Reinvent the Way you Assess Talent

If you’re willing to revisit how you assess talent, then you’re going to like this 3-step strategy for establishing more objectively in your selection decisions.

Step One—PLAN

If you already have success criteria identified for the position and have a structured interview in place, then you’re ahead of most. This step typically involves taking stock of the minimum requirements of the job, including a list of key competencies (skills and knowledge) and behavioral traits that would be most desirable of any applicant to be successful in the role.

A challenge for many hiring managers, however, lies within their interviewing skills and ability to accurately assess and compare candidates across those requirements. This is where subjectivity and biases enter the picture, often unwittingly. 

Behavioral-based interviewing as it stands today, is a popular strategy for assessing an applicant’s aptness for a job. It’s an effective model used by well-trained interviewers who master the art of questioning to make a best guess determination of an applicant’s demonstrated knowledge and skills. While it adds a consistent line of questions and a standard process, it still leaves the final assessment of candidates open to personal interpretation and yes, bias. Seasoned interviewers will attest to this and will openly acknowledge that their level confidence in making selection decisions isn’t as high as they would like it to be.

The key is to establish more reliable, quantifiable, and non-biased measures.

Of course, it’s unrealistic to think that we can eliminate personal biases altogether, but you can certainly reduce it by elevating your talent assessment strategy to a new level. I’m talking about establishing validated and quantifiable measures that adds a component of objective criteria to your current process—one that complies with EEOC guidelines and reduces bias and disparate treatment.  

Sounds complicated, but it’s not. Thanks to years of rigorous research and advancements in technology, you can now complete a 15-minute online Job Analysis Survey (JAS) that will help you define (and ultimately measure) the ideal range of abilities and blend of specific role-based behaviors best suited for the job in question.

Once completed, you’ll be able to combine your JAS results with a matching Performance Model for that position. These Models are derived from the U.S. Department of Labor’s sponsored O*Net database and a data-set from tens of thousands of top and bottom performers. Every model in the PXT Select Library of Performance Models have been tested to ensure that they reflect the range of skills necessary to be successful in various jobs. The Job Analysis Survey allows you to tailor the best-matched model to fit your organization’s unique requirements for a specific job.  


Once you have your performance model defined, you’re ready to assess your applicants using PXT Select—a validated online test that will accurately measure and compare applicants to the Performance Model. The Comprehensive Assessment Report will provide you with a detailed analysis of how well-suited an applicant may be for the role. You’ll be better equipped for your final round of interviews to probe into gaps and seek both supportive and contrary evidence of a person’s match for the job.

In addition to providing objective data about each candidate, the report provides personalized interview questions that are prepared specifically for each candidate based on their assessment results. These questions, which follow federal Department of Labor guidelines for fairness in hiring, can be used during the interview to probe deeper into a candidate’s areas of strength and where the person doesn’t quite fit your model.

Without the right tools, or without the right data, making objective hiring decisions can be challenging.

Step Three—SELECT 

Employee selection is the process of placing the right person in the right job by matching organizational requirements with the skills, interests and qualifications of candidates. In other words, hiring managers are looking to answer three questions:

  1. Can the person do the job? Do they have what it will take to excel in the job? Do they have the job-specific knowledge and skills? Do they have the level of verbal and numerical skills and reasoning and problem-solving abilities that are required of the position?
  2. How will the person do the job? How might the applicant approach tasks, projects and challenges? How will they interact with others in the process?
  3. Will the person enjoy doing the job? Does this job match their interests? Will they derive enjoyment from the work itself? Does this job align with their long-term career interests and goals?

The PXT Select assessment will help answer all three of those questions—objectively and without bias. By integrating the assessment results and other defined criteria into your final interviews, you’ll be in a much better position to make data-informed selection decisions every time and with greater confidence.

There are many factors to consider when hiring and there’s a lot at stake. The consequences of hiring the wrong person increases proportionally to the level of complexity of the role and its potential impact on the organization.

Yes, it takes effort to reduce biases and hire right. Including well-defined and objective criterion into your selection decision will help you get it right, the first time. They key is to apply those measures consistently with all candidates, no matter how similar or dissimilar their backgrounds may be.

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