Every recruiter wants to avoid bad hires. And yet, there’s no way to accurately predict whether a candidate will be successful until you actually see them in the role…or is there? Right now, recruitment assessment tools are the closest thing we have to a crystal ball that can tell us whether a candidate will succeed or fail.
We’ve combed through dozens of pre-employment assessment tools and technologies to break down the best choices to use in your screening and hiring.
What Are Recruitment Assessment