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It's time to look under the hood at your hiring procedures

How an organizational psychologist could vastly improve your hiring


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Would you buy a house without a home inspection or purchase a new car without a test drive? Of course not. The many games in life are very similar in this regard. You’d want to know what you’re getting into before making any large commitment. So why wouldn’t you want to look under the hood (so to speak) when hiring a new team member?

Consider the following: you’re recruiting a new team member, let’s call him Bill. You spend time introducing Bill to your colleagues and reviewing his resume and references. You decide to bring him onto the team and then 6 months later you realize he doesn’t fit with the team. Bill struggles to work in your fast-paced work environment and can’t seem to tackle projects without a lot of direction. Your boss looks to you and your reputation is tarnished; your team is left with even more work to do and your job is at risk. Losing an employee can cost as much as twice their annual salary, especially for a high-earner or executive level employee.

For your next hire, think about who is evaluating the candidates. You may have great intuition but a licensed psychologist who’s trained in evaluating psychological data, people dynamics and job performance will have insights you may not.

Typical business consultants, that are not trained psychologists, often bring industry expertise and are excellent evaluators of technical skills. Industrial organizational psychologists evaluate combinations of personality, cognitive and motivational data based on research, training and an in-depth understanding of people dynamics that predict long-term job performance.

There is no single test on the internet that can accurately predict job performance. The scoring of these types of questionnaires are more complex than it may appear from a report of data. Psychologists are specially trained over 5 to 7 years in the art and science of tests and measures. Currently, artificial intelligence (AI) and auto-generated tests can make general suggestions based on where one or two score fall. However, AI (to date) cannot perform the “art” side of data interpretation. Trained psychologists, on the other hand, can consider interactions between qualitative and qualitative data.

Psychologists curate a battery of questionnaires that tests a candidate’s knowledge, skills and abilities. Using psychologists to assess candidates, in a multi-dimensional manner that has been tested, validates and demonstrates job relevance, can decrease liability and increase the odds of hiring the right person from 60% to 90%, and possibly even higher.

Psychologists work to understand your organization’s needs, culture and job roles in order to match candidates based on their capabilities. This ensures a candidate is right for the position and the position is right for the candidate, which leads to longer tenure with an organization and a greater quality of performance.   

Psychologists often partner with recruiters to help organizations select, promote and develop the right talent. Once the recruiter has identified the top three candidates, psychologists use the assessment process to better understand the strengths and development areas of each candidate. A report is created that recommends or does not recommend the candidate and, in many cases, provides several developmental tips and onboarding suggestions for the organization if and when they decide to bring the candidate into the organization.

When you make the right hire, you’ll see a more collaborative team, and you’ll be an effective identifier of talent. Using a validated assessment process can help your business get a step above the competition. You have the power to utilize the available resources for your success and the success of your organization.

Dana Borchert, Ph.D. is a vice president and denver market leader at CMA Consult. Borchert has a unique understanding of the brain’s many facets — both psychological and physiological — thanks to a Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Saint Louis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Iowa with an emphasis in neuroscience.

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