By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Gallatin, TN

When they spin the wheel and drop that little ball, it’s too late to do anything with your chips.  The result you get is the one you have to live with – win or lose.

Some employers think it’s almost the same when they hire.  They may not know there’s a way to shift the odds.

There’s no doubt that more and more employers in valuation are using testing during the hiring process.  They consistently tell us that testing helps them make better decisions.

The expansion in valuation across the country is attracting candidates into the industry.  Many of them will end up being hired to fill the staffing demands fueled by this expansion even though they may not have the direct experience employers might prefer.  Testing during the interview process will have more and more value.

Practices across the country are developing simple, customized ways to assess a candidate’s financial/technical skills.  One national firm we know has built a pencil-and-paper exam that asks questions (some simple; some not so simple) based on a case study.  A boutique in the Southwest has put together an Excel-based exercise that helps reveal the candidate’s grasp of that software; a skill critical in this industry.

By necessity, these tests are formulated around the needs and expectations of the individual firm.  They often reflect the nature of the engagements that come in the door, there.  The results are sometimes used to rule a candidate in, or out.  As often as not, though, the test also paints a clearer picture of the candidate’s capabilities and helps the employer plan the necessary training.

At the same time you’re measuring your candidate against the firm’s own needs and expectations, it’s important to measure the candidate against the universe of successful people already working in the industry.  Borrowman Baker is developing just such an assessment, expected to be available on January 1.

The Borrowman Baker BV Candidate Assessment will provide a way to “benchmark” candidates against any one of four functional job levels in a BV hierarchy.  This benchmarking process produces a Placement Report which graphically shows you how closely the candidate compares with other, successful individuals in areas of Thinking Style, Occupational Interests and Behavioral Traits.  The Placement Report also suggests questions to aid you in interviewing your candidate more effectively.

For a limited time, firms can volunteer their current staff in the development of the benchmarks and receive an individualized Coaching Report for each employee.  This report will include suggestions for helping the employee develop and be more productive in your practice.

In addition, you will receive free testing of candidates you are considering for hire during the period of January 1 through June 30, 2008.  The rapid expansion of the industry and simultaneous in-flow of talent requires employers to take advantage of every tool in the kit to make a smart hire.

John Borrowman