HR Assessments – A Detailed Guide – 2023 
Table of Contents

Ada Lovegood sought to hire a few marketing executives for her firm LDF Eduservices. Unfortunately, despite their lustrous trajectory and qualifications guaranteed by their resumes, the previous hires proved inefficient and culturally ill-fitted for the organization. 

As a deviation from the norm, besides resumes and interviews this time, she used an HR assessment tool to evaluate their cultural and team fit and abilities. The employees hired turned out to be committed, team-spirited, and delivered great results in a short span of time.  

The influx of job applicants and the HR prioritizing quality hires to build a competitive edge has led to an increased focus on building a quick, cost-effective, and accurate talent management strategy. 

Pre-employment assessment tools and methods are gaining traction as a part of talent management strategies. 

A study conducted on HR professionals in 400 organizations by the Boston-based Aberdeen Group revealed some great insights into the current trends in HR assessment.  

  • 63% of those surveyed reported using some kind of HR assessments 
  • 53% of those surveyed confirmed using them in pre and post-hire stages

Today, HR managers employ HR assessments by integrating them with talent management systems to handle post-hiring situations like learning and development, internal recruiting, etc. In the pre-employment stage, these assessments help optimize the selection process, manage high volumes of applications, and weed out unsuitable candidates in the early stages. 

But what is an HR assessment, and why should HR leaders use it? Let’s take a deep dive into HR assessments, their types, and the HR assessment tools worth considering.  

What is an HR Assessment? 

An HR assessment can be defined as a comprehensive evaluation of HR services. These tests are perused by HR from time to time to review the services delivered to an organization. It is done at both the strategic and operational levels to analyze workplace policies and programs and effectively hire suitable candidates.  

There are two kinds of HR assessments – one done at the policy level to check effectiveness and compliance and includes assessing employee performance as part of the post-employment review. The other kind concerns the hiring process and provides better assessment tools for filtering qualified candidates.  

HR assessments are a much wider term than HR audits. An HR audit is specific, while assessments are evaluations to identify policy gaps and get policy recommendations. In the pre-employment stage, HR assessment help decrease early-stage turnover, attract high-quality and right-fit candidates, and leverage the use of technology to improve the hiring process. 

Why conduct an HR Assessment?

The Aberdeen study also found that 86% of the leading organizations used HR assessments in the pre-hire stage. HR assessment can be enlightening and valuable for any organization to review whether its HR policies align with the organizational goals and what aspects and policy implementation need improvement. 

It is helpful in many ways, including

Pre-employment benefits such as: 

#1 Better quality hires.

While resume screening tools help to sift out unsuitable candidates, the devices cannot differentiate between false positives and negatives. Candidates often inflate achievements or omit helpful information. HR assessment at the pre-employment stage can accurately check a candidate’s ability, knowledge, and fit for the job. The assessments and tests can be specifically structured to filter candidates for technical and non-technical roles. 

Read – Recruitment Lifecycle – A Detailed Guide

#2 Time-Saving

HR assessment tools help to make the recruitment process faster, more efficient, and cost-effective. In online job searches, the extent and volume of job applications can be managed easily, and ineligible candidates can be screened out in the early stages. 

#3 Comparative assessment

Selecting qualified candidates is only a part of the candidate selection process. In case two candidates have similar qualifications, HR assessment tools help to choose the better candidate. 

The assessment tools can test candidates for multiple skills and traits. Also, HR assessments also help to analyze a particular candidate’s personality, cognition, and cultural fit. And with multiple data points at your disposal, candidate screening and selection becomes a smooth task. 

Read – Post Offer Candidate Engagement Platform

#4 Reduced Bias

Unconscious bias in the recruiting process can hamper it and lead to discrimination, bad hires, and compliance issues. A 2019 survey stated that 96% of recruiters believed unconscious bias impacts the hiring process. HR assessment can help to remove several kinds of inclination to make the selection process equitable and fair. 

