Managing Your Talent Bullpen in 4 Easy Steps

Managing Your Talent Bullpen in 4 Easy Steps

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Recruiting isn’t easy!

When balancing several requisitions at a time, advertising can net several candidates, some good, and some bad. Some may even be especially good, but not relevant for the position you’re currently recruiting for.

Then there are the sourced candidates; those candidates who you’ve combed the internet resume databases and every probable social media site for.

Once you’ve collected a healthy number of candidates to fill your pipeline, what is the best way to deal with all of these prospective candidates both during and after you’ve filled your requisitions?

Here are 4 easy steps we’ve collected and approved regarding the basics for managing your talent or recruiting bullpen.

Thank Candidates for Applying

Best practices everywhere would agree that taking time to thank candidates for applying is close to the top of the list. This is a pretty easy task too, especially if you’re using a site like CareerBuilder, Indeed, or LinkedIn.

You can set an automatic trigger to email your candidates a “thank you note” once they apply to your ad. It should look something like this:

“Thank you for your application to Any Company, Inc. We appreciate your interest in becoming part of our team. Please note that we review every resume in its entirety within 24-48 hrs of receiving it.

If you appear to be a good fit for this role, we will be contacting you shortly to schedule an interview. In the meantime, feel free to visit our website at: to learn more about us!”

Follow-Up & Stay in Touch

If you do come across a good candidate, do make sure to follow up with them. Once you reach out to schedule an interview, be sure to prioritize candidate engagement throughout the entire process.

If you interview several good candidates and have to reject some, make sure to stay in touch with them. Keeping in good graces with good but rejected candidates may pay off in the long run.

You may come across another position or secure a requisition months later and want to revisit former candidates you’ve already interviewed and qualified as potential fits for your current job.

Candidate engagement doesn’t have to take that much time or effort either. Sometimes including prospective candidates in a monthly newsletter mailing or email campaign reminding them you’re still there and still thinking of them is just the right amount of contact to keep them engaged.

Ask Permission

In keeping with best recruiting practices, it may also be a good idea to ask candidates, particularly sourced ones, if you can keep them in your database for future opportunities that arise.

Some of the best candidates are passive ones that you reach out to who might not be looking to make a move at the time. You don’t want to just let them go once you’ve made contact, especially if they’ve bothered to be so nice as to respond!

Also, good candidates generally know other good candidates and may have a referral.

Be Real

No one enjoys being a liar. Be authentic in your communication with candidates.

At times it may be beneficial for you to discuss with candidates what you like and dislike about their resume, offers pointers on how to improve the look and feel of it, or offer suggestions regarding interview attire and how to improve their interviewing skills.

The most important thing is that you’re upfront and authentic. Candidates respect this type of interaction and it’s a great way to contribute to an overall positive candidate experience.

5 Reasons Pre-Employment Assessments are Best

You already know that pre-employment assessments will save you money and wasted time and heartache from hiring the wrong person, and all kinds of other things, but did you also know that they’re good for…

Custom Benchmarking

Yes! We all have top performers in our organizations (hopefully) and we also might have some not-so-top performers. Custom benchmarking allows you to test them both to see where they land so that you can compare their results to prospective candidates and determine where these candidates might fit into your organization based on their performance.

Some of our existing clients have improved on this by building a profile of top, mediocre and poor performers by reviewing the testing of those they have already hired or administering testing to existing employees. In this way, when you go to hire someone, you will have a better idea of what a true top performer looks like for your company.

*If you are an existing client you may have already done this, but if you haven’t, let us know if you’re interested, and we can start by looking at those you have already tested and hired to build a profile at no cost to you except for a few minutes (literally) of your time.

Identifying What’s Working and Not

Another good reason for testing is to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of those already working for you. You will know how to better place them in your organization, what they need coaching on, and what to expect under certain circumstances.

The ability tests will point out specific blind spots that could beneficially be addressed after hiring. Contact us for more information on how to do this if it is not obvious. Even top performers can find things to improve upon and do better.

