This article, by G&A Partners COO John W. Allen, originally appeared in the Houston Business Journal:
Hiring is one of the toughest decisions today’s managers have to make.
Choosing between two equally qualified candidates when there is no light between them, or if one candidate seems to stand head and shoulders above the rest is harder than it may appear.
What seems too good to be true usually is. What if, after you’ve hired that perfect candidate, you discover that his skills aren’t as sharp as he’d indicated and he’s not really ready for the job?
And if you connect with one candidate more than another, be careful. While that potential employee may truly be the best fit for the job and the company, we aren’t working in your father’s business environment anymore.
In these litigious times, gut instincts may not be enough. Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission laws dictate that companies make hiring decisions based on job-related information only, so you may need to be prepared with defensible justifications for choosing one candidate over another. Sharing an alma mater or an interest in marathon running isn’t going to serve as a reasonable rationale if a jilted job candidate decides to sue for unfair hiring practices.
Incorporating talent assessments, or pre-employment screening tests, into the recruiting process can help managers make smarter, more fail-safe hiring decisions. Assessments tools help hiring companies define an open position and pinpoint the skills needed to perform it successfully. When customized for a particular job, talent assessments are especially accurate in predicting a candidate’s on-the-job performance.