoned professional such as myself, inevitably makes hiring mistakes. The assessments not only save time by reducing the amount of candidates I interview, they provide me with a complete understanding of the candidate and how they are likely to meet the demands of the job, including areas where they may thrive or struggle on my team.

A 2017 report shows a median turnover rate of up to 27% in management, 67% for part-time retail employees, [1] over 70% in hospitality. [2]  70% percent! That is almost three-quarters of the people who the hiring manager took the time to interview, hire, and train leaving the company. In other words, almost 3 out of every 4 people they have personally invested in saying, “Adios!” – leaving the manager and their financial loss behind to pick up the pieces and start the process all over again. By using assessments at the beginning of the hiring process, turnover can be reduced significantly, with some businesses seeing retention improvements by more than 25%. [3]

Keeping Candidates Engaged

Ok, so you’re on board with knowing that assessments work, but what about keeping the candidates engaged during the entire process? At Corvirtus, we have taken pre-employment assessments a step further, by building a fun and engaging candidate experience that gives them the opportunity to perform and show their potential. We understand today’s applicants, and build a positive candidate experience at every turn. We have assessments that are colorful, use critical job-related situations, and that can be customized to fit real-life scenarios that occur in your business. It is because of this focus on candidate experience that we see a very low abandonment rate during the assessment portion of the process.

How Assessments Can Help You and Your Business

Let’s take a moment to review how using pre-employment assessments can help you and your business:

  • Save time – They reduce time interviewing while also increasing the accuracy of your interview at least three-fold. Each assessment result provides probing questions and detailed areas of opportunity based on how the candidate responds.
  • Are proven to predict performance – Corvirtus assessments are proven to predict performance for the competencies and positions you are hiring for.
  • Cut costs – Hiring and training new employees after turnover is expensive, with the cost of a bad hire often exceeding annual compensation for the position. Many of the costs of a bad hire are difficult to calculate: how many of your top performers might leave because of a poor performer?  How many of your customers or other stakeholders?
  • Support new hire success – In the competitive labor market, with shortages in industries ranging from healthcare and restaurants to cybersecurity, retaining the top talent you recruit is crucial. Culture-and-evidence-based assessments will provide you with key information about a candidate’s strengths – and potential pitfalls.  We can even customize results to highlight how a candidate may struggle to live your core values and work effectively as a member of your team.  This can help you best support the new hire’s success – and support your team in doing the same.
  • FOMU reducing! Let 100+ years of the science of performance and work reduce your fears of making the wrong hiring decision.  Assessments give you information to complement your experience and intuition – and reduce the chance you’ll have to manage a “bad” hire.

But What About Your Gut?

We aren’t saying there isn’t a place for your experience, gut feelings, and intuition in hiring.  But wouldn’t it be great if you could validate your intuition with data and evidence?  If you have a nagging feeling that a candidate might struggle with the demands of your unique work environment and culture – an assessment (and structured interviews) can help you evaluate those suspicions.  Nothing can replace the years of expertise you have when it comes to interviewing candidates and determining if they are right for your team. By combining your hiring expertise with pre-employment assessments, however, you can increase your confidence that each interview is time well spent building a high-performance team.

[1] “Hospitality employee turnover rate edged higher in 2017” National Restaurant Association

[2] “The Worst Problem in the Retail Industry? Turnover” by Mary Freeman (Cisco Blog)

[3] ‘How Personality Assessments Can Reduce Employee Turnover” by Rachel Cwang (The McQuaig Institute)

Want to Learn More About Corvirtus Pre-Employment Assessments? Download Our Whitepaper:

"Hiring Assessments: The What, Why and When"

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