Identifying Underlying Attitude Issues

One of the best ways to determine your candidate’s potential culture fit before hiring is to examine their attitude. This can be challenging in an interview where everyone puts their best attitude foot forward. It is, however, much easier to uncover any attitude red flags through the use of pre-hire testing.

Our behavioral assessments that measure a candidate’s personality and preferences also gauge attitude and integrity, so we can understand whether our favorite applicant is likely to be a positive, trustworthy, and collaborative member of the team.

Or not. It’s like getting a Yelp! Review on your potential new hires before eating at their restaurant.

Measuring Emotional Intelligence

In addition to learning all about this person’s attitude and personality and how those might fit or not with your own team, pre-employment assessments reveal where the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses lie in regards to the skills you’re measuring them against.

Do they have the sales knowledge you need in your organization? Are they good at asking clever questions and digging for more information with a prospect? Do they understand the importance of clear communication and listening? How smart are they? Can they solve problems and attack unfamiliar situations with ease?

Assessing Employee Strengths & Weaknesses

As mentioned above, using pre-hire assessments on existing employees is a great way to grow and develop your team. Testing allows you to uncover the team’s strengths and weaknesses, highlighting areas where improvements can be made.

Want to turn your individual contributor employee into a manager? Give him a competency test. Walk him through the areas where his knowledge and understanding of the concepts of supervision isn’t quite where it needs to be, and implement a training program to get him there. Then test him again after a period of time to see his progress.

Pre-hire testing has several important uses, even beyond those mentioned in this article. Utilizing pre-hire testing before you bring on new employees will position your company to best determine who will make the best fit within your company in terms of culture, personality, competency, as well as the skills and experience you need to continue driving the business forward.

If you’re interested in learning more about how pre-employment assessments can help you, contact us today!

Testing For Skills Saves More Than Just a Bad Hire

Testing for a candidate’s skill set can save you more than just a bad hire down the road.

If you are hiring for a highly skilled or unique position, chances are that it requires a skill set one must have to get the job done successfully. Consider implementing relevant skill tests to measure for various candidate competencies before hiring to save yourself time and money in the overall process.

Here’s why skill testing is a good idea.

Saving Time

Testing to measure a candidate’s hard skills during your hiring process allows you to save time down the road by validating and ensuring your new hire has the skills that you want and need in your position.

You don’t have to wonder and wait for this to be validated until the candidate is on the job for a few months before you’re able to see just how good they are at writing.

Testing them beforehand lends you this insight before you commit. Utilizing pre-hire testing also lends insight into the level at which your candidate can perform specific tasks.

A great way to save even more time by using a skill test is to automate the process. If you decide to send every applicant a test, you can make sure that you’re only moving forward with those candidates who pass your assessments at the level you want.

Saving Money

Imagine a scenario: you’ve found a great candidate who looks great on paper and does well in your interview rounds. A few months in, you start to notice this person struggling with some basics of the position, like implementing new technology, computer skill, or a task that calls for detail orientation.

Utilizing a skill test pre-hire will allow you to filter out these candidates, who otherwise look great but don’t have the right skills you’re looking for.

If candidates are unable to complete an assessment you assign them with a certain level of proficiency, at the very most you are out the cost of the test as opposed to being out 4 months of a hiring process and already thousands of dollars in lost wages and time spent.

Skill tests are great for screening candidates because they provide direct evidence of a candidate’s ability to complete similar tasks that would be asked of them on the job.

If they struggle in the test, chances are that they’re similarly struggling while on the job.

Summing It All Up

Assessing candidates in your hiring process ultimately saves you time and money down the road.

Whether you decide to test every applicant that comes your way or only those you’ve decided to move onto the next phase in the process, you know that whoever you do hire meets your basic minimum skill or competency requirements.

How Pre-Employment Tests Accurately Predict Employee Success

Hiring a new employee always seems to come with some uncertainty. Even the most carefully recruited and experienced candidate is not guaranteed to fit in well or perform effectively.

Your business can avoid common hiring mistakes and the risk of uncertainty by using pre-employment assessments from The Hire Talent.

