How Employee Benchmarking & Job Baselines Can Improve Your Hiring

By assessing your workforce and then setting employee benchmarks, you can create employee hiring profiles that help you uncover the traits and characteristics that lead to success on the job.

Baseline personality profile feature for Hire Success

What is a "baseline"?

Some may say "ideal profile" or "employee benchmarking,” but we refer to the task of identifying and quantifying personality characteristics and traits as developing a Baseline Personality Profile. It’s basically putting together a list of ideal standards for hiring or promoting employees in every job at your company.

Developing a job baseline for each position is a great way to outline what an ideal employee's abilities and personality characteristics are so you can quickly identify applicants with similar skills and traits. When it’s time to hire a new employee, you’re more likely to find someone who will be more comfortable, happy, and productive.

How to create a job baseline:

Customized employment software

How is a Baseline Personality Profile developed and used to identify top applicants?

If you test everyone on your current team, you can identify which skills and personality traits your top employees have and which ones are necessary for success in a particular job. Evaluating and recording these traits allows you to establish an employee baseline, or an ideal candidate profile, so you know what to look for in a new hire.

For instance, if you tested all the salespeople on your team, you might find that the most successful ones were more determined, more patient, and more compassionate than the least successful. Other traits might be similar between the most and least successful employees, or some traits might not be considered necessary for the job.

In this case, those three traits you’ve identified — determination, patience, and compassion — would be the key job benchmarking data to target when hiring new salespeople.

Simple steps for creating a baseline for any position at work

Step 1

Test your employees

When you test employees, you find out which traits are important for a particular role so you can create a job baseline and then look for the same traits in new hires. The most important thing is to make sure you have a consistent, objective method for determining and measuring those character traits.

We recommend testing everyone on your team, not just top employees. Why? Because testing everyone allows you to measure and record the personality traits that make employees successful – or unsuccessful – in every job at your company. Often, the best and the worst employees will share many common characteristics. But it’s the traits they don't share that can make all of the difference.

In examining personality traits of successful employees, you should also ask, “Is this trait really necessary to succeed in this particular job?” If not, the trait shouldn’t be included as part of your employee benchmark.

Method 1

Test your current team while hiring for a new position

When testing your team, be sure that any traits you assign to your job baselines are applicable to the job. For instance, your highly successful bookkeeper may be outgoing, but that’s not a necessary trait for a great bookkeeper. Identify the necessary traits for each job and begin creating an employee baseline file representing an ideal range of personality types and traits for that role.

TIP: If you already have a team in place, you can use the employee bulk upload feature from Hire Success® to upload their information into your account, gather personality testing data, and start a hiring profile for each role.

Method 2

Hire for a new position when you have no current employees

If you don’t have any employees in a particular role, you’ll need to perform a job analysis. Start out by going to managers, stakeholders, team members, or even other employers and asking them about the position. What skills and traits do they think will be necessary for success? Also, what abilities or characteristics will be necessary to fit into a department or your company?

By making a few inquiries, you should be able to start creating an employee baseline with at least some of the important skills and traits you need.

TIP: Don’t have employees yet? Use the Hire Success® job position analysis tool to walk key stakeholders through a step-by-step analysis of the traits and characteristics necessary for each position.

Step 2

Assess the results of employee testing

Once you’ve tested employees, you and your fellow managers can analyze the results and look for patterns and common traits.

For instance, you may notice when you review the personality test data that all your top salespeople are outgoing and goal-oriented, while your lower-performing salespeople are not. You could determine from this that having these traits is necessary to do well in that role at your company.

You and other members of your management team can use this information to begin setting job benchmarks for employees that outline what an ideal applicant would be like.

Hire Success baseline results
Step 3

Build your employee baseline for each work position

Each baseline you build should be an outline or a list of the skills and traits your ideal candidate would have. For instance, will the right person for the job be introverted or extroverted? Detail-oriented or a big-picture person? What traits do they need in order to do well in a particular job?

It’s important to note here that you’re not looking for “good” or “bad” traits, just traits necessary to do each job. Some jobs require aggressive, goal-oriented, high-energy types, while other jobs are better suited for cautious, thoughtful, detail-oriented types.

TIP: Once you’ve obtained personality data from your employees or stakeholders, you can use the Hire Success® auto-baseline builder to easily construct your baseline for each position.

Build your employee baseline with Hire Success
Step 4

Identify and shortlist top candidates using job benchmarking data

Once you have employee baselines in place, you can then test your applicants and compare their test results with your baseline for the job. By comparing applicant testing data with existing employee baselines, you can quickly narrow your pool and conduct better, more in-depth interviews. If a candidate matches your baselines AND has the background, experience, and skills you’re looking for, chances are you’ve found a person well-suited for the job.

TIP: Once applicants are tested, you can quickly and easily compare their results against baselines to see if they have the personality traits necessary for the job. Hire Success® sorts and pinpoints top candidates so you can add them to the shortlist and focus on them first.

Identify and shortlist top candidates
Step 5

Compare top applicants against set employee benchmarks

Once you have your shortlist, you can more closely compare top candidates with your existing employees’ baselines and each other. The similarities and differences will help you craft targeted interview questions that can help you make your final decision.

TIP: After you create your baseline, Hire Success® provides a special Personality Profile Baseline Summary Report that overlays job applicants’ test results on top of your baseline profile so you can quickly and easily see who has the personality traits you need for the job.

Compare top applicants with employee benchmarks

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