The Art of the Pre-Hire: Delivering Assessments Your Candidates Want to Take

clemens Aicholzer, Hirevue

Clemens Aichholzer, Senior Vice President of Game-Based Assessments, HireVue, discusses why pre-hire assessments are an essential part of the hiring process – but they need to modernise so as to engage the right candidates.

Pre-hire assessments are a fundamental part of the hiring process for most organisations. But traditional multiple-choice, closed-ended questionnaires weren’t designed with the modern candidate in mind. Lengthy and unengaging, they don’t provide a great experience for job seekers or time-poor recruitment professionals.

So the question is: how can organisations ensure that their pre-hire assessments are completed by all, while at the same time enabling companies to quickly and easily filter out the candidates who are most likely to be top performers?

To find out, HireVue recently commissioned research to examine the current state of pre-hire assessments and identify where there is opportunity for businesses to reimagine their approach to talent acquisition.

Measuring The Right Skills For Long-Lasting Job Satisfaction

One of the most compelling findings of the research was candidates’ apparent lack of confidence in the ability of traditional pre-hire assessments to showcase some of the attributes they value most highly.

When it comes to being considered for a role, the majority of the job-seekers we spoke to believe that their potential (83%), personality traits (78%), and/or soft skills (77%) are of high or extreme importance to employers – more so than both prior experience (70%) and academic achievements (50%). And yet, over a third of those who have taken a pre-hire assessment (or understand what they entail) question their ability to measure any of these three key things.

As a knock-on effect, two-fifths (40%) of candidates told us that they had started new jobs only to discover they have the wrong soft skills to be successful in the long run, and over half (53%) had left a company because their personality or work style didn’t fit. In fact, the majority (54%) of those people who had left a job due to poor fit directly blamed the format of the hiring process for preventing them from discovering this earlier.

Living Up To Candidate Expectations

Aside from questioning a pre-hire assessment’s measurement capabilities, the research also pointed to a number of additional areas where candidates are expecting more:

● Feedback: While ‘the opportunity to receive feedback’ ranked as the second most important factor for impacting candidates’ decision to take a pre-hire assessment for their dream job, the majority (51%) of those who had taken one received feedback less than 50% of the time, if at all.

● Fairness: The single most important factor (46%) impacting a candidate’s decision about whether to take the pre-hire assessment for their dream job is how fair they consider it to be. This is a big problem for hiring managers as previous research has shown that traditional, person-to-person interviews are full of implicit and explicit bias, as well as inconsistency.

● Experience: Of the candidates that have taken a pre-hire assessment, only four in ten found the process straightforward (42%) or professional (39%). Less than a third found it ‘quick’ (29%). Perhaps as a result, over a quarter (26%) had dropped out of a pre-hire assessment before they finished it.

The Road To Success: How To Hire The Best People

Armed with greater insight into how candidates feel about traditional pre-hire assessments and the improvements they’re looking for, here are three actionable pieces of advice that hiring managers can use to start improving the candidate experience today:

1. Consider technology that can assess the whole candidate. Understanding how a candidate works with information, as well as assessing his or her personality traits and working style are key to hiring the best people for the role and minimising talent churn. In order to uncover this elusive ‘potential’, recruiting teams would be well served to consider adding video and game-based assessments to their approach. Not only does this offer a fast, simple and engaging experience for candidates, but it provides recruiters with tens of thousands of data points (from voice intonation, to relevant facial expressions, and task behaviour) to help them quickly and effectively measure potential.
2. Make the experience candidate-centric. Nearly a third (30%) of candidates are less likely to accept a job offer after a negative pre-hire assessment experience, so creating an engaging application process that is respectful of a candidate’s time and needs is essential. Candidates want to be able to showcase their abilities in fewer than 60 minutes, and have fun while they’re at it, but the follow-up is also critical. Finding the time to keep each candidate informed of their status in the hiring process will benefit organisations in the long-run.
3. Be competitive. If you consider that candidates will likely apply for at least a handful of jobs, this means they will compare each experience and prioritise the companies they want to work for. Companies should make theirs stand out by ensuring that candidates feel they had the fairest opportunity to show their full potential. By combining artificial intelligence with structured video interviews and scientific games that can be taken any time, anywhere, every candidate is offered exactly the same engaging experience.

Visualising The Future Hiring Experience

It’s clear that candidates are ready for a new kind of hiring experience which is tailored to today’s workforce. By exploring a complimentary combination of modern assessment methods such as games and video interviews, there are important benefits for all parties. Recruitment leaders will have more time to attract and qualify a wider and more diverse pool of applicants, whilst candidates feel valued and engaged throughout the hiring process.

Your candidates are ready for a better hiring experience. Are you?