You wouldn’t invest £45,000 (or £10,000) in a new piece of kit, new office space or a major piece of marketing on the basis of looking at it for an hour, finding out what birth sign it was made under(!) or relying on the makers’ brochure.
You’d, in different cases, read the manual, see it in action, check its performance, learn from the past, talk about plans for many hours and look at return on investment.
Yet, we often make people decisions based on this sort of evidence.
Test results are, in effect, an important part of the technical manual for an individual. They allow you to evaluate how a person will perform and therefore what the return on your investment will be.
To return to my boss’s homily on business from my last post. The company I was running was a service company in which facilities costs were insignificant compared to people costs.
It was clear that appointments that had been made on the basis of previous track record and interview were severely underperforming – and, as is often the case where ‘informal’ people strategies were used – these were the highest paid staff. My immediate response was to look at issues of return on investment issues for the people in the company. This fed through to much closer targeting of performance and activity.
I also have never since recruited someone without using a test.