14. marts 2023

Do you overlook middle scores? You’ll miss out on important insights.

In the middle scores, insights are more hidden, but they are certainly not insignificant. Find out how to turn a seemingly boring middle score into important insights.

A middle score is between 30-70 on the test tool’s scale of 0-100. This score indicates that the candidate has provided answers that are the average for the norm group, and do not differ significantly from the majority.

At first glance, of course, there is something uncharacteristic about what is right in the middle. It is the safe, harmless and, on paper, “boring” score. And these are precisely the thoughts a lot of people automatically have when they are in the feedback role and talk to a candidate about a middle score.

We understand that you might be inclined to give the grey middle score less attention during feedback, but a middle score can hold a lot of gold! While a middle score provides relevant insights about the candidate, it takes more work to shine a spotlight on these insights.

With a middle score, the insights will be more hidden and only emerge when, through a series of qualified questions, the reviewer is able to uncover them.

How to go on a middle score treasure hunt

To find the hidden insights in a middle score, you need to know what to look for. We always recommend that recruiters carry out a job analysis.

Before looking at the test result, you need to be clear about what competencies are essential to perform in the specific job. A job analysis is an obvious choice here, and you can read more about the value of job analysis here. During a feedback session, there is rarely time to take a deep dive into all the middle scores. Therefore, start by addressing the competencies that are essential for the job that you specified in the job analysis.

Imagine a hypothetical example where a promising candidate has a middle score for Visionary and a middle score for Detail-oriented. Before, you have already identified that it is important for the candidate to be inventive as they are part of a creative development process, while the details at this stage are less important, as a different department will be going into the more technical aspects of the process.

In this slightly caricatured scenario, the middle score in Visionary will be relevant to target, as it covers the tendency to be inventive and set groundbreaking goals for the future.

Even if the candidate has a middle score on Visionary, they can still be inventive given the right conditions. And this is where, as a feedback-provider, you should prick up your ears, because in the feedback role, you can dig a little deeper through curious questions like the ones below:

  • When are you typically inventive?
  • What characterises the situations where you are the most inventive?
  • When do you find it difficult to be inventive?

As a feedback-provider, what insights can you expect to gain that you would not have gained if you had overlooked the middle score? The answers to the additional questions may reveal that the candidate is the right fit, even if they do not score highly on the attribute.

You may find that the candidate scores in the middle, partly because the candidate needs a clearly defined framework to be able to think creatively and develop new ideas, and partly because the candidate cares about the details and wants to qualify the idea to some extent before presenting it.

You will gain important insights into how the candidate performs best in this specific part of the job and you will learn about the quality-quantity ratio you can expect from the candidate. Insights that can weigh heavily when ultimately deciding which of the candidates you favour for the job.

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