How to Use Pre- and Post-Hire Assessments for Recruiting and Performance Optimization Loops

As technological developments and new ways of doing business pour in, it seems only natural that all business systems adapt and advance to stay apace.

No longer concerned with merely filling empty desks, HR is taking a front seat and quickly becoming a pillar for all corporate success. But relying on dated hiring techniques will not only render you old fashioned—the real travesty will be missing out on the huge potential offered by a structured, objective system of hiring.

So how can you bolster HR in its new role as a central force for success? More than anything else, HR managers must begin to effectively gather data throughout the pre- and post-hire processes and interpret such information through meaningful, relevant metrics.

interview performance assessmentPre-hire assessments allow hiring managers to quickly gather objective, job-relevant data about candidates: the type of data that speaks to who you’re really hiring. These assessments are essential for weeding out low-potential candidates quickly, so resources can be focused only on further screening of potential top performers.

When multiple screening techniques are layered, it generates incremental predictability and allows you a new level of confidence when filling that open position. But you won’t just be filling an empty seat—you’re finding the right person in an ever-growing applicant pool, who will help you achieve specific business goals.

Once the candidate is signed on, how can you challenge them to perform their best? Leverage their initial pre-hire assessment results to coach them effectively. 

Strong hiring assessments offer specific feedback that distinguishes the individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and gives clues as to how they’re best managed. Use this information to your advantage!

Similarly, you can utilize post-hire data to critically assess how the candidate is actually performing in their new setting. Remember: Good hires come from pursuing a key business objective (improved customer service, increased sales, specific technical skills, etc.). So how is the candidate performing in relation to that objective? Consistent, concise post-hire metrics should be used to evaluate candidates.

With integrated and automated systems that naturally produce this type of knowledge, hiring managers can inject reliable quantitative data into every piece of their management puzzle. More importantly, the company can better align the impact of strong hires with revenue figures and projections. This hard data is the best tool HR managers have to display their value to an organization and its executives.

For continuous optimization, HR managers can leverage their post-hire data to refine their pre-hire assessments. If a new hire is not meeting expectations, then utilizing the feedback loop allows you to revamp and optimize your pre-hire assessments. This perspective and flexibility is particularly essential in times of fast growth, restructuring or organizational culture shifts, to prevent the pre-hire filters from remaining calibrated for the old business environment.

By making the most of pre- and post-hire data, and tying the two together through an intentional feedback loop, the company-wide skillset will increase, and key business metrics will be met through increased talent.

Most importantly, continually reorganizing and refining your hiring process works to improve your ongoing talent management plans, while simultaneously demonstrating the all-important role that HR and recruiting hold for your business.

Greg Moran is the founder and CEO of, the leading provider of cloud-based predictive talent selection™ solutions. In addition to authoring two books, Greg has contributed his thought leadership regarding human capital management and pre-hire testing to national publications including BusinessWeek, INC Magazine and Wall Street Journal. Follow him on Twitter @CEOofChequed.

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