Small Business Doesn’t Mean Small-Minded Hiring Practices

Simply put, pre-employment assessments make sense.

But despite their many advantages, such assessments are still not being utilized by many organizations, says Rebekah Cardenas, Ph.D., vice president of business development and assessment solutions at EASI•Consult®.

Why use assessments?

Aside from potentially avoiding a costly bad hire, pre-employment assessments offer several positive outcomes over and above what an interview alone can produce. For example, they are a cost-effective method of narrowing down your applicant pool, while also improving efficiency in the decision-making process.

Additionally, pre-employment assessments save on the expense of training or compensating those individuals whose productivity would be low or who would not remain on the job.

Then, there are the benefits that are a bit harder to quantify, and thus possibly not considered by many organizations. Those include helping reduce the number of costly errors made by a poor performer and allowing applicants to be treated consistently. The latter is critical for reducing the subjective bias that can often plague traditional hiring methods.

Finally, pre-employment assessments can gauge characteristics not easily developed through training (e.g., behavioral competencies such as dependability). In other words, they predict the things that are important to know in advance because they are hard to “fix” after someone is hired.

Why not use assessments?

So why are some organizations still shying away from pre-employment assessments?

Some have concerns about legality (e.g., will they discriminate against protected minorities?). For others, it is simply a matter of not knowing what to do or not wanting to be bothered with a changing process. For others still, it really comes down to cost. This is especially true for small businesses that do not have recruiting or selection budgets from which to pull resources.

It is these businesses Dr. Cardenas set out to support.

She noted meeting several great business owners at networking functions over the course of several years.

“While they were always interested in what we do at EASI•Consult, the cost to develop and validate a pre-employment assessment for each of their positions was prohibitive,” Dr. Cardenas reflected. “I wanted to develop an off-the-shelf pre-employment assessment tool that would benefit, and be accessible to, any small business owner I meet.”

From there, Dr. Cardenas and her team created and validated the Worker Compatibility Questionnaire (WCQ). Based on years of research on dozens of clients across several industries, the WCQ was developed to assess key employee behavioral attributes including:

  • Dependability – conscientiousness, arriving on time for work, and putting forth effort throughout the workday
  • Team orientation – cooperating with others and consistently showing teamwork
  • Learning and problem-solving – learning new information quickly, applying information correctly, and solving problems effectively
  • Adaptability – willingness to deal with change in work settings, ability to shift from one task to another, being open to new ideas

The WCQ has been used to successfully hire applicants for jobs at customer care centers and city utility departments. Those using the WCQ have cited satisfaction based on the instant access to test results it provides, as well as its role in helping make better-informed hiring decisions, providing a better “job fit” with the potential to increase productivity and decrease turnover for new hires.

The success of the WCQ led us to want to create additional assessment options for our small business clients. So, when an opportunity to partner with a financial lender to create a similar type of tool for small veterinary practices came about, EASI•Consult jumped at the opportunity, working with subject matter expects within several vet practices across the nation to create the Veterinary Compatibility Questionnaire (VCQ).

In addition to the factors on the WCQ, the VCQ also assesses Customer and Patient Focus and Safety, all key to working successfully in a small veterinary practice.

“It is exciting to see the VCQ gain recognition,” said Dr. Cardenas. “It is rewarding to help those in a helping profession by providing them with a high-quality assessment that identifies high-quality hires.”

The longevity of small business success depends on making smart business decisions. Using an affordable pre-employment assessment like the WCQ or VCQ takes the guesswork out of hiring and thus must be considered a smart business decision.

Rebekah Cardenas, Ph.D., is vice president of business development and assessment solutions at EASIConsult®EASIConsult® works with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. EASIConsult®.  specialties include leadership assessment, online pre-employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring compliance. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about EASIConsult®. visit www.easiconsult.com, email ContactUs@easiconsult.com or call (800) 922-EASI.

EASI·Consult® is the registered name for Expert Advocates in Selection International, LLC.
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