With unemployment at record highs, companies that need to fill high-volume positions suddenly find themselves with more candidates entering the labor market. With thousands of new candidates looking for jobs, volume hiring and filling your candidate funnel will be easy.
However, finding a scalable and efficient way to choose which candidate to hire isn’t so easy.
Fortunately, pre-hire assessments that measure fundamental traits and abilities, job-relevant skillsets, or reactions to ‘day in the life’ custom scenarios can drastically reduce time-to-fill metrics and increase the quality of hire at scale. But first, you need to choose the right assessment type that fits your needs and budget or know how to combine the assessments in a way that complements their strengths and shores up their limitations.
Here are a few pros and cons to consider for each assessment type as you modernize your virtual hiring practices to help achieve your recruiting goals:
Off-the-shelf behavioral and cognitive assessments
Pros: Core personality and cognitive ability assessments provide employers with detailed insights into the fundamental traits and abilities that are important for predicting future work performance. They make it possible to do ‘apples to apples’ comparisons across candidates and benchmark candidates against ideal job fit profiles for a variety of jobs without having to retest candidates for each position.
Off-the-shelf behavioral and cognitive assessments can tailor their scoring models to the unique requirements of a job. At the same time, standardized content and delivery offer faster implementation at a lower cost than custom content.
Cons: Because they are “off-the-shelf,” test content can’t be customized to the specific job or company, so the tests themselves may not always “look and feel” like your organization.
Recruiters may also want to bolster assessments with additional measures of job-specific skills or competencies, which may not be possible with off-the-shelf assessments that have boilerplate modules and items.
Off-the-shelf skills assessments
Pros: Pre-employment skills testing is a quick and effective way to measure the job-required skills of a large number of applicants. They provide an objective and scalable way to measure an applicant’s ability to perform a skill or demonstrate knowledge that is required upon entry.
These assessments often give recruiters and hiring managers a set of specific skills or knowledge areas to review when comparing candidates to minimum and preferred qualifications for the role.
Skill assessments, and the results they generate, are inherently job-relevant and are often quickly accepted and appreciated by candidates and hiring managers alike. In addition, the results can also be used to identify specific training and development needs among new hires.
Cons: While off-the-shelf skills assessments may look and feel job-related, there are often limitations for changing test content to use your organization’s specific terminology and scenarios. Candidates being considered for multiple jobs may also need to take multiple tests, which can add time and cost to the assessment process, while also turning candidates off to other opportunities when more time and effort are needed to complete an application.
Pros: Bespoke assessments offer highly customizable tools that are built around specific roles and work environments. Vendors such as ThriveMap, recreate the nuances of these work environments by shadowing employees and talking to HR and hiring managers. They then build custom work simulations that put the candidate at the center of a typical workday to measure performance in key areas.
Assessing competencies in a real-life job setting simultaneously tests the candidate’s fit while providing them with a sense of what the job will be like before moving to in-person interviews. The results and realistic preview of the job can improve the quality and time to hire while reducing attrition.
Cons: As you can imagine, any kind of personalized content in assessments require time and money to build. Therefore, bespoke assessments may not be cost-effective if an organization that has lower hiring volumes or wants to compare candidate results to a variety of potential job openings.
All companies making large volume hires need to make quick and effective decisions, particularly when job posts attract thousands of applications. But each company’s unique mixture of requirements and constraints related to the job type, cost, and use cases at hand will determine the assessment option (or options) that serves them best for making hiring decisions confidently and at scale.