Choosing the right pre-hire assessment tools for your organisation

Written by Chris Platts

Chris's job at ThriveMap allows him to help companies identify what to look for in new hires and use data and technology to consistently hire great people.

For many employers and employees, the hiring process is going wrong. A staggering 29% of employees have at some point quit their jobs within the first few days. Research in Feb 2019, showed that 48% of people had left a job because the reality of it didn’t meet expectations. Is it possible that making it easier for people to apply enables people to do so mindlessly?

Technology has made hiring simpler, but hiring the right people has never been harder. The average job posting now attracts 250 responses leaving hiring managers and recruiters alike drowning in largely irrelevant CVs. Finding a suitable candidate shortlist from a mountain of applications, particularly for low-skilled or entry-level work, is a bit like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Getting the hiring process wrong costs money and time. A poor hire at mid-management level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000 so a few hiring mistakes can quickly add up.

Given there is so much at stake, it makes sense for hiring managers to invest in as much help as possible to give them a better chance of finding the perfect candidate. But pre-hire assessment tools are often looked at with skepticism from HR and recruitment teams alike. Archaic psychometric tests delivering painfully poor candidate experiences and confusing output have dogged the industry for decades, however, a number of new companies have emerged to bring innovative, candidate-friendly solutions.

Pre-hire assessments help by identifying candidates who have the right skills, attitude, and behaviour to do the job. Judging people on their aptitude and ability rather than other factors, such as education or previous experience, can be a far better indicator of whether they are suitable for the job. The “correct” methodology to take to arrive at their insights is a heavily debated issue.

Assessment tools can potentially reduce the time to hire by half. But choosing the right solution matters; Safelite AutoGlass reduced their time to hire for technicians by 40% and significantly reduced new hire attrition after changing assessment type from a traditional psychometric test to a ThriveMap work simulation assessment.

There are clear advantages for using pre-hire assessments, but how do you make sure you select the right one for you? With dozens of options now on the market, and new tools appearing seemingly every week. There are four questions that every head of talent acquisition should ask before they make that decision. These are:

What are the real benefits for my organisation?

Before starting out on this journey, it’s really important that you have a clear view of what you want to achieve. What is it in particular that you would like to improve around your hiring process? What are the pain points that you are experiencing? Mapping these out and knowing exactly what you want to achieve will ensure that you have defined objectives that everyone in the business is aware of.

Are we ready to implement a pre-hire assessment or upgrade our existing one?

Take a look at what you’re doing at the moment. Is the hiring process consistent across your organisation? Are you giving candidates the best possible experience? Are you happy with the quality of hiring decisions made and current staff attrition? Are your assessments fully integrated with your ATS and other HR systems? If the answer to any of these is no, then it’s time to think about exploring tools.

What options are out there?

Once you’ve done a thorough audit of your key goals and measures of success, it’s time to look at what solutions, approaches and technologies are available. Things to consider are assessment approach, reporting, integration, litigation risks, set-up process, candidate experience, customer support and, of course, pricing. Take a careful look at what each one offers, and which ones suit your criteria the best. For a full breakdown as to assessment approaches and technologies download our free guide to pre-hire assessments.

How do I get budget approval and internal support?

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, the next step is to get buy-in from the senior leadership team. Doing an in-depth analysis of how you feel an assessment will help and the potential pay off in terms of time/money saved and/or value-added will give you the data you need to compile into a comprehensive presentation. Ensure you know what the concerns of senior leaders are about hiring and that you are across future recruitment plans.

By following these steps, you can ensure that you find a pre-hire assessment that solves your problems rather than creating new ones.

If you would like more in-depth advice on how to select and then roll out a pre-hire assessment so you get the best possible value from it, take a look at this comprehensive guide to pre-hire assessments.

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