Employee Assessments: Best Practices for Hiring Managers

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Employee assessments are reviews or appraisals, used to evaluate employees’ performance and productivity. Many companies give assessments on an annual basis, but some managers prefer to evaluate employees more frequently. For some hiring managers and HR personnel, conducting employee assessments can be part of their regular duties. This article gives an overview of employee assessments, steps to conduct an assessment, best practices and some answers to frequently asked questions.
 
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A quick overview of employee assessments

An employee assessment provides an overview of an employee’s performance over a given period of time. Assessments help managers explain expectations, discuss performance and collaborate with employees to improve their potential for career growth. In some cases, assessments are used to evaluate performance for raises or promotions. For hiring managers and HR personnel, it’s important to get to know employees before evaluations. They should ask employees to complete self-assessments so they can understand daily tasks. Employee assessments can be a positive experience for everyone. They open dialogue, create bonding, and improve employee engagement because expectations are made clear. Managers should remember to give positive feedback while giving suggestions for improvement.

 
Read more: How to Conduct an Employee Evaluation

 

How to conduct an employee assessment

Use these steps to conduct an employee assessment:
 

  1. Schedule assessments regularly.
  2. Specify metrics.
  3. Refer to the job description.
  4. Be positive.
  5. Focus on solutions.
  6. Set clear goals.

 

1. Schedule assessments regularly.

Schedule assessments according to business needs, resources and the employee population. Assessments help you make timely adjustments to employee goals and provide training opportunities. If you are the hiring manager, you may need managers to complete questionnaires or evaluations of the employee’s performance.

 

2. Specify metrics.

Be specific about what you’re evaluating when you conduct an assessment. Some ways to evaluate performance include productivity, attendance, progress toward goals, behavior and skills. Use a numbering scale from one to five or 10, with grades of performance.

 

3. Refer to the job description.

The job description lists the employee’s tasks in detail. Ask the employee to add missing information or new responsibilities. This can help you learn more about their performance, willingness to take on new tasks, level of initiative, and extra skills they may bring to their work.

 

4. Be positive.

It’s important to be positive throughout your conversation. Ensure that you note and express appreciation for exceptional performance and traits that make the employee a valuable asset.

 

5. Focus on solutions.

If an employee needs significant improvement, focus on solutions. Be collaborative and open. Most employees have suggestions for ways to improve work processes or their jobs.

 

6. Set clear goals.

Work with the employee and their manager to set clear goals and expectations. Make sure that goals are specific, measurable and ideally, attainable at regular intervals. When employees regularly accomplish goals, they’re more engaged in their work.

 

Best practices for employee assessments

Here are some best practices for assessments:
 

    • Inform employees: Ensure all employees are aware of timing, feedback processes and benchmarks for performance. Include information in the employee handbook or on your internal intranet.

 

    • Prepare: Review personnel files, previous assessments and feedback from managers and coworkers. Make a list of discussion points and questions.

 

    • Provide examples: Obtain work samples and other accurate indicators of performance.

 

  • Measure results: Compare results from previous assessments to track progress on goals.

 

Employee assessment FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about employee assessments:

 

Why are employee assessments important?

Employee assessments are conducted to review an employee’s contributions to an organization. Use these assessments to determine the level of compensation they should receive or what they can do to better contribute to the company. Employee assessments can help employees stay engaged, remain on track with goals and strengthen their career potential within an organization.

 

Can assessments reduce turnover?

Assessments are one of the best employment practices for employee retention. They help hiring managers determine if training is needed, what can be done to improve an employee’s career potential and whether or not the employee is a good fit for a job and the company culture. They also give employees an opportunity to discuss performance, contribute suggestions and make plans for attaining goals or promotions. They increase retention because they are a constructive way to improve employer-employee relationships.
 

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