Should Recruitment Business Owners Use Behavioural Assessments?

Feeling the pressure yet?

It seems like every other day there’s a new piece of rech tech (Behavioural Assessments, for instance) that your competition is using, or a new marketing method that the thought leaders are touting as essential for recruitment business owners.

It can be hard to keep up. Especially when you’re battling to keep your recruitment firm moving forward in the face of a candidate shortage, high recruiter turnover (leading to soaring salary demands), and an (almost) post-Covid world that is worryingly unpredictable.

So, if you’re a recruitment business owner battling hard to stay profitable, we’d like to offer you a helping hand.

In this article series we’ll be looking at recent innovations in recruitment and recruitment business management, and helping you pick out the elements that will allow you to see a genuine return on your investment.

After all, if you’re going to go to the trouble of adding a new strategy or tool into your business, the last thing you need is a white elephant, or something that drains more money and time from your business than it gives you in return.

In this article we’re going to start with the much-misunderstood, Behavioural Assessments.

Key points we'll consider are…

  • Why you should use Behavioural Assessments (and how to do so to improve your ability to win clients).

  • How not to use Behavioural Assessments (we see this mistake a lot).

  • How to use Behavioural Assessments effectively so they add genuine value to your recruitment service.

  • An additional use for Behavioural Assessments that most recruiters overlook (and that can help you avoid a classic recruitment tripwire).

Why Should You Use Behavioural Assessments?

If you’re unfamiliar with this tool, Behavioural Assessments are questionnaires that make it possible to describe and even predict a person’s behaviour. Their use in recruitment is not new (the CIPD published a report on behavioural science back in 2015), but recent times have seen more and more recruitment firms adopting this technology, especially for senior roles.

While some dismiss Behavioural Assessments as a gimmick, our own research has demonstrated that, when used correctly, they can create a measurable improvement in the retention of your placements. 

This on its own won’t directly add to your bottom line as it’s the employer and employee that receives the primary benefit, but it can help with new and repeat business by enhancing your recruitment service and allowing you to produce data that proves the ability of your recruiters.

Recruiters that use our i-intro® strategy, for example (that includes Behavioural Assessments), can point to a high level of retention for their placements, something employers value highly.

During the pitching process, much can be made of the pain employers experience when a new hire doesn’t work out. Introducing Behavioural Assessments as a way to ease that pain by minimising the risk of a bad hire is a powerful way to enhance your pitch.

How Do Recruiters Use Behavioural Assessments?

Typically, shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete an online questionnaire. The results can then be compared to the client’s requirements and used as part of the decision-making process around who to shortlist, who to call to interview and, ultimately, who to hire.

It can be helpful for a recruiter who is new to Behavioural Assessments to complete a short training course that teaches them how to properly interpret the results (Behavioural Assessment training is included in our Retainer Recruiter Academy program – CLICK HERE for more information).

Is There a Wrong Way to Use Behavioural Assessments?

The most common mistake we see in the use of Behavioural Assessments in recruitment is leaving them until too late in the process, sometimes at the point just before an employment offer is made.

Behavioural Assessments are best utilised as soon as the shortlist is assembled. This allows you to compare candidates with similar experience and skill-sets. At the very latest, the Behavioural Assessment should precede the face-to-face interview. This allows the employer to identify potential problem areas and address them with the candidate during the interview.

Another common mistake is to place too much weight on the Behavioural Assessment when making a hiring decision. Behavioural Assessments provide valuable data but should not be relied on in isolation. It may be, for instance, that a candidate is not a perfect fit from a behavioural perspective, but can be accommodated by making adjustments to how that individual is trained and managed.

What’s the Most Effective Method for Behavioural Assessments in Recruitment?

We’ve tried a number of approaches, and by far the most effective use of Behavioural Assessments is to invite the employer to survey some people in their own business so the results can be used as a benchmark for assessing candidates.

Identifying candidates that are a close match for existing people in the employer’s business is an effective way to place people who will fit easily into the existing culture of the firm. 

But at the very least, the desired behavioural qualities should be discussed and decided upon BEFORE inviting candidates to participate. 

Some Behavioural Assessment programs are specifically tailored for recruitment (McQuaig, for example, is the provider we favour) and provide interview questions for the employer to ask, specifically around potential weaknesses. This is another valuable addition to your recruitment service that you can provide to your clients.

How Else Can Recruiters Benefit by Using Behavioural Assessments?

Have you ever been in the situation where you have 2-3 great candidates for a high profile role, but after the face-to-face interviews the decision makers can’t agree on any of them? This often results in the recruiter having to repeat the search process, delaying the recruitment process and frustrating everybody involved.

If you know that multiple decision-makers are going to be involved in the hiring decision, invite everyone involved to complete a Job Survey (just one of the many types of Behavioural Assessment tools available), at the very start of the process, before the search even begins.

This will then reveal if one or more of the decision-makers have different or even conflicting expectations around the kind of person they’re looking for. Identifying this problem at the outset allows you to address the problem and manage everyone’s expectations, reducing the chances of a stalemate.

Behavioural Assessments Provide a True Return on Investment

As discussed at the outset, when considering the adoption of a new recruitment technology or strategy, it’s important to consider the likelihood of seeing a strong return on investment. Behavioural Assessments definitely fit this criteria.

  • Behavioural Assessments add genuine value to your recruitment service, assisting with your ability to win business and even allowing you an opportunity to increase your fees.

  • Improved retention for your placements means happier employers and employees. This is good for your reputation, feeding into the potential for more referrals and more repeat business.

  • Behavioural Assessments can eliminate potential blockages in decision-making, thus speeding up your recruitment process.

The i-intro® system provides access to McQuaig’s Behavioural Assessments, including personality profiling, job surveys and interview guides.

Because McQuaig is built right into the i-intro® system, you can start using their service immediately .

i-intro® also provides training in the use of Behavioural Assessments as part of a recruitment process, as well as how to present this service to prospects to help you attract and win more business.

If you’re a recruitment business owner and you’d like a free demonstration of the i-intro® system, including the Behavioural Assessment component, CLICK HERE and book a consultation with one of our specialists.