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The Power of Assessments: 4 Ways to Improve your Human Capital

Human capital management (HCM) is an approach of human resources that recognizes employees as one of the most valuable assets for a company. Effective HCM finds what aspects of their employees’ knowledge, skills, abilities, and characteristics should be invested in and developed. The more that human capital is developed, the more successful and effective a healthcare organization can be.

Speaking to almost 100 healthcare organizations over the past year, every single one reported failures or concerns in their HCM through high turnover and poor staff retention. And this concern is for good reason! Failing to select high quality applicants, onboard new hires efficiently, retain your best staff, and develop that staff professionally will inevitably result in innumerable issues and costs for your organization.

There is no easier and more effective way to improve your HCM than to adopt the use of personnel assessments. Personnel assessments are any method of collecting information on individuals for the purpose of making a selection decision. A selection decision could include anything from making a decision in hiring, placement, promotion or more. When using personnel assessments effectively, healthcare facilities will quickly realize the incredible benefits that come with it. Here are 4 reasons why every healthcare facility should be using personnel assessments to improve their operations:

1. Better Recruiting

In no industry is it more important than healthcare to hire the best possible employees. The ability of a healthcare facility to perform lies squarely on the quality of its people working there. Supplementing a more conventional in-person interview with additional insight from a validated assessment is a great way to ensure that the people you are hiring will be a good fit for the position. From this perspective, HCM starts before a candidate is even hired.

In the realm of healthcare, these assessments generally take the form of one of the three following types:

  • Knowledge Assessments – Measures technical and professional expertise and knowledge related to the specific job or role.
  • Behavioral Assessments – Measures work-related traits that influence a person’s behavior, intrapersonal interaction, and satisfaction.
  • Situational Assessments – Measures skills, knowledge, and characteristics that might influence how an individual interacts with others, especially in ambiguous or negative situations.

Harnessing these assessments will give you as an organization the ability to better understand the applicant and see if they are truly a good fit for the position. An example of the power of assessments for hiring is that by using assessments to carefully choose the best nurses for the job, estimates show that an average sized medical center in the acute space could see $10 million in personnel-related savings over putting effort into finding the best candidates, improves HCM by ensuring the likelihood for a successful transition into the organization, thereby promoting a healthy culture fit for the new hire and existing staff.

With that said, it’s understandable that many healthcare facilities simply do not have the luxury of being able to pick and choose who is hired from a pool of candidates – they need a warm body and they needed it yesterday. With such high turnover rates in the field, it may seem more important to keep positions filled at all times rather than focusing on finding the perfect applicant. Choosing convenience over waiting on the optimal candidate may seem like a good way to keep costs lower, but this is likely faulty logic.

With such a hefty cost on training and onboarding a new hire, it could be catastrophic to put in all that effort only to have them leave after 90 days. Assessments will help with fitting the applicant with the organization so that turnover can be limited. Using assessments is clearly one of the most efficient and cost effective ways to make sure you are making the right hiring decisions for your company.

2. Shorter and More Focused Onboarding

Using the power of assessments, onboarding could take a fraction of the time it would otherwise and will also provide for a more engaging and focused experience for the new hire. By reducing the amount of information that a new employee needs to be job ready, it is simple to reduce total onboarding time. Assessments taken pre-onboarding can help gauge the new hires current level of knowledge, skill and ability so that new hires can skip information they already know and focus on the things that they don’t. Once you have all of the new hire’s strengths and areas for improvement, a personalized onboarding experience can be created to meet the employee’s unique needs.

With a shortened and more personalized onboarding experience, the new hire will almost certainly be more engage and focused on the material given. They can avoid redundant material and focus on the challenging information that they will need to effectively accomplish their job. Assessments will make onboarding a breeze and the personalized training experience will make employees feel valued.

3. Ongoing Employee Development

Maybe the most important aspect of an effective HCM is a company’s ability to manage current employees and know their unique strengths, room for improvement, and potential for leadership or high performance. By continuing to monitor competency and skill progress of employees after the onboarding period has ended, the organization can identify how to best provide targeted personalized development.

Assessments have also been found to be effective in keeping employees engaged. Post-hire assessments can play a major part in ensuring that employees grow in their positions and stay up to date on vital clinical knowledge. Keeping employees engaged and growing is a great way to minimize employee turnover, as Gallup research has shown.

It can also be used to highlight the top performers in the companies and who would be a good fit and shows leadership potential. High-potential employees need to be identified and rewarded as studies show the top five percent of employees often account for 25 percent of an organization’s overall output. Keep in mind that information gleamed from assessments should never be used as a punitive tool, meaning managers should avoid using assessments as a justification to take disciplinary actions employees, but rather as an exploratory tool to find who is doing well and why certain members may be underperforming.

4. Lower the Cost of Turnover, Retain Your Best Employees

Circling back to many of the points from earlier in the article, assessments are a very effective way of keeping employee turnover low. Few things can be as costly and frustrating as not being able to retain employees over a sustained period of time. It is extremely difficult to run a successful healthcare operation if employees are constantly coming and going.

Assessments are a great way to keep employees engaged in the company and in turn keep cost of turnover off your bottom-line. To exhibit just how important minimizing employee turnover can be, a study found 20% of employees leave within the first 45 days of a new job, costing over 20% of each employee’s yearly salary to replace them. That is a lot of money! Any way to improve your employee retention is going to save you big time in spending. Additionally, there is likely no better sign that a company is successfully handling its HCM than seeing that their yearly turnover rates stay low.

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