The pre-employment assessment we offer evaluates prospective candidates for the skills and attributes essential to success in their job, giving you a detailed understanding of their strengths and weaknesses before they begin work.

Our highly accurate reports will give you all the information you need to make the best hiring decisions possible.

Accurate pre-employment assessment results are our specialty. We have been engaged in the assessment business since 1986. Unlike many companies, we use a “double-blind” validation process to ensure that not only are the test results accurate but that the markers we use indeed evaluate a candidate’s aptitudes and personality traits as intended.

Our pre-employment assessments check a prospective employee’s responses for honesty, exaggeration, excessive humility, consistency, and reading comprehension, enabling us to identify deceptive and dishonest behavior. Your business can be confident in our results as we have an accuracy level of up to ninety percent.

Evaluating a candidate’s skills and personality is an excellent way to predict their success.

At The Hire Talent, our pre-employment assessments can discover if a candidate has the knowledge and skills to perform the type of work they are seeking (such as basic math skills or familiarity with the necessary software) and if they have an aptitude for the job in question. 

This is important for predicting employee success because it allows you to see if a potential hire has a natural inclination towards the activities the job requires, a major factor in their motivation, consistency, and productivity.

Other testing options include Attitude & Leadership Testing and Emotional Intelligence & Interpersonal Abilities. The pre-employment assessments allow seeing which candidates have the important personal and social qualities to be successful employees. Among these factors are confidence, communication skills, and honesty.

By using these pre-employment assessments, your business can avoid hiring candidates who look good on paper but who may have poor personal characteristics, such as an inability to accept responsibility.

Benefit from the knowledge gained from our expertly prepared evaluations by applying these tools in your recruiting process. The successful employee will have the necessary skills and experience combined with the right personal characteristics to work productively in your business for a long time.

While other steps of the hiring process may introduce you to a candidate, pre-employment assessments from The Hire Talent will go far beyond the surface to find exactly those qualities that make up the best employees.

Our reports make detailed and highly valuable analyses easy to understand. With each pre-employment assessment, you will be able to see the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and understand immediately if they are a good fit for the position in question.

Choose employees who have what it takes to contribute to your business’s growth. Join The Hire Talent’s current clients in selecting the candidates with the greatest potential for success.

Check out our eBook “Hiring Talent Team Players: A Guide to Getting It Right,” for more!

3 Benefits of Pre-Employment Testing to Help You Hire Better

Just like anything else, not all business leaders agree on pre-employment testing; some think it’s a necessity while others have negative ideas about it. This makes sense considering people are often unaware of the benefits and legality of assessments.

From a legal standpoint, assessments are simply in-depth interviews; it’s legal in the United States if it’s not used to discriminate. An obvious example of testing discrimination is if an employer gives Bob a math test even though he’s applying for a typist position. When Bob fails, the employer can say he wasn’t good enough, despite math not being a skill required for executing the responsibilities of the job.

Benefit #1

When used correctly, pre-employment testing enables the hiring manager to evaluate the candidates’ behavioral aptitude and core abilities, helping to determine if they are a good fit for the position and their company.

More specifically, the right assessments can help you objectively evaluate qualities that aren’t apparent during the interview process and feedback from references.

Benefit #2

Testing prior to making a hiring decision can also shed light on which candidate has more of the intangible qualities needed to be successful in a position once you have narrowed the field to a few top candidates.

Benefit #3

Companies can test candidates for a variety of qualities, including cognitive abilities, people skills, basic work skills, physical and motor abilities, personality, emotional intelligence, potential behavioral problems, language proficiency, and integrity.

Additionally, drug testing and background checks can be included as part of the pre-employment selection process.

Specifically, at The Hire Talent, we offer assessments measuring work behavioral aptitude, emotional competencies, people skills, individual contributor abilities, sales abilities, leadership qualities, and core job-related skills.

Here are three examples of how pre-employment testing has helped managers make the right hiring decisions:

Example #1

When searching for a client-facing project manager, Kate found two very qualified candidates with extensive experience as project managers.