Post-Employment Benefits such as 

#5 Consistency

HR policies should be consistent across all the organization’s departments, functions, and people. HR assessments help make HR policies more fair, consistent and driven by organizational goals. Conversely, inequitable policies can lead to employee dissatisfaction, biases, and favoritism, ultimately impacting the organization’s health. 

#6 Compliance

HR assessments can identify areas in the policy arsenal that are non-compliant and, if not rectified, can cost the company loss of resources and reputation if not rectified. These areas may include hiring practices, vacation policy, employee safety, etc.   .

Check – Best Payroll Management Software

#7 Quality

A good HR program would be all-inclusive of the recruitment process, development and training, performance management, communication tools, and give access to information. These processes must constitute an HR suite that upholds DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) values and is compliant. HR assessments help to evaluate the quality of these services in case they exist and will identify the need for these where they do not.

A good HR assessment can help improve employee satisfaction and engagement and reduce turnover. 

#8 Discovery of gaps in skills and knowledge

Assessment tools help to identify the gaps in the services which may occur due to a lack of skills and competencies of the HR skills or faulty practices. In the latter case, a true assessment will help organizations consider introducing learning and development programs and additional educational resources to help the personnel upgrade themselves. 

In the latter case, the organization evaluates and considers the fault lines and works toward improving the processes. For instance, if employees are dissatisfied with the leave policy, HR can reconsider it and make it more favorable while keeping the company goals within sight.  

How to conduct an HR Assessment? 

There are numerous examples of methods to conduct an HR assessment at the pre and post-employment stages to review candidates and policies: 

Pre-employment HR assessment methods: 

#1 Cognitive and personality assessment 

This assessment method measures the intelligence and knowledge level of candidates to handle the job. The method matches the traits with the requirements. For example, a candidate with good communication skills may be a good fit for a role requiring client/customer interactions. Cognitive and personality tests help identify strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics that might inhibit them from performing in their roles. 

#2 Motivational assessment 

This test is conducted to identify the individual wants and motivation using a motivational inventory and an organizational assessment. The assessment helps discover those candidates whose motivation matches the organizational goals. Such a candidate tends to achieve a higher level of performance. 

#3 Achievement Tests 

These tests measure a candidate’s or employee’s proficiency based on work samples where they are required to demonstrate job tasks or question-based tests to determine the knowledge level of a candidate suitable for the job. 

Post-employment HR Assessments:  

#4 360-degree feedback 

This method reviews an employee’s performance by collecting information from everyone affiliated with them. The feedback may come from peers, immediate managers, other managers that the employee reported to for a project, reports, etc. The assessment areas include employee performance, work ethics, general behavior, and overall competence. 

360-degree feedback method gives a holistic review from in-house and remote staff. It is crucial to understand how employees work within an organization and gauge their performance, the gaps and obstacles in policies and procedures, and the possible solutions to improve outcomes.     

The 360-degree assessment, besides giving a peek inside the workings of the employees, may also reveal the psyche and interpersonal relationships between employees. However, the assessment may be expensive and time-consuming for a large organization.  

#5 MOB (Management by Objectives)

MOB is one of the most popular assessment tools HR managers use. Peter Drucker, the author of several management books, coined the concept. Under MOB, employees and managers outline and set goals for themselves at the beginning of every year or quarter for the coming financial period. 

When employees collaborate with managers and set achievable goals, they become motivated. Their evaluation becomes more measurable in the light of goals. For example, a 20% increase in traffic on the website or a 15% drop in lead conversion, etc. 

MOB is a great assessment tool for collaborative environments but fails to consider interpersonal and communication skills. It should be paired with other methods, like the 360-degree method, to yield results.     

#6 Assessment Centre 

This method seeks to take the assessment off the job to a central location where employees and managers come together and are asked to perform tasks for skill assessment. The German Army developed an Assessment Center in the 1930s, which recruiters adapted as an HR assessment tool to examine specific work-related skills of the employees. 

