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UK – HR professionals stuck in the past?

03 August 2012

HR departments across the UK are assessing current and future employees “at the wrong time with the wrong tools”, relying too much on employment screenings from the past, new research claims.  Nine out of ten UK companies are still trusting traditional interviews to match candidates and identify potential risks, while only 28% are implementing pre-employment screening tests which could make staffing more sustainable.

“What I find interesting from these results is that, when asked their views on pre-employment screening, many HR professionals still think of personality tests from the past that examine general traits such as whether they are an introvert or extrovert, or whether they have the potential to be a good leader,” said Stephen Meyler, UK Managing Director of General Dynamics Information Technology (UK), which commissioned the research.

“However the next generation of attitude and behaviour tests, such as the Integrity and Customer Service Assessment paint a clear picture of how a candidate is likely to perform in a role before they are even hired.”

The study, carried out among HR departments across sectors such as banking and retail, found a strong reliance on post-employment measures.  A majority of respondents rely on training (75%) and performance management (74%). Where pre-employment tests were used, these were largely limited to middle and senior management levels. But 61% expected the use of pre-employment tests to become more important over the next 12 to 18 months.

“The current focus on post-employment assessment is simply unsustainable,” Mr Meyler warned. “Organisations that keep to this approach expose themselves to higher employee turnover, rising training costs, poor customer service and low job performance. Worse yet, they are also missing out on finding and hiring potentially highly talented employees who will drive business growth as a result.”

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