Pre-employment Assessments: The Final Piece of the Puzzle

February 26, 2018by Micah Shaw


You have put a lot of time, money and human resources into finding candidates for your vacancy.  The reference checks went well and you are ready to make an offer.  STOP!  What have you found out about the candidate’s personality and behaviour?  Is he/she moody or cheerful most of the time?  Motivated? Cooperative? Creative?  The best tools for finding this information are Assessments or, as they are sometimes called, Profiles.

There are many brands of assessments available.  They must be properly designed and implemented and they should always be the last step in your recruiting process. You should reassure the candidate that these are NOT tests, but a chance to evaluate their “fit” with the rest of your team.  For example, if your team is made up of hard driving, competitive people, it would not be a good idea to hire a quiet, shy, reticent individual to work along side them.  Similarly, if your environment is calm, quiet, thoughtful and dignified, hiring a loud, laughing, playful extrovert might not get the result you want.

Start with a job analysis.  Figure out what soft skills are required to be successful in the role. What type of personalities are working closely with this position? In today’s workplaces, traits such as cultural sensitivity, adaptability and situational awareness are critical and the best way to evaluate these is with an assessment tool.

Personality assessments also help managers to know how to develop a new employee.  When we understand personality traits, we can give people the right training and coaching and we better understand how to motivate them to success.  If you need to assemble a cross departmental team, you can choose personality traits that will work well together to accomplish the goal.

At Valley Personnel, we use two different assessments and we choose which one to use based on the position being filled.  We use a well-known assessment called DiSC, based on the foundational work of Dr. William Marston and his book “The Emotions of Normal People”.  The second assessment is from a Vancouver based company known as PrevueHR and is suitable for senior executives and professionals.

Assessments are an important part of the recruiting tool box, so if you need any assistance in choosing and implementing an assessment suitable to your open position, let us help.