Using General Employability to Hire During COVID-19


Apr 20, 2020


*This post was authored by Hogan’s director of product innovation, Brandon Ferrell, and research scientist, Michael Boudreaux, and originally appeared on Hogan Assessments.

Although most headlines concerning the economic effects of COVID-19 focus on unemployment, many companies are hiring en masse to provide essential services during the pandemic.


Food and beverage manufacturers need production workers to maintain supply. Delivery companies need warehouse workers and drivers to transport goods. Grocery-store chains need stock clerks to keep shelves full. Pick-up service companies need personal shoppers to help customers who are social distancing or immuno-compromised.

Even in a crisis, hiring the right employees is essential. Each interaction between a customer and an employee impacts the future of the business. A customer who receives poor service during the crisis might not return for business once the crisis subsides. This raises the question: How can a company hire the right employees and hire them quickly? 

The science of personality tells us that there are three characteristics that make people well qualified for most jobs. At Hogan, we developed a way to measure these three characteristics of General Employability. People who have these characteristics are considered highly employable:

  • People Skills – Highly employable people interact well with customers and coworkers, particularly in stressful situations. The General Employability assessment measures how considerate or tactful people are and how calm they are when under pressure.
  • Learning Skills – Highly employable people get up to speed quickly and continue to grow. The General Employability assessment predicts how quickly and proactively people are likely to learn new skills. Some businesses, such as Anheuser-Busch, Tito’s Vodka, and other distilleries, are repurposing their supply and logistics networks to produce and distribute bottles of hand sanitiser to fight the pandemic. In situations like this, the ability to learn new skills is critical. 
  • Work Ethic – Highly employable people work hard and produce high-quality work products. The General Employability assessment tells us if people are likely to put in the effort needed to finish the job, follow instructions, and be dependable.

The Hogan General Employability assessment is backed by Hogan science and decades of personality data and research, making it a reliable and valid measure of employability. The report also includes several important features:

  • The report provides organisations with a single overall employability score, a recommendation regarding hiring, and interview questions for each candidate.
  • Scores on the report predict performance in entry-level job families, including service jobs and trades.
  • Organisations can compare candidates using eight norms.
  • Candidates can assess in 46 languages.
  • The General Employability Report integrates with applicant tracking systems, including Taleo and iCIMS, to making high-volume hiring easier.

Employees who score well on General Employability consistently deliver for their companies. For example, in one study, we found that truck drivers who scored high on General Employability had 40% fewer accidents. In another study, we found that sales representatives who scored high on General Employability had 78% more sales.

For more information on the Hogan General Employability report, please contact your PBC Account Manager, or reach out to us at or call us on 02 8918 0888.

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