When Should I Use a Hiring Assessment as Part of the Recruitment Process?

The use of hiring assessments is on the rise. One of the major contributing factors to this trend is that employers are finding many traditional approaches to hiring such as resume reviews, to be time consuming and unreliable. In fact, research indicates that 78 percent of resumes contain misleading information, while 46 percent contain inaccuracies.

Even if you are able to glean accurate and helpful information from a candidate’s resume, finding the perfect person for your open position is a tall order. A candidate may have impressive qualifications, but what makes them the best fit for a specific role?

Organisations are searching for new and reliable ways to evaluate top talent, and hiring assessments are a great tool to help determine whether a candidate is truly a good fit for the job. When clients ask about our hiring assessment, the Emergenetics Selection Programme (ESP), they often want to know the best time to use the assessment in the hiring process.

While the incorporation of hiring assessments can be helpful at any point, you will see more benefits if you use it from the beginning of your hiring process.

Some of the benefits of using an assessment from the get go:

  1. Increase objectivity. When you use an assessment like ESP, you can establish job requirements up front and assess a candidate based on how well they match up to those specific position needs.
  2. Reduce reliance on resumes. Assessments provide the information you need to make smart decisions while reducing the time you need to spend on reviewing resumes.
  3. Narrow the candidate pool. They allow hiring teams to quickly and effectively screen out candidates who do not meet the core job qualifications so you can more efficiently spend your time on only the ideal candidates.
  4. Build a future candidate pool. Assessments provide an opportunity to build a database of candidates who may not be a fit for the current opening, but may have potential when a different job opens at a later date.

Reducing the reliance on resumes is one of the most appealing benefits to many of the organisations we work with. One of our clients shared their frustration with this part of the process, noting that some candidates get help from professionals to elevate their resume, while some candidates don’t know how to highlight their strengths. ESP has helped their recruiters eliminate this barrier, giving them a clear and objective way to measuring a candidate’s aptitude and motivations.

Some organisations, including smaller companies and non-profits, may find that assessments work well for them later in the process.

You can use an assessment later in the process to:

  1. Narrow down interviewees. Once the candidate pool has been consolidated using another hiring method, the assessment can help identify top applicants so you can focus your energy on the very best.
  2. Enhance executive search. Sometimes when organisations hire for an executive position, they may have a limited number of applicants who have a well-known track record. In these instances, assessments can be given to candidates before final interviews to help hone in on what specific qualities and approaches each applicant would bring to the role, providing the additional data needed to make an important decision.
  3. Provide greater clarity. When going into an interview, an assessment like ESP provides the hiring team with data regarding attributes required for the job, as well as how the candidates measure up. This helps to align objectives and expectations of the interviewers to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to understanding what success looks like for this role.
  4. Promote internally. When given to all employees, results from assessments can be used for internal promotions down the road.

One of our clients uses ESP to help develop its existing workforce. Previously, when they had a high performing employee, they would promote them to the next highest position in their department, without considering whether they would be good at the role or enjoy it. Now they use the information collected from the hiring assessment to determine where the employee will thrive. A more prestigious position doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness and this new approach has led to positive results.

To help determine when to use a hiring assessment, consider these factors:

  1. Current process. What does your current hiring process look like? Are you comparing candidates to specific needs or relying on gut instinct? Could a hiring assessment help you be more objective and focused?
  2. Budget. Review the budget dollars that are allocated to the hiring process and the cost to rehire. These numbers can help you understand where your organisation could see the most cost savings with the use of a hiring assessment.
  3. Candidate pool. How many candidates typically apply for your open positions and what percentage advance to an interview? If you need to quickly narrow down a large group, using an assessment early on can contribute to significant time and cost savings. If you have a small candidate pool, you can benefit from the additional information a hiring assessment provides to better understand your applicants.
  4. Time. Are you spending too much or too little time on hiring? Do you typically get stuck on a particular step where an assessment could speed things up? If you need to reduce the time spent on phone screens or on interview coordination with hiring managers, the assessment results could help streamline the process.

A hiring assessment can be beneficial no matter where you incorporate it into your process. The first step is to reflect on the talent acquisition challenges and opportunities you have in your organisation. Then, we can help you identify if and when a hiring assessment could strengthen your processes.

Connect with our team at info.asia@emergenetics.com to discuss what makes the most sense for you.

This article was originally published in Emergenetics International Blog When Should I Use a Hiring Assessment as Part of the Recruitment Process?".

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