SmartRecruiters Blog

Skills Assessments: Data-Driven Hiring Drives Successful Results

It takes great people to build a successful organization. That’s the essence of what drives business growth — hiring highly skilled professionals who are also in tune with your corporate culture and qualities you value.

But can you quantify that quality? Absolutely.

A webinar I recently hosted on creating and managing data-driven and assessment-based hiring demonstrates a three-step process — one that’s highly effective and empowers recruiters and hiring managers to work together more effectively in driving hiring success.

One reason to take advantage of standardized skills assessments? I know this may be hard for some of you to believe — but, well, some candidates actually lie on their resumes.

I wouldn’t go too far and say that most resumes are complete fiction, but one research study shows that 46 percent of resumes contain outright lies and 78 percent include misleading statements.

Yet even if resumes were more reliable, cognitive aptitude – which can be easily assessed – predicts job success twice as effectively as interviews that can be highly subjective.

Spending time with the right people

In our webinar — hosted with Jake Tracy, Business Development Manager at Criteria Corporation, a provider of online tests and skills assessments — we explained how online skills assessments add tremendous value.

Jake pointed out that while some organizations test candidates near the end of the recruiting process, he encourages clients to test earlier in the process. I tend to agree.

Think about two approaches:

  • Let’s say you have a candidate that fits your profile. You spend time interviewing that candidate and then a test reveals poor results.
  • In another scenario, you might test a candidate – even one with less experience – and see excellent results. Now you can choose to engage more deeply with that candidate already knowing that the predictive value of your test shows they may be an excellent fit even if the profile didn’t reflect that at first glance.

For me, meeting candidates makes a big impact on my time and schedule. I’d much rather already know that a candidate has the required skills I need and use my time to explore other attributes, such as personality and motivation. Given that the cost of a poor hire can exceed two to three times the salary of an employee, I’d rather be much more informed much earlier on.

Make the process transparent and straightforward

Do candidates balk at taking remote tests or skills assessments? Most won’t. Quite the opposite, in fact. Anyone motivated to join your company will be eager to do so. Just be sure you make it clear how your recruiting process works, communicate candidates in a timely manner, and don’t make skills assessments too long because test drop off rates tend to decline significantly after about 40 to 50 minutes.

Arranging to ask a candidate to take a test is easy. You can generate invitations within SmartRecruiters, choosing providers such as Criteria and others in our Marketplace. Even better, our integrations with partners automatically adds test results to candidate profiles, making it easy to review results or view side-by-side comparisons.

There are some issues you’ll need to address in creating and refining your data-driven hiring model. For example, how do you know if a candidate was the one who actually took your test? One easy way to verify that is to perform the assessment both at the beginning of the application process and again at the end of the interview.

Other issues to consider? Learn more in our webinar and discover how testing makes those seemingly fuzzy qualitative aspects of hiring success a lot easier to quantify.


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