Your Employees are NOT Tools

by Freya Scammells

Why Behavioural Assessments are Key

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26 JULY 2021
Your employees are NOT Tools. You know this already.
And I know you know this since whenever I ask an employer to name the most important part of their business, they always say their employees. The people.

But then I ask a few more questions and it seems like the answer doesn’t match the actions.
Don’t worry, I’m not looking to shame anyone or get all self-righteous.
But if you truly value your employees, I’m sure you’re keen to find ways to show them how much you value them.

Especially now, in this so-called post-pandemic area, that left everyone wondering: will our day-to-day ever be the same?
Admit it or not, everyone has been affected. Not just physically, but logistically, mentally and emotionally.
And this needs to be taken into account when dealing with human beings who might become valued as employees.

Personnel or Resources

Do you remember when your Human Resources department was called the Personnel department?
I liked that!

The word "person" appeared in the title. And communicating anything "personal" was always just a few letter changes away. Human resources, on the other hand, is another issue.
We abbreviated it, I believe, because we were hesitant to speak to thinking, feeling, flesh-and-blood individuals as resources.

When I think of resources, I think of objects; tables, chairs, computers, and money.
I'm getting off course here, but the point I'm trying to make is that referring to people as resources is just half the battle when it comes to treating them as such. When it comes to recruitment, many workers aren't half-hearted...
They've already completed the race and crossed the finish line.

Metaphor Time!

If we were to buy a spade for our firm (for argument’s sake) we'd most likely consider three factors:

📌 Expense  (how much will we have to pay)
📌 Functionality  (what is the spade's capacity)
📌 Construction  (who made it and what level of experience  do they have)

We'd consider the following three things if we wanted to hire a new Business Development Manager:

📌 Cost  (how much does their wage cost)
📌 Ability  (What is the capability of the employee)
📌 Experimentation  (who taught the employee and where have they worked previously)

You'll note that we apply almost the same criteria for human resources as we do for mining resources if you look closely.

Pardon me for calling a spade a spade, but if our people are more important than the items we use, why do we source them the same way?

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Identifying What Really Matters

If you buy 1,000 spades from the same source, they will be almost similar.
There will be no two employees alike if you recruit a thousand.

And the differences cannot be explained only by money, talent, or experience. To correctly assess candidates, and hence the people you hire, you must be able to quantify what makes them unique and valuable...

Their character

Do they have an introverted or extroverted personality?
Is it preferable for them to work in a group or on their own?
Do they do better in a regimented setting or do they require more creative freedom?
Is the person in question a leader or are they a follower?
Is it preferable for them to learn by doing or to learn by watching?

These are all important aspects of a person's capacity to carry out their responsibilities and succeed in your company.
However, if you don't evaluate these characteristics before employing someone, you'll be underestimating the importance of what makes them the most important member of your team.
You're also making your recruitment decisions more complex and prone to errors.

Make no mistake: if you hire someone and they leave (or are fired) within six months, you've made a poor recruiting decision.
It's virtually never because they lack the necessary skills or expertise. 
It's more probable that their actions weren't a good fit for your business. 
It is impossible to emphasise the relevance of behavioural evaluations.

For a long time, we've used behavioural evaluations as part of the applicant screening process, and it's been a key component in helping our clients improve their total employee retention rate.

If you truly feel that your workers are the most essential aspect of your company, you owe it to them to include behavioural questionnaires in your recruitment process.

Why not empower your business by taking advantage of our expertise now?

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About the Author
Freya supports the tech talent toolbox arm of Reflection X where she is coaching technologists to achieve their full potential. With over 10 years of experience within the Tech and AI recruitment space, she has been from working closely with thousands individuals and leaders during hiring processes while partnering with very early stage start-ups all the way to some of the top AI Labs in the world.