“When used effectively, pre-hire assessments can have a major impact on key performance indicators (KPIs), such as cost-to-and time per-hire, hiring managers’ satisfaction, employee retention, performance, and engagement.” –Aberdeen Group Study (May 2015).
We could not agree more.
The same study reveals the following:
- Businesses that use pre-hiring assessments are 36% more likely to be satisfied with their new hire.
- Seven out of ten (71%) of the Best-in-Class (top 20%) companies now use pre-hiring assessments.
- These companies now enjoy 15% year-on-year improvement in hiring managers’ satisfaction.
Keeping in mind these statistics, we have seen that job titles are having a moment in the last few years, and HR is not an exception to these new trends either.
At Google, HR is called “People’s Operations.” This term is very popular with other tech companies as well. For Facebook, “People@” is the term that describes the team which focuses on three things: Hire the best people, foster continuous personal growth, and enrich the overall Facebook experience.
Other companies have transformed HR managers into Talent Acquisition Managers. These companies are underlining the importance of acquiring the right people rather than hiring just someone to fill an open position. They are looking for talent!
Along similar lines, in a previous article “Why companies can’t avoid university recruitment,” I spoke about how, now more than ever, it is time for companies to decide if they will or will not enter the War for Talent. Companies are identifying new ways to attract and retain talent. And, they are increasingly starting to use assessment tools before making the final hiring decision.
But, why use a talent assessment tool? What does it provide you with? Is it worth it?
Well, let’s try to answer these 3 questions by looking at five ways a talent assessment tool can make a recruiter’s life easier:
Accurate evidence-based information
A talent assessment tool provides you with the opportunity to receive result-based proven information after a candidate has been first tested. Resumes can mislead even the most experienced recruiters. Some people tend to “fake” and exaggerate their experiences and their achievements. For example, Yahoo’s former CEO Scott Thompson was removed from his position after it was discovered that he lied on his resume.
Another trick candidates use is to make themselves “sound intelligent” during the interview. An interview is about selling yourself (your profile) anyway, so why not? Unfortunately, recruiters often think that when a candidate sounds intelligent, he/she might actually be intelligent. This is not always true. If a candidate prepares for the interview; then the candidate can rock it. But it does not mean that he/she will do justice to the job tasks and responsibilities.
Enhance candidate experience
Using a pre-hire assessment can make a candidate’s experience more interesting. By answering questions or by testing themselves on different exercises or projects, candidates have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their capability to perform well or not in different situations. They receive real-time feedback after completing the assessment, and therefore, they get an idea of their possibility of getting to the next level.
An assessment tool can be even more attractive via gamification features. A great example here is Heineken’s hiring process. Before even sending the resume, applicants are asked to go through a virtual journey with Heineken’s executives from different areas of the business. To complete the journey, the candidate should first answer some questions related to several soft and hard skills. After which the candidate will receive his/her feedback to identify strengths and areas for improvement. This helps the company filter out unqualified applicants. What does it mean in practice? It means lesser time spent screening CVs and more quality candidates.
Test on real tasks
“The best indicator of future job performance is to give the candidate a work sample test; a task that the candidate will be doing the job.” -Iris Bohnet, author of “What Works: Gender Equality by Design”
Say, you take an assessment platform like Recruit from HackerEarth. Create a test for all candidates, which may be a coding project similar to what they might be required to do the job. Thus, the recruitment team and the Hiring Manager will get more accurate insights about the candidates’ ability. Only successful candidates will be shortlisted and suggested to the company. Candidates who do not perform well will be disqualified from the hiring process. Therefore, well-qualified candidates only will make the longlist that recruiters will need to screen. Definitely makes a recruiter’s life easy, doesn’t it?
Reduce biased-recruiting decisions
Recruiters are not machines but human beings, and as humans, we often are vulnerable to biased decisions. Sometimes we look for candidates who are “like us,” and at other times we use our intuition (sixth sense) based on experiences, feelings, and intellect to make a decision while preparing the shortlist. Therefore, our decisions are not always accurate and they will never be, but what we can do is reduce bias and wrong hiring decisions.
As a recruiter, you can avoid biased decisions in the recruitment process by making use of talent assessment tools for pre-screening. Reduced bias in the recruitment process is positively related with higher performance of the new hire, as the hiring decision will only be based on skills, knowledge, and abilities of the candidate and not on your intuition about candidates’ future performance.
Minimize fill time and hiring costs and improving employee retention
Maybe it is not a completely representative sample, but in a case study conducted by Self-Management Group, adding an assessment tool in the recruitment process of a large communication organization reduced the fill time from three weeks to one-and-a-half weeks. Enriching the process in such way provides the recruiters with the opportunity to focus and dedicate more time to “high potential” candidates and reduce the time spent on unqualified candidates. It gives recruiters the opportunity to become strategic partners of the team and the business. In addition, the organization saw a 40% reduction in their turnover. This happened because the talent assessment tool made candidates familiar with the type of the key task they would be dealing with if hired. At the same time, the company ensured through this process that the candidates matched the required skills and job requirements.
Moreover, hiring a proven-to-be-qualified candidate by first assessing him/her means lesser time recruiting for the same position a few weeks down the line.
Choosing the right tools
Today we have a huge pool of pre-assessment tools varying from those who aim to test for cultural fit (cognitive ability tests, personality tests, etc.) to those which are more specialized for testing particular skills or knowledge such as sales, coding, time-management, etc. Before choosing the tool, it might help to first consider the following points:
Take some time to think with your team about what would you like to test the candidates for.
If you want to test their personality or their stress management skills, then assessments tools which measure soft skills should be used, but if you want to test your candidates on their ability to code for instance, then you should use the relevant tool such as Recruit.
Think about tools which will provide your candidates with a great experience throughout the application process.
Candidate experience is important as it is directly related to your ability as a company to attract talent. It affects your employer branding. If you make the application process interesting and enjoyable, then you also increase your chances of becoming an even more attractive employer for other potential hires. Think smart!
Compare the quality of their reports.
An assessment tool is all about providing you with deep insights on candidates’ ability to score high. If the feedback you receive from the assessment tool is not well-structured and detailed, then there is no reason for you as an employer to include such a tool in your recruitment process. Research, benchmark, ask, and use trial versions before you decide which one to include in your hiring process.
Make your life easier.
Before choosing a pre-hiring assessment tool, test if this tool and the information it will provide you with can be integrated with your ATS. It will save you much time and effort on aligning the two software.
To summarize, the aforementioned five reasons help answer a question asked in the first part of this article: “Is a talent assessment tool worth it?” Well, the answer actually is very simple. If you care about the quality of your candidates and if you want your recruiting team to become more of a strategic partner for the business, then yes, it is worth it! Including a talent assessment tool in the recruitment process of your company may lead to the higher performance of the new hire, more engagement for the candidates through a more attractive recruitment journey, and more time for strategic decisions from a recruiter’s perspective. Also, it also can save you money by making a decision faster and by minimizing the chances of going through cycles of recruitment.
However, more than one out of three companies (36%) “cited the lack of urgency by senior management to be the biggest barrier to implementing scientifically-based employee and pre-employment assessments.” Hopefully, this article will help senior managers to better understand the benefits of a talent assessment tool and its effect on the quality of their hires!
Here is a Free trial to an assessment tool to hire your first candidate -