The Role of Assessments

In a November 2012 SHL survey of almost 600 HR professionals regarding hiring trends, roughly 90 percent of companies reported that they plan to use objective hiring assessments in 2013 to evaluate critical competencies and skills required to perform.

However, assessments need to be well-designed, valid and link directly to job performance and other important outcomes — including engagement.

Most organizations use assessments to measure job-specific skills, but assessments can also be useful for evaluating other factors that lead to success — for instance, organizational fit. Although “fit” may be a somewhat nebulous concept, it is not uncommon to hear that someone is a great fit for a job or team.

Hiring candidates who fit the culture, norms and values of an organization can also increase the likelihood of their engagement.

Organizations can also be profiled through the use of assessments to determine culture. As a result, employee fit can be better matched with cultural fit. This includes the extent to which an organization is innovative, results-driven and people-oriented.

By assessing an individual’s preferred work environments, his or her value profile can be compared to that of the organization or group. The overlap between these profiles then acts as an indicator of person-organization fit.

Elaine Pulakos is president of PDRI, a provider of human capital and training services. She can be reached at