After a few days of wondering how the tie would be broken, last night we learned that American sprinters, Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh, will head back to the track for a race-off to determine who will compete in the women’s 100-meter race at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
Both women are true competitors so it wasn’t a huge shock that they chose a race-off instead of the “flip a coin” option. But what would have happened if they did go with the coin flip?
The one chosen to call heads or tails would probably feel like she was cheated if it landed on the side not called or like she didn’t truly earn her spot if it was granted with the right call. The other woman may resent the situation, having all of her hard work and training reduced to a 50-50 shot in someone else’s hands.
The short of it is that big decisions can’t be left to chance.
Basing hiring decisions only on the information available on applications is like flipping a coin for either a good employee or one you’ll be replacing in mere months. Applications provide the basic information you need to determine if an applicant warrants any consideration: contact information, experience, references, availability, etc. But applications won’t clue you in on the applicant’s behavioral preferences that will dictate if he/she will be successful in the position.
One way to find out if an applicant has an inclination for teamwork, deals with conflict easily, is naturally energetic, or possesses any other qualities you deem key for your business, is to assess applicants for behavioral preferences during the application process.
Without assessments, you may decline an applicant who doesn’t have experience in your industry but who is naturally well-suited for your business, in favor of an applicant with years of experience but a personality that just doesn’t fit.
Building assessments into your process allows you to compare applicants against each other using the information you need to make informed, strategic hires.
Assessments are like tonight’s race-off. They’re the only way to be confident that you’ve chosen the right person for the job.
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