Experienced recruiters know that finding the right employee for a role can often feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Research indicates that up to 78 percent of resumes contain misleading information and statements. Worse yet, 46 percent contain outright lies.
So how can our hiring teams mitigate this? To speed up the hiring process and help weed out unqualified employees, some companies are turning to assessments. Assessments provide employers and recruiters with objective and concrete results, and can allow hiring managers to make better decisions before making a concrete offer.
Throughout my decades-long experience in the recruiting world, I've seen two types of effective assessments -- personality tests (think the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) and practical project-based assessments. While there is definitely a role for personality tests to help determine team fit and career trajectory, project-based assessments are a superior way to assess both hard and soft skills for on-the-job performance.
For example, if a candidate is applying for a job in public relations, a good assessment could be to write a sample media pitch, share a list of top media and contacts in a specific niche, and come up with a unique in-person campaign activation.
Curious why your team should consider using hiring assessments? Here are four reasons why employee assessments work.
1. Assessments offer bad interviewees a golden opportunity to shine.
Some of the best employees I've ever hired have been terrible interviewers. The fact is, while interviewing is a skill you can develop, some applicants get overwhelmed by fear during interviews and often let their nerves get the better of them.
Assessments allow potential candidates to show off their skills and impress their future employer, even if they did not shine during the hiring process to date.
Testing also provides employers with unbiased, or less biased, feedback. While interview answers can be often left for interpretation (especially if a hiring manager is not using a standardized list of questions), assessments are a great way to ensure everyone has an equal playing field.
2. Project-based assessments gives you a better understanding of job fit and skills.
Past job experience is a great indicator of whether or not someone is qualified for a new role. However, there is always the possibility that a candidate is padding their resume to make themselves look good on paper. Using project-based assessments can give employers a better understanding of how competent a candidate is.
On the flip side, these assessments also provide the candidate with a sneak peek at some of the job's tasks. Just as it's important to determine if a candidate will be a good fit in a role, this is a welcome opportunity for the candidate to determine whether or not the job may be the right fit for them.
3. It gives you an inside look into a candidate's pace of work.
While the pace of work needed to be successful in a role varies, assessments can be a great way to evaluate how quickly a candidate can turn a task around and whether or not they are deadline oriented.
For example, say a copywriter is applying for a job and their test is to rewrite a copy that has various errors throughout. While the actual assignment will be quite telling, employers should also keep a careful eye on when the candidate completes the task.
Time-sensitive assessments can give employers a preview of the candidate's sense of urgency -- whether they submit the assignment a few days ahead of schedule or if they hand it in one minute before the deadline. In some cases, a candidate may even send the assignment late without reason. If your company works with critical deadlines, this is one telling mistake that could make all the difference.
4. It allows candidates to showcase their creativity.
Beyond thought-provoking interview questions or inquiries about past assignments, creativity can be hard to determine during a traditional interview.
Creative assessments allow you to see how a potential candidate brings a project to life. Want to take it one step further? Some universities and workplaces use psychometrics tests, which is a questionnaire developed to measure creativity by assessing attitudes, behaviors and critical thinking.