Jun 27

‘Onboarding’ – Developing New Hires with Psychometrics

By Brian Dorans

Psychometric tests are now common in talent selection and assessment, bringing that all important level of objectivity into the hiring process, and reducing bias. It is accepted that these tests have evolved significantly, and when the instruments chosen are reliable, valid and properly administered by trained and qualified assessors, they can provide valuable insights as an adjunct to other selection processes.

More frequently, these assessments are being further utilised as part of the ‘Onboarding’ process post-hire. Much has changed to help new hires become properly integrated into their new roles, as the value of successful hires can’t be underestimated with the cost of re-hiring being significant. At senior leadership and executive level, thorough onboarding is absolutely vital, as the impact of a failed hire goes far beyond the individual. With countless surveys looking at the cost of failed hires, onboarding is just not about ‘best practice’, it’s a financial imperative.

With regard to onboarding at senior leadership level, such psychometric assessments can really add value. It is more readily accepted that even senior hires may not arrive with all the skills needed to carry out the role, and with the general increase in use of psychometric assessments as part of the selection process and coaching in general, reports generated here can assist in how best to coach and develop any new hires to perform to the best of their ability, grow within the new company, and meet all expectations.

These reports can also help by tailoring the onboarding process to the needs of both the organisation and the individual, encouraging a two-way process, rather that the new hire feeling ‘indoctrinated’ into the environment. When used as a point of reference in the onboarding process these tests may help to increase long term employee engagement and increase productivity.

Another factor to consider as companies look to hire and retain talent, is the decreasing talent pools in certain sectors, requiring searches outside their own industry for good people. This can often mean a complete culture change and a steeper learning curve for the new employee. Onboarding here means not just integrating the individual, but ensuring there is a deeper developmental and support plan in place. Again appropriate tests are available not to just highlight potential ‘skills gaps’, but possible ‘cultural gaps’ which could need additional focus.

There are several providers of ‘onboarding’ assessments, relatively new to the market is the Saville Assessments Wave® Onboarding Report which is generated from the Wave Focus and Professional Styles Questionnaires. The Saville Wave Onboarding report is used for:

  • Accelerating workplace effectiveness of new hires
  • Creating tailored objectives and development plans
  • Facilitating better working relationships between new hires, hiring managers and the organisation
  • Managing expectations of new hires and the organisation

The report focuses on an individual’s top 4 strengths. It provides useful tips on how to capitalise and build on these strengths, how to apply these working within the organisation and utilise the combination of the new hire’s strengths. It also highlights key challenge areas and provides useful advice on how to best manage these potential performance limitations and how the origination and hiring manager can best support development in these areas.

Personal development and skills enhancement are further benefits that a new hire gains from utilising these onboarding tools, with this investment increasing engagement, and being likely to decrease the time taken for the individual to add value to the organisation.


Brian Dorans, Principal Assessment Consultant is qualified to Level A and B in Occupational Psychometric testing through the British Psychological Society (BPS), and is a member of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Association (EFPA), the leading professional body in the EU.

Brian is also a Certified Saville Wave® Practitioner and can administer the full suite of Saville Wave Psychometric Assessments.

For more on Psychometric Assessment get in touch with us today or call +44 845 862 0186

About The Author

Natalie Heilling is an International Executive Search Consultant and Co-Founder of Research Partners running various recruitment campaigns across Europe, North America, and Asia while helping clients reach their hiring targets with peace of mind. Natalie has worked in Technology and eCommerce for the last 20 years and helped US companies confidently establish themselves in Europe and emerging markets.

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