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Common Assessment Implementation Challenges for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Employees are the lifeblood of an organization. However, when it comes to small business hiring, the impact of one employee – whether positive or negative – resonates with the entire organization, including co-workers, managers, and owners.

Best-in-class companies of all sizes realize planning ahead can mean the difference between hiring an employee who drives growth in the business, and hiring an employee who inhibits it. However, for small and medium-sized businesses, reaching a point where implementing pre-hire assessments is seen as cost-effective can be challenging.

Pre-hire assessments can demonstrate strong ROI in many aspects of the performance of small-business employees, including productivity, quality of service, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and sales. However, small and mediumsized business (SMB) organizations face several unique challenges when implementing a pre-employment talent assessment program.

3 Common Assessment Implementation Challenges for Small Businesses

When it comes to implementing pre-hire assessments, there are a few common struggles most organizations face, even when an overhaul of the talent acquisition process is necessary to help improve the business:

1) Financial limitations

By virtue of their sizes, small and medium-sized businesses must make every dollar stretch. Budget constraints are one of the toughest and most common challenges facing pre-employment test implantation. Without the ability to put the necessary resources into pre-hire assessments, small and medium-sized businesses will only realize a small portion of the benefits that can be generated from pre-employment test data.

2) Lack of Executive Buy-in

Most HR managers realize the full potential of pre-employment testing not just in the talent acquisition process, but in the talent development and retaining process as well. Unfortunately, these managers have a difficult time getting their upper-level colleagues to jump onboard. This lack of full support from the decision-making powers of the business has the potential to halt, or greatly limit, the comprehensive usage of these assessments during the hiring process.

3) ROI Nearsightedness

Most organizations of any size equate positive ROI with success. In essence, the greater return on investment a business process provides the more successful it is thought to be. Many of these same organizations, however, fail to look at the bigger picture and to all the benefits pre-employee test assessments offer, including a more productive and engaged workforce, higher retention rates, and increased customer satisfaction.

These challenges of hiring for small businesses oftentimes prevent SMBs from utilizing any type of pre-employment test or it greatly limits the influence these assessments have in the talent acquisition process. When hiring staff for small businesses, the important thing is to identify these challenges and then create a well-developed hiring process that will overcome these obstacles, and provide the greatest benefit to the company.

Overcoming SMB Hiring Challenges Starts with Communication

Understanding and communicating the challenges of pre-employment test implementation is the first step to overcoming those challenges. The second is to demonstrate the value that pre-hire assessments bring to the talent acquisition process and revenue growth of your company.

Additionally, according to one ADP report, small businesses (49 employees or less) created 79,000 jobs in January of 2016. With an increasing number of growing small businesses, it is essential to leverage the hiring best practices of best-in-class organizations. Chances are if you’re not using assessments, your competitors will be soon, if they aren’t already.

Identify the Full Benefits of Assessments in Hiring Staff for Small Businesses

When it comes to getting leadership onboard with pre-hire assessment implementation, it is crucial to outline the full benefits of using pre-hire assessments in your talent assessment strategy, including:

All of these elements are crucial in building a workforce capable of growing your small business and finding employees capable of bringing an element of strength to weaker areas. For instance, if your business is struggling to retain customers, it may be due to a communication breakdown between your representatives and your patrons. In cases like this, FurstPerson uses a combination of consultation and data science to design a solution to identify applicants capable of performing not only the technical aspects of the job, but of being persuasive and creating an emotional bond with customers.

Results from Implementing Pre-hire Assessments Focused on Finding Candidates Capable of Connecting with Customers

This method has yielded success with a number of our partners. Here’s a look at the changes one of our clients experienced after implementing pre-hire assessments focused on finding candidates capable of connecting with customers:

  • 13% improvement in customer satisfaction
  • 38% more issues resolved
  • 15% gain in revenue per hour

Return on Investment / Value of Pre-Hire Assessments

When making the case for pre-hire assessments, you will be in much better shape when you can speak to your executives in the language they understand the best: return on investment.

Determining the value of an assessment means tying the results to the test itself. This means taking the time to conduct a job analysis and validation process. This can be done by working with consultants to evaluate essential duties and behaviors required to perform well in in any given role. Organizations like FurstPerson will ensure the job analysis occurs quickly, efficiently, and comprehensively. The results will provide a scientifically sound, legally defensible foundation on which to build your small business’s talent identification process.

While one bad hire doesn’t make or break the performance of a large organization, the impact of a single employee on the success of a small business is monumental. By integrating assessments during and after the small business hiring process, these solutions can provide immense value for small businesses.