Kate had an issue with a past project manager who was really great at paying attention to detail but was awkward and uncomfortable when dealing directly with the client.

She gave both candidates people skill tests and discovered that one person had an analyzer/logical personality, but lacked in social skills and the ability to deal with people effectively. She was able to hire the right candidate who would be comfortable communicating with the client and didn’t make the same mistake twice.

Example #2

David needed a strong long-form writer who could work independently for long periods of time without needing a regular check-in from his boss. He requested writing samples from a select group of candidates.

One set of articles stood out, but he decided to test everyone to double-check for behavioral and cultural fits.

The best writing sample came from someone who scored very poorly on reading; with further review, David realized writing samples missed some of the key qualities allowing his copywriters to be successful while the assessment tests provided an accurate depiction of weaknesses.

David also confirmed from assessment testing the candidate was much more effective with frequent check-ins and a very hands-on manager. He was able to avoid making the wrong decision with the help of pre-employment testing.

Example #3

As a small business owner, Jack was very particular about his employees being industry experts as well as career developers. As his company expanded, Jack needed someone in-house who could dedicate part of their day to developing the junior staff professionally to prepare for the company’s projected growth spurt.

He committed to using pre-employment testing and quickly found that his gut feeling about one of the front-runners was true: he was very critical, which would not be a good quality for someone who should be coaching the junior staff as they tried to learn and grow.

The examples above are merely three of many ways pre-employment testing has helped companies hire the best possible candidates. These assessment tests are a great way to look deeper into a candidate’s potential versus relying on a resume or rehearsed interview.

3 Ways Pre-Employment Assessments Can Reveal Red Flags

Recent incidents of violence around the country remind us of the fact that people can have dark qualities in their personalities. Those tendencies can hamper performance on the job and interpersonal relations within an organization.

Aptitude tests can help uncover potentially threatening or relevant information about a candidate’s attitude as part of the interview process. The more information you have upfront, the less likely you are to be surprised down the road.

Here are a few ways that pre-employment assessments can help you uncover warning signs in your potential hires:

Confrontation and Accountability

Hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where you need to confront an employee, but if you do, it’s important to know how they’ll react. Will they fly off the handle? Try to pass the buck or shift the blame? Or will they account for their mistakes and try to learn from them?

Behavioral aptitude assessments measure attitude, emotional competence, and personality. You can tell how assertive someone is, how likely they are to confront people, and even how strong their self-esteem is.

Low marks in these areas should serve as a red flag. It does not necessarily mean that someone is dangerous, but it should be cause for further investigation if you want to hire that person for your team.

Right and Wrong

Beyond measuring a candidate’s emotional and behavioral traits, pre-employment assessments can also gauge someone’s logical thinking skills. This is important in understanding their ethical foundation and how they judge right from wrong.

Logic and reasoning tests not only measure what someone knows but how they use that knowledge to draw conclusions. These assessments also examine critical thinking skills, which are important when it comes to standing up for what’s right in potentially compromising situations.

Watch out for lack of critical thinking or the ability to understand new and different perspectives. Rigid beliefs combined with an assertive personality can lead to conflicts in the workplace.

Interpersonal Communication

Poor social interactions can be another red flag. You might be able to discern some of those qualities during an interview, but an emotional competence assessment can provide a window into a whole other dimension of a candidate’s personality.

There’s a natural give and take to interpersonal communication — being able to communicate your own ideas effectively is just as important as the ability to listen to what someone else has to say. Leaning too far in one direction can indicate an unwillingness to cooperate with others or appreciate a different point of view.

The Bottom Line

This guide has served as an overall guide on how to manage your talent bullpen and why using pre-employment assessments is a net benefit to your business operation.

They can help you make a hiring decision or serve as a roadmap to watch for other warning signs down the road, but they aren’t going to do anything through magic.

In the end, they should be one tool in your hiring toolbox to help find a candidate who will help your organization grow and thrive, rather than dragging it down with negative behavior.

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