Candidate Assessments: Use Them or Lose Them?

February 23, 2023
Posted in Employers
February 23, 2023 ThePost

It’s evident that the job market is robust, with the unemployment rate at the lowest it’s been in almost a decade. Across the job market, there are almost 10% more job listings than this time last year which means it’s a candidate-driven market.

This year, it was predicted that some of the fasted growing sectors would include Digital Marketing, Management Consulting, Hotels & Hospitality, Technology, and Healthcare.

Although we don’t personally work in all those sectors, we can certainly see the residual effects of the amount of hospitality and healthcare-related positions. In addition, the continued growth of tech-related companies has created huge available dollars that translate into a rapidly growing residential design market.

What does all this mean? How does this affect companies looking to bring on the right talent?

We are seeing that companies need to have a very efficient yet thorough interview process, but how do you take the time to ensure you are getting the right candidate while being mindful of how fast the market is moving? One option is the proper utilization of candidate assessments in the hiring process.

What are Candidate Assessments and How Do They Work?

A pre-employment candidate assessment is a centralized method of testing used to screen candidates for job openings. These pre-hire assessments use a variety of tests and screenings in order to gauge a candidate’s personality, critical thinking skills, cognitive abilities, work preferences, and motivation, among others.

Most organizations know how expensive the wrong hire can be. This explains why the use of candidate assessments has increased by almost 20% in the last two years alone. It is reported that almost 57% of companies use pre-hire assessments as a talent selection tool.

In creative industries such as Architecture and Design, this number is lower, but medium to large firms in this sector are moving towards using this tool. However, the real question is: are they effective?

Candidate Assessments as an Effective Screening Tool

One of the main goals of any interview process is to gather as much information about a candidate as possible so you can gauge their suitability for the role.

However, most employers find that traditional methods like phone and in-person interviews don’t often yield the best results.

It’s no secret that resumes are unreliable. Studies have shown that up to 78% of resumes contain misleading statements. Meanwhile, Zippia found that among those surveyed, 30% admitted to lying or at least bending the truth on their resumes.

Similarly, interviews have been shown to be poor predictors of future job performance. They are highly subjected and are prone to the interviewer’s assumptions, prejudices, or unconscious biases. Further, an interviewer’s judgments can also be influenced by their mood, chemistry with the candidate, and other external factors.

In contrast, pre-employment candidate assessment introduces an element of objectivity to the screening process.

They provide concrete results that can be standardized among applications, allowing employers to quantify their performance, sufficiently gauge their future performance, and make better-informed hiring decisions.

Adopting Pre-Hire Assessment Testing in Business

Small business owners often ask us whether they can or should use assessments to make hiring decisions. The short answer is yes.

A company of any size can use assessments to help determine who to hire and, most importantly, add depth to the interview process. As with most employment practices, there are a few caveats to mention:

  1. Use Only Scientifically Reliable and Validated Tests to Assess Potential Hires
    This is necessary to ensure that the assessment meets the requirements set forth by the Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as statutes such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are not sure about a particular assessment, the company supplying the product will know.
  2. Never Choose or Eliminate A Candidate Based Solely On the Results of An Assessment.

    Rather, the assessment should provide one piece of the puzzle and help guide your interview process. Personally, we are fans of candidate assessments when used correctly. They can help with not only hiring but also team building and career pathing for employees.

    The bottom line is the better you understand your talent, the better you can provide an environment where their unique talents can grow. Using assessments can be especially useful in small to medium-sized firms that don’t have a robust Human Resources and Recruitment department that is trained in interviewing and identifying the right talent.

    Assessments give you a window into how the individual thinks and solves problems, their behavioral preferences, values, ethics, and also aptitude. The assessment we use in-house helps craft interview questions based on the results. This is a great tool to help our clients ensure they are digging deep and asking the right questions.

Choosing the Right Testing Method For Pre-Hire Assessment of Candidates

There are many assessments on the market, so it’s important to know what you want to achieve by using them. Do your homework and know exactly what you want to look for and what equals a great hire for your company.

Once you select a product, it is ideal if you can start to determine patterns of success by having existing employees in comparable positions take the assessment – this ensures you aren’t using the product in a vacuum. The longer you use an assessment, the more valuable it will be as you can measure the success of employees.

In our case, we have chosen to partner with Prevue HR for the clients that want us to administer assessments as part of the hiring process, but there are other great choices on the market, such as Caliper, Wonderlic, PSI, and Berke to name just a few.

There is a wealth of information online to help you determine what product might work best for your company, and it might just save you the cost of a bad hire.

Dedicated to Finding the Best Talent Available

With over 20 years of industry experience, Interior Talent prides itself as a leading provider of talent for the Architecture, Interior Design, Engineering, Retail, and Manufacturing Industries.

We adopt a full-service recruitment approach to help our clients find the best talent and maximize retention. Get in touch with us today!