Employee Assessments 101


Companies have been assessing their employees since the 1940s when the U.S. military developed surveys to determine whether their pilots were best suited to be bomber pilots or fighter pilots even though both positions are flying their ultimate responsibilities are almost oposite, which are positions that require very different personality profiles. Since that inauspicious beginning, thousands and thousands of companies have embraced behavioral surveys to help them identify the best employees for both selection and promotion.

How important is the surveying component?

Numerous studies have identified a significant correlation between using behavioral surveys and selecting employees who become superior performers. In one of our recent studies, we surveyed the franchisees of a mid-sized franchisor, we also complete job surveys in which they identified the profile of what they considered ideal. The results were absolutely eye-opening. Before having their franchisees do the survey, the franchisor divided them into multiple groups based the amount of royalties they generated. The franchisor knew who the best franchisees were in terms of royalties, but did not know why they were different.

When we surveyed each franchisee and found a direct correlation between the franchisees who were closest in personality to the ideal profile and those who generated the greatest royalties.  The results are summarized in the table entitled, "Engagement Study of Leading Franchisor." The franchisees with the closest profile to the ideal franchisee generated an average of $52,000 of royalties annually, franchisees with what were considered "good" profiles generated an average of $24,000, franchisees with just "fair" profiles generated an average of $14,000, and franchisees with "wrong" personalities generated an average of only $6,500. The franchisor is now surveying new franchisee prospects to help determine their likelihood of success.

The Bottom Line

Using behavioral surveys in the selection process may be one of the most important concepts a company can use to assure that they put "the right people in the right seats of the bus." In today's complex business environment, fewer and fewer companies are willing to allow its managers to provide references for employees who leave their company. In addition, online employee ads often brings a flood of resumes. While companies may be able to identify multiple candidates who seem to have the right skills and education, the best way to determine whether the employee has the right personality is through behavioral surveying.