In this method, HR uses a mind map to assess employee skills based on communication, leadership, and problem-solving capabilities. The process can deliver great reports on the social and interaction skills of the employees but cannot throw light on job-related data. 

7 Tools that can help you in HR Assessment 

Hiring requires more sophisticated tools for HR assessment to review candidates today. Many HR assessment tools are available in the market to fulfill those needs. Some of them are as follows: 

#1 Berke

It is a customizable HR and leaves management system that can measure a candidate’s personality and intellect and predict their success on a job. It is an HR-friendly tool that can create custom hiring profiles in line with company benchmarks and job requirements.

Check – List of high impact recruiting tools

#2 Adaface

This pre-employment skill assessment tool is used in engineering and technology recruiting. The software uses powerful AI capabilities and has an in-built code editor to help HR personnel screen and interview technical candidates. The tool comes with features such as automatic alerts, non-Google-able questions, customizable chats, and assessments. 

Check – Best OKR Softwares

#3 iMocha

iMocha tests a candidate’s technical and non-technical skills, communication and cognitive abilities, and enterprise applications. Recruiters can create and customize tests from scratch and use a variety of patented questions to judge candidates. 

Check – Best Employee Onboarding Softwares

#4 Athena Quotient

This HR testing tool helps to assess a candidate’s depth of understanding of technical concepts and focuses on judging the candidate’s attitude and personality. Suitable for all organizations, the tool can create tests and quizzes and review decision-making skills for each individual.

#5 Saberr

This assessment tool serves the post-employment motives of improving employee performance by developing leadership skills and effective collaboration in remote work. Its CoahBot is used to train and recruit candidates. 

#6 McQuaig

McQuaig is an HR testing tool that considers a candidate’s personality traits, behavior, and cognitive abilities. The tool has a library of standardized job profiles and can custom-make job profiles to find the right candidate who is fit for a particular job. 

#7 Codility

This HR assessment tool measures candidates’ coding skills in real-time using online testing assignments. Candidates can choose from multiple tests and get graded between 1 and 100. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, American Express, etc., trust Codility to hire proficient engineers.   

Wrap Up

HR assessments can help gradually improve the quality of hire and employee performance year-on-year. While on the one hand, there are proven methods of HR assessment that can help improve the organization’s overall health, on the other hand, there are AI-driven powerful assessment tools that can screen candidates based on multiple tech and non-tech parameters to supply the organization with the best talent. 

FAQS on Assessments in HR 

How do you conduct a human resource assessment? 

To conduct a human resource assessment, HR leaders conduct interviews with HR personnel to record their feedback and gauge the performance of their peers. Besides, managers from other departments and reports from multiple projects that an employee was a part of are used in the assessment.  

Assessments also include reviewing the internal policies and work processes for efficiency, audit of the employee files, and a comprehensive evaluation of other documents like employee manuals and performance management forms. 

What are some examples of HR processes?

HR processes are spread across many functions and are all-pervasive. Some HR processes include talent acquisition and recruiting, onboarding and offboarding of employees, payroll management, benefits management, performance management and assessment, learning and development, and workforce planning. 

What are HR assessment tools? 

HR assessment tools are external software tools used to assess a candidate’s potential, skills, competency, and fit in the pre-hiring stage. Some tools are used in the post-hiring stage to gauge the satisfaction levels of existing employees and identify the need for training and development.  

What are the 5 Ps in HR? 

Randall S. Schuler developed the 5P’s model in 1992 as an HRM model for strategic HRM functions in organizations. The Ps in the model represents 5 core principles of HR – Purpose, Principles, Processes, People, and Performance.    

What is the process of assessing the human resource needs in the organization? 

The process of assessing the human resource needs in the organization is called Human Resource Planning. HR planning involves evaluating the staffing and other HR needs about an organization’s goals and changing conditions and, once done assessing, building a plan for the employment of a competent and stable workforce.

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