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How to choose the right pre-employment tool

As a strategic recruiter, you know that resumes and interviews just don’t cut it anymore to find the right person for the right role. Which is why online assessments for screening and selection have become widely accepted as a staple in every recruiter’s toolbox for improving recruitment accuracy and efficiency. But not all tools are fit for the right job. We have come up with a checklist that every recruiter should use when choosing the perfect assessment tool.

1. Is it valid and reliable?

Above all else, an assessment tool has to accurately predict what it claims to predict. Equally it must have the validity to produce consistent results so as to allow fair comparison between candidates. Recruiters know all too well of the inescapable tendency to make subjective decisions, so it is crucial for the assessment tool to be the objective pillar to place your confidence in.

Look for the reliability coefficient, a value between 0 and 1, with one being most reliable while 0 being the least reliable. Having a coefficient of say 0.5 means that you can consistently predict who will succeed in a job 5 out of 10 times. The benchmark for psychometric assessments is 0.7 or higher, so choosing a higher rated assessment will benefit in the long run.

2. Does it measure the right competencies for the role?

Competencies are the knowledge, skills and abilities that contribute to success in a given role and varies from job to job as well as from company to company. As such, a set of competencies tailored for the specific role you are hiring for is far more predictive than a “one size fits all” solution.

A good assessment tool will have competencies that actually measure the skills required on the job, and a great one will map those competencies to your company’s existing competencies and KPIs.

3. Is it accessible anytime and anywhere?

Technology should remove the fuss and hassle rather than create more of it. Being available anywhere with an internet connection is an expectation rather than a benefit. Everything you need should be integrated on a stable and speedy system, where you can simply log on, administer tests and check results.

On the candidate side, the assessments should be mobile optimised for phones and tablets allows them to take the test anytime and anywhere.

4. Does it generate test results instantly?

There is no point to having an online test if the results are not instantly generated. The key benefit of having them is to eliminate manual marking and calculating results so as to allow you to make decisions and snap up the best candidates faster. Find a provider that guarantees instant results and feedback reports. The automated tools should streamline your existing process rather than adding another step and increasing the time to hire.

5. Does it deliver an engaging candidate experience?

Candidate experience is more than just psychological mumbo jumbo, and you should think of it in the same way as customer experience. Delivering a highly engaging one will reduce your candidate drop out and allow you to have a bigger pool of candidates to play with. While a poor one may tarnish your employer brand, harming future recruitment campaigns. If you are only looking for the best and brightest, this is even more important as you want them to move deeper into your recruitment process. This can be achieved through instant feedback and gratification and can be measured by allowing candidates to rate the assessment and give you feedback at the end.

6. Does it allow for various methods of screening & selection?

Just as we do background checks, resume reviews and interviews, testing is only one of the methods to assess talent. The more methods we employ, the more accurate we are in determining a candidate “fit”.

Following this logic, it would be really helpful to find assessment partners who can also offer new ways of assessing candidates or allow integration of other assessment methods such as gamified assessments, video interviewing and traditional assessments into a single platform. Doing so can increase our ability to predict the applicants who are a “true fit”.

7. Are the reports easy to read and interpret?

HR is not the only department who benefits from the assessments results. In fact, the more you get managers involved in recruitment, the more likely they will be on board with your new hires and help them to grow and adjust to the work environment.

Enabling business units to support your hiring decisions means that they need to have access to results that are easily interpreted that can also allow them to ask the right questions during interviews.

Choose an assessment partner that knows what your managers are dealing with every time you give them a chance to speak with applicants. They will thank you for it and give you more trust in the future when you shortlist applicants for them.

8. Does the assessment showcase your company brand?

Your employer brand is vital to your recruitment success. The battle for the best and brightest is more intense than ever and no amount of compensation or benefits can displace the collective applicant desire to fit in. Candidates can self-select and rave about how exciting your brand is, further adding to your potential pool of qualified candidates.

An ideal assessment partner does not only improve the experience for recruiters and business unit managers, but also provides a branded experience for your applicants so that you can communicate your culture, values and work environment as early as the application stage. This brings applicants one step closer to learning more about you and considering you as the ideal employer for their next career move.

Your ideal assessment provider should be much more than a vendor, they should be your partner in achieving your recruitment goals. Check this list when you talk to potential partners and see which will work with you to provide a long-term solution rather than a short-term product.

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