Behavioral Assessments--What We Have Learned

Two years ago, we started using a behavioral assessment tool as part of our candidate assessment process. Why? Because whenever we asked our clients to describe the "top 3 things" they wanted in a candidate, we heard a list of behavior traits more often than we heard about specific skills or experience. We heard about "fit". Sure, the job description covers the skills and experience, but we strive to read between the lines and find those candidates who do, actually, "fit". So, we needed a tool that would be efficient, consistently evaluate those soft skills, and provide the data in a way we could share with our clients. We've used the Baldwin Gilman Behavioral Assessment (BGBA)* for 50+ searches; assessing over 300 candidates. Candidates are amazed at how well the tool 'pegs' them and our clients have received additional insight. Here are a few lessons we have learned from our experience: • A behavioral assessment tool is best used as a data point, not the decision point. It is one factor, in addition to their skills and experience, when evaluating whether someone can be successful in the position. • The assessment results help our recruiters think about candidates in a different way. We are able to develop specific interview questions to gain a better understanding of the assessment results and how that compares to the job and "fit" our client is looking for. Ultimately, we have better informed clients about the candidates they interview and hire. • It makes sense that the behavioral profile for someone in Sales would differ from someone in Accounting or Finance. We have developed expected behavioral profiles for candidates in those types (and other) of positions, and that makes it easier to look at those candidates and see how closely they fit with behaviors across a broader peer group.   *The BGBA is based on the Professional DynaMetric Program (PDP)