“The SMG Assessment Advantage That NO ONE Else Has!” by Chris Gee, PhD

When most HR personnel think of psychometric assessments, they think of them as simply hiring tools. One of the primary reasons for this is due to the fact that the  majority of assessments in the marketplace are designed and developed to only support selection. While hiring and selection are important, a strong psychometric assessment should be able to support numerous facets of your organization’s overall Talent Strategy. This has become the “SMG Assessment Advantage”.

The following blog highlights all of the pre and post hire utilities that SMG assessments support:

1) Attraction

The most commonly cited issue in recruitment right now is that companies can’t attract top talent. This should come as no surprise, as almost every company recruits in the same way. Everyone posts text heavy job descriptions on the same 3 – 4 job boards, with no key differentiating qualities. Top talent doesn’t want “the same old”, they want something exclusive and want to compete for coveted positions. This is why SMG has found that their psychometric assessments have an attraction and engagement quality. Our candidate friendly process which allows them to complete the assessments on their own time, has a 92% completion rate of those who start them.  Top talent is competitive and results-oriented, so embed these qualities into your attraction strategy.

2) Conversion

One of the most difficult things to do in recruitment is to convince a seemingly content individual to leave their current job to pursue your organization’s employment opportunity. This is a process SMG has coined “disturbing the prospect”. Most people are naturally “change-averse” and have a natural fear of the unknown. Consequently, addressing this anxiety and apprehension needs to be at the forefront of the recruitment conversation. This is where a strong validated assessment tool can help, along with a career management-based conversion approach. By having the candidate complete the assessment and helping them understand that they possess many of the natural competencies that correlate to success in your industry, while also aligning their career needs with your opportunity, you lessen the anxiety surrounding the career transition decision. SMG clients that utilize this approach with high quality candidates, experience a lift between 15 – 25% in the conversion of quality prospects.

3) Selection

SMG’s #1 market differentiator is our ability to predict future performance and retention. When it comes to selection, this is the only thing that matters in a psychometric assessment. We are so proud of our predictive power, that we conduct validation studies with all of our blue-chip clients on an annual basis. Whether using the SMG proven predictive model or one that is catered to your specific company culture, the results provide valuable insights into your company and processes. Furthermore, using our client’s own data, along with the assessment results of those that they hired, we are able to provide unparalleled transparency around how well our assessments are working and the ROI that our clients gain from making better hiring decisions. Across all industries and positions, the average predicted top performer on an SMG assessment performs roughly 300% higher of an average performer, and over 1000% higher than poorly rated prospect. The ROI associated with using an SMG assessment tool to make better selection decisions in unequivocal. If your current provider isn’t conducting similar transparent validation studies, you probably should ask yourself what they have to hide.

4) Cross-Recruitment

A strong psychometric assessment should also be able to support cross-recruitment. To do so, the assessment needs to use a common questionnaire and competency list that can subsequently be recalibrated and benchmarked for various roles within an organization. In doing so, poor fit candidates for one role (i.e., sales) can be re-assessed and considered for other positions (i.e., service), rather than being knocked out of the recruitment process and lost to another organization. In today’s current talent landscape, this is a must have. SMG recognizes the importance of cross-recruitment  so all of our assessments come with the option to be customized for cross-recruitment. Sometimes the best hire is already on your team.

5) Employee Development

All too often psychometric assessment data starts and ends pre hire and only serves the benefit of the employer. A strong assessment report should provide information that an employee can use post hire as well. One of these applications should be to support early development planning and goal setting by helping the new hire become more consciously competent (i.e., understand their strengths and growth opportunities). By leveraging their strengths, while targeting their most pressing growth opportunities, the employee has a road map for early success and development that has been founded from the information contained in their assessment report. SMG assessments include such reports for new hires. Our Candidate Feedback report provides a value proposition for the candidates and your new hires. Our development insights ensures that both the manager and the employee feel confident. Setting your team up for success can alleviate the stress of training.

6) Coaching

The information contained in a properly designed assessment report also has significant applied value to managers. The development road map founded by the candidates’ scored answers provides the manager with an understanding of the employee, their inherent strengths and their growth opportunities from a dispositional perspective. With this roadmap the manager can learn how to work most effectively with this employee and where early coaching resources and time would be best allocated. Managers who have assessment data on themselves, can also gain insight into how they may need to adjust their approach in order to be effective with employees on their team who may have different learning preferences from them. Fit to a new manager is among the Top 2 reasons for employee turnover, so nurturing this professional relationship through mutual understanding is something that cannot be overlooked.

7) Succession Planning

Another utility of SMG’s assessments is their ability to benchmark and evaluate an employee against more senior positions. This information is important during the recruitment process because it allows for short term and long term hiring, and senior leaders to be proactive in identifying future talent,  ensuring that appropriate resources and experiences are provided to facilitate a seamless succession transition. Moreover, having this data on hand also allows talent stakeholders to objectively quantify their succession and talent pipeline, so the appropriate succession talent exists at all levels of the organization. This proactive approach to talent management will mitigate the talent void in your organization, especially if there is an unexpected departure.

8) Team Building

SMG assessment data is also able to support interpersonal understanding and team building initiatives. This application allows an organization to proactively see what the impact will be of adding a new team member, changing a leader, or building a team from scratch. Using the assessment, a company is able to take advantage of the data to create a team that is set up for success from the start. Interpersonal understanding and general “fit” are essential ingredients of team effectiveness.

9) Career Management

Top performers careers need to be managed, and they need to see and feel continual growth. If this is not provided they are at an elevated risk for voluntary turnover. SMG assessment tools allow organizations to plot career trajectories for employees, by assessing their fit across all roles from new hire to leadership. This allows organizations to objectively place the right individuals into the right roles, rather than promoting or career managing blindly. Leveraging an employee’s natural strengths is the easiest way to create engagement.

10) Career Transition

Finally, SMG assessments can have an important role to play in the possible career transition stage of the employee’s life cycle. Companies who decide to downsize, have the ability to help effected employees identify careers that align with their natural strengths and desires. Employers can also use this time to gain important perceptions from their former employees by using assessments like the SMG Exit interviews.  This type of output can play a pivotal role in making the career transition process a positive and supported experience.

As can be seen from the above list, SMG assessments are not simply selection tools. These robust and holistic reports have the ability to provide substantial value to an organization’s overall talent strategy. This is why for over 40 years SMG clients have viewed our assessments as critical investments in their organization’s human capital, and not simply a transactional recruitment expense.