Pre-hire assessments are gaining in popularity as companies look for more predictive accuracy in their recruitment cycles. The top end of these tests doesn’t just assess the candidate’s past experience or their education but also their aptitude, suitability, or their potential, measured via scientific validation. This makes for a more precise assessment when deciding who to hire.
The figures confirm their growing appeal. Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Research report found that 82% of companies depend on some form of the pre-hire assessment test, and also that their use of these assessments is changing. It appears that 54 percent of respondents are using job simulation assessments (according to the Talent Board study) and 51% use a culture fit (which represents a 22% increase since the Board’s 2014 study). Whereas before such assessments were done mainly for executive and mid-level leadership positions, they’re now being done for hourly and entry-level jobs.
A large number of organizations are after a “whole person” style of assessing candidates to include personality traits, culture fit, and motivation –not just skills or IQ – thereby distinguishing those candidates who can evolve from those who quickly flounder.
Companies are showing an increased interest in soft-skill or interpersonal skill assessment, even in roles where these haven’t always been important.
Organizations that are shifting towards new business strategies or using new technologies will need a shift in their workforce’s skills and knowledge with assessments to match these changes, he said.
Tests should be versatile enough to be able to answer a different set of questions as to what roles candidates are best suited for.
Finding a fine line between Speed with Science
As companies are requiring time-saving easy-to-use assessments, assessments are now shorter and are being made more fun and useable on mobile in recognition of the fact that some candidates are put off these tests as an obstacle in the way of getting the job.
Likewise, recruiters should test these assessments on how well they reflect both skillsets and performance on the job as time goes by.
Despite the continued reliance on multiple-choice as the basis for many assessments, new technologies are filtering in, which means vendors can use new ways of evaluating candidates.
Executive and middle-management positions are also seeing a rise in assessment tests that go further than just skills and experience and deeper into candidate personality and what drives them. According to experts, should the candidates derail once hired, this can be put down to low emotional intelligence, poor political skills or ethics, and not so much their technical competencies.
AI Comes to Testing
Vendors also are using integrating intelligence [AI] into their products in interesting ways. One way is to score candidates’ free form answers to open questions on tests which is more complicated than simply scoring multiple-choice questions.
Don’t Forget the Legal Factor
Legally speaking, nothing has changed. Equal opportunities must continue to be respected – as before – to avoid discrimination or prejudicing candidates.