With historically low unemployment rates, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make quality hires for your company. Employers are turning to automated tools to give them the competitive edge to find the right talent. There is a multitude of different types of automation tools, one of which being automated assessments.
WHAT IS AN ASSESSMENT?
A pre-employment or pre-interview assessment is a tool used to evaluate and measure a candidate’s qualifications. Assessments can test a variety of factors, ranging from levels of competency to cultural fit. Below are just a few examples of different types of assessments.
- Hard Skills: Assessments can measure candidate proficiency in specific skills such as computer literacy. Hard skill assessments provide supplementary information about a candidate’s competency, especially if the position requires heavy use of this particular skill.
- Work Sample: These types of tests require a candidate to complete activities that are like those they would perform on the job. Examples include situational judgment formatted tests and technical coding tests. Since work sample assessments mimic job duties, results highly predict how a candidate would perform.
- Cognitive Ability: Cognitive ability tests assess a candidate’s analytical and abstract thinking as well as their numerical and verbal reasoning. These tests offer great insight into a candidate’s overall aptitude.
- Motivation and Interest: Candidates may have all the knowledge and skills to perform well on a job but might not have the drive to do so. These types of assessments evaluate what type of work and environment a candidate would thrive in. For example, someone who is motivated to work directly with people may not be as successful in a solitary work environment.
- Personality: Personality assessments measure different characteristics of a candidate’s disposition. Certain personality traits are positively correlated with job performance. For example, surveys show that salespeople who are highly assertive and extraverted tend to perform better than those who are less so.
The type of assessments you should use depends on your specific hiring needs. Vendors may offer assessments that measure multiple items as well as singular tests. Using an approach that combines different types of assessments can prove more predictive of candidate success than using just one.
HOW IT WORKS
Automation implements a system or process to complete repetitive and easily mimicked duties. This allows workers to focus on more valuable or complicated tasks at hand. Once a candidate completes an assessment, recruiters will receive a score or a recommendation about the candidate’s fit. This “score” is generally benchmarked against industry standards, current employee profiles, or pre-selected answers. The results are integrated into applicant tracking systems for easy management.
There are many reasons why 82% of companies are utilizing some sort of pre-employment automated assessments.
Automated assessments significantly reduce the amount of time recruiters or hiring managers spend screening candidates, especially in high-volume hiring. Assessments provide meaningful insight into whether the candidate may succeed in particular roles and thus aids companies to make quality hires. Since assessments help determine who will perform well on the job, the costs related to turnover and hiring may decrease. A case study conducted by Self Management Group found that a call center saved over $2,700,000 due to the decrease in turnover. After incorporating assessments into their hiring process, organizations report a 39% lower turnover rate and are 36% more satisfied with their hiring decisions.
Overall, automated assessments save time and money, allowing for more efficiencies in the process.
Here are more benefits of using automated assessments:
- Increase productivity
- Decrease turnover rates
- Reduce time-to-hire
- Decrease hiring bias
- Improve diversity
- Improve company talent profile
THE CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE
Candidates typically have a painful experience with assessments. They’re lengthy, monotonous, and sometimes even unrelated to the job function. Assessments are, more often than not, lackluster. Automation in general decreases the amount of face-to-face interaction between candidates and representatives of the company. This may negatively impact the experience for those who prefer a more traditional hiring process.
How can you ensure that an assessment will not hamper the experience for candidates?
There are more interesting and engaging ways to evaluate a candidate than the conventional assessment. Assessments are evolving, and there is a growing emphasis on gamification and AI. For example, Pymetrics offers an assessment experience in which the candidate plays neuroscience games. These “games” actually measure a set of traits and abilities such as attention span, risk-taking, and pattern recognition. Gamified assessments can easily captivate candidates with their fun nature.
Here is a quick video of Aon’s smartPredict assessments, which does a great job of illustrating what gamification can look like.
Job-simulator assessments also provide an engaging experience for candidates. As discussed, these tests mimic authentic job duties. Cut-e’s chatAssess is a perfect example of a job-simulator assessment. ChatAssess appears as an informal messaging simulation. The candidate assumes the role of a current employee and must communicate with coworkers, clients or customers, and so on. Many candidates consider simulation-styled assessments more useful and impactful because they are directly related to the job they’re applying for.
Other capabilities of assessments can drastically improve the candidate experience. Is the assessment mobile-friendly? Will the candidate be able to exit out of the assessment and be reminded to complete it? Most assessments have some sort of candidate-care component. This may come in the form of some sort of after-report that provides the candidate insight on their skills or personality.
Accessibility accommodations in assessments are critical for equal opportunity for candidates to showcase their skills. Not many vendors consider what great talent they might be disregarding or missing out on due to certain disabilities. One assessment tool I’ve seen with accessibility accommodations is Pymetrics. Before taking the assessment, the platform asks if you’re color blind or dyslexic. Such capabilities not only make the candidate feel more welcome and accepted, but it helps companies ensure they’re evaluating everyone on an equitable basis.
CONSIDERING ASSESSMENT TOOLS
It can be difficult to navigate the vast array of automated assessment tools. They all vary in size, delivery, and experience. Answer the following questions to help guide you in selecting the perfect assessment tool for your needs.
What are my basic requirements?
Do the assessments need to integrate with a specific ATS? Are the assessments be provided in several languages? An assessment tool has many capabilities. Consider what your company’s hiring needs are and decide what you require from an assessment tool. This will help narrow down your search.
What positions and job functions will I be using these assessments for?
Certain tools specialize in assessing entry-level candidates and might not be suited for corporate leadership roles.
Is the cost justifiable?
Some vendors charge according to a cost-per-hire structure while others have a flat annual fee for their services. Pricing may depend on several factors including a company’s number of annual job applications, hiring volume, as well as how many different roles an assessment will be used for.
In summary, automated assessments are useful tools that help companies find the most qualified candidates and hire the best fit, if they find the right tool that suits their unique needs.
Interested in how AI/automation can help your recruitment team increase efficiency? Check out other types of tools in this comprehensive info hub!