A coherent approach to recruitment through personal assessments

Personality assessments are already part of the recruitment strategy of many companies. Many studies have convincingly shown that the assessment of work personality and cognitive abilities is the best predictor of success in different job levels and organisations. Personality assessment provides immediate support for recruitment decisions, which in turn provides a better basis for successful recruitment. If used systematically, their benefits can also extend far into an organisation’s HR strategy.

Misrecruitments happen in Finnish working life

Mistakes in recruitment have far-reaching consequences, affecting the functioning of an organisation. They directly affect productivity, work atmosphere, customer satisfaction and, of course, the use of team and manager’s time. The direct costs of recruitment errors range from 30% to 50% of a person’s annual salary, to which must be added the indirect costs of time spent on recruitment, the salaries of the people involved and the loss of productivity. The cost of recruitment errors can therefore range from €10 000 to €100 000, depending on the level of the job and the size of the company. On a national scale, the cost of misrecruitment in Finland can reach hundreds of millions of euros and is estimated at around €120-210 million per year.

Personality assessment is a safe and cost-effective tool to avoid the high costs and side-effects of unsuccessful recruitments.

According to Kansallinen rekrytointitutkimus 2024, one of the biggest areas for development in the recruitment process of organizations is the use of aptitude assessments and psychological tests. More than 40% of HR professionals who responded to the survey felt that their organizations were very or fairly poor at using them. The value and importance of aptitude tests is therefore recognised, but there is still room for improvement in their implementation.

The benefits of suitability assessments for the organization are straightforward in the recruitment decision, but they also add value in the longer term. The results can be used in orientation and at the beginning of the employment relationship, in potential mapping and in career guidance. For the candidate, taking part in an assessment can help to identify their own motivation, strengths and areas for development, as well as clarifying their own perception of how they see themselves in the role and in the organisation.

However, in many organizations, assessments may still only be part of the recruitment processes for specific roles, and there is no consistency in the way recruitments are conducted. This also increases the possibility of misrecruitment. However, we see great benefits in a consistent approach to recruitment in an organization, where personality assessments systematically ensure objective selections.

This evaluation opened up whole new perspectives and areas in my own self-assessment and reflection. A very positive experience overall. – Candidate feedback

A common approach to personality assessment will bring several short and long-term benefits to the organisation

Short term benefits

People assessments bring tangible benefits to the final stages of the recruitment process, although in terms of time they add an extra step to the recruitment process. In practice, they bring objectivity and clarity to the decision-making process. This means that the organization receives genuine support in the recruitment decision-making process, as well as an analysis of how the candidate fits the criteria for the role and the work community. In addition, the content of the assessments is discussed with the assessment psychologist, which allows for the identification of possible questions and reflections before the recruitment decision is made.

One of the key benefits is that the person assessments ensure that the recruitment is carried out in line with the criteria set for it and that the recruitment decision is not influenced by subjective opinions, preferences or other cognitive biases. It is normal that one of the candidates may emerge as a favorite during the recruitment process, for example, because of a certain personality trait, which can lead to a lack of objectivity in the recruitment process, resulting in misrecruitment.

Assessments can be used to identify, for example, a person’s motivational factors and problem-solving abilities, and to find out whether their working methods are compatible with the organisation’s working environment. In particular, when recruiting middle managers and executives, it is important to identify management styles and their suitability and potential impact on the work culture of the organisation. Find out more about the assessments of managers here.

The assessment report gives concrete tips and advice on the start of the employment relationship. This will ensure that the recruiting manager is in the best possible position to successfully orientate the new recruit to the role. In addition, the potential of the person can be mapped out for the future from the very beginning of the recruitment process. For example, in terms of career strategy planning, assessments can reveal potential for future managerial roles or other development opportunities within the organisation. In turn, when recruiting executives, assessments provide insight into how the leader fits with the company’s values and how their strategic understanding, vision and leadership style fit with the company’s business and work community. This provides tangible support for the design of HR strategies.

While the immediate benefits are significant, there are also long-term benefits to an organization from using personality assessments as an ongoing model throughout its recruitment strategies.

Long-term benefits

The results of personality assessments can also provide added value to the organisation in the long term. Once an organisation has been using assessments for several months or a few years, it provides new perspectives for analysing HR strategy. They can also be used as a guiding framework for future recruitments.

The assessment reports can be used to draw collective conclusions on topics related to, for example, different working styles, and thus to better outline which kind are best placed to drive the organization towards its objectives while maintaining a positive working environment. This is particularly important in leadership roles – the additional assessment tool we use, the Leadership Judgement Indicator, provides more detailed information on how an individual performs in different leadership and decision-making situations. The information gathered can help the organization to better understand which types of managerial skills are best suited to the workplace and then to take these factors into account in future recruitment.

For recurring roles in the organisation, successful recruitments and their assessment reports can clarify the criteria for success in the role, and thus make them more concrete for future recruitments. For example, if predictions and observations relating to problem-solving or logical reasoning skills have not been considered in recruitment before, but after assessment it is identified that individuals with, for example, above-normal numerical reasoning skills have performed significantly better in the role, this information can be used in future recruitment.

A consistent approach to recruitment will therefore allow for more effective comparison of recruitment in the longer term. This will help to identify common factors in successful recruitments, as well as in unsuccessful ones. With the integrated approach and its long-term use, aptitude assessments will also help to identify high-potential individuals who might otherwise go unidentified. In the long term, this may enable a truly competency-based recruitment process, which will allow a more comprehensive and broader pool of high quality, skilled and culture-enhancing candidates to be brought into the organisation.

The personality assessments thus serve as a statistical and objective method that can be further exploited in the future to support recruitment strategies and human resources management. We would be happy to discuss with you the benefits of personal assessments and how they can also support recruitment in your organisation. Get in touch!




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Mikko Savusalo

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