Finding suitable candidates for vacant positions is possibly one of the most underrated and tedious tasks in an organization. And, with the global talent and skill shortages looming over almost all industries, the job of recruitment, talent acquisition, and human resource teams has become even more challenging. Getting the right employee requires an “N” number of calls, tests, and of course, a pre-hiring assessment.
Pre-hiring assessment typically refers to a process that helps an organization screen candidate and evaluate them on the basis of attributes like cognitive and critical thinking abilities, personality, and motivation. Over time, it has become a norm in the recruitment process. For instance, over 82% of employers, today use some form of a pre-employment test. According to a Talent Board report, about 52% of employers use assessment to test job-specific skills, 37% to test cognitive skills, and 34% to administer personality traits. Moreover, 62% of employers believe that pre-hiring assessment helps hiring managers make better decisions.
Pre-hiring assessments help recruiters by weeding out unqualified candidates and saving time and resources. They can enhance the predictive accuracy of the hiring process and provide a more quantifiable way of evaluating candidates.
Here are some reasons that mark the importance of pre-hiring assessments today.
It is time and cost-efficient – The hiring process is time-consuming and expensive. What makes the matter complex is that almost 50% of the job applicants do not meet the basic qualifications. Pre-hiring assessments help cut unqualified candidates from the list and allow the hiring team to focus on candidates with the right abilities and mindsets required for the job. It saves time and resources, which contributes to cost savings.
Better quality of hire – As mentioned above, the cost of a bad hire can be huge. Pre-hiring assessment serves as a preventive measure. It can help you notice red flags beforehand and recognize the bad hires without interviewing every candidate.
Increased retention and reduced turnover – Pre-hiring assessment evaluate aptitude, skills, and personality types. It helps in answering questions like – Is the candidate a right fit? Can the candidate adjust to the company culture? Will the candidate enjoy the quality of work and working within the company? Clarity over these questions can help a hiring manager pre-determine if the candidate is going to stick around or not.
It is interesting to note that almost 80% of Fortune 500 companies use pre-employment testing to optimize their recruitment strategies and improve talent search and decision-making capabilities. For instance, according to a Marketplace report, 89 of the Fortune 100 companies use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – an introspective self-report questionnaire – as part of the hiring process, team-building workshops, and executive talent management.
As per a Market Watch report, the pre-employment assessment tools market will expand notably in the foreseeable future due to attributing factors like a rise in individual spending, increased urbanization worldwide, and greater adoption of innovative technologies. There are an endless number of pre-hiring assessment tools in the market like HackerRank, TestGorilla, The Hire Talent, ESkill, Harver, and many others. For instance, many leading companies like Capgemini and Hexaware (allegedly) use iMocha’s tools for their hiring requirements. However, it is a thing to remember that one size does not fit all!
Finding the right employee that resonates with your company’s culture, vision, & mission and has all the required skills is like finding a needle in the haystack. Thus, to get the best ROI, it is crucial to consider some important things before investing in a tool.
Assess what information you are looking for – First and foremost, be very clear about the information and qualities you are looking for in a candidate. For example, if you want to evaluate a candidate’s leadership attributes, you can select a tool that tests the emotional intelligence and integrity of the candidate.
Choose tools as per the work’s nature – Avail tools that specifically test skills suited for the work. In technology or IT companies, candidates typically take job knowledge tests and are screened for cognitive ability and overall personality traits. Similarly, in a Public Relations firm, the aim could be to test soft skills.
A test that is subjective, reliable, and candid – In the giant pool of tests available in the market, consider deciding on the one which is subjective, reliable, and candid. A subjective test provides a clear idea of one’s distinct personality and makes comparing the candidates easy. Moreover, make sure that the tool is a proven predictor of attributes.
Though pre-hiring assessment tools are thriving in the market, they are still leveraged with drawbacks. Some of them include-
Tools are beneficial to evaluate the candidate and check if they have the necessary skills required for the vacant position. However, they still have a long way to replicate the insights one may get during one-on-one interviews and personal communication. While tools are highly helpful, trust your gut more than the tools before making a hiring decision.
About the Author
Executive Vice President
Pyramid IT Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
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