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Recruitment Assessment Tools: Get the Candidates You Want

Jackye Clayton
August 21 ․ 7 min read

candidate management Before you submit a candidate to the hiring manager, there are things that I can guarantee that you know.

The candidate’s salary expectations, basic skill set, and what they’re looking for in their next job. You probably even have a good idea about their values or whether they are a culture fit.

However, let me ask you, do you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are qualified? It sounds crazy, I know, but can you say with absolute certainty that they can do the job they were hired for?

Let’s be honest; unless and until we can see a candidate in action, we do not have 100 percent certainty that the person we hire is the best candidate. However, with the help of pre-hire assessments, we can get pretty close.

Pre-hire assessments are becoming the norm. But how can we make sure they are truly effective?

Using pre-hire tests and technology to eliminate bias

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are increasingly used to help perform more mundane tasks. They can also help reduce some biases that creep into the recruiting process. The first benefit of such programs is time efficiency for top-of-funnel hiring, especially in high-volume recruitment situations. AI can be used to identify what you need from a role and screen resumes more effectively than humans, also freeing up those human recruiters to do more value-add tasks.

AI will learn and evolve as candidates become employees, and you see what’s successful in a given role, etc. But the entire concept reduces the hiring process’s subjectivity based on data points. AI won’t necessarily care that a person went to X-school or spent time at Y-company unless those criteria are deemed important to the specific position.

Taken a step further, assessments provide bias-free, data-driven means to assess a candidate's qualifications for a role. Further, augment the benefits of AI-driven analytics with tools that only focus on a candidate’s core qualifications needed for a job. Empower your recruiters to make the most informed decisions based on what matters.

Credentials are key (Ignoring test results)

Say you have been interviewing candidates all day and none of them is a fit. But then Bob comes in. You and Bob graduated from the same college, you have kids the same age, and he has a great personality. At some point during the interview, you have fallen in “love” with Bob.

Then you give him the assessment. And he bombs it. According to science, he would be an absolutely horrible person to add to the team. However, you like him. You really like him. So you hire Bob anyway.

A few months later, you realize that Bob was not the best fit, and you must repeat the entire hiring process.

Of course, you should never use test results as the sole factor in rejecting or selecting a candidate. However, if the test results go directly against what you need on your team, you must trust the technology.

Don't forget the candidate's experience

During my career, I have taken several pre-hire tests, including the Predictive Index, Myers-Briggs, and DiSC, to name a few. Full disclosure: none of them was a pleasant experience.

But it was never just the painful pre-hire testing; it was the entire candidate experience.

You need to aim for a “unified” experience on both sides; candidate and recruiter. We often seem to forget this and those intelligent people (ideally strong candidates) don’t want to spend time muddling through unnecessary process steps.

For example, if you have a lengthy application process, a career site that is hard to navigate, and automated, un-personalized communication gets sent out in response to the resumes you receive, you’ll probably lose the candidate before they even get a chance to do the pre-hire assessment.

Always remember the candidate's experience, both the positive and the negative will influence a candidate’s perception of your organization and the job.

It would be great if we could make hiring decisions on our insight and instinct alone, but we are all human. From what we are learning about unconscious bias, that simple fact can get in the way of making the best hiring decisions.

The latest technology and science can test candidates' skills, predict job satisfaction, determine culture fit, and more. Make sure you research and find the assessment test that will give you the right candidate.

It’s all pretty clear, making hiring decisions without using scientific data can be the difference between staffing up a successful company or showing up on the ‘worst places to work’ list.

(This post was edited for accuracy on 9/1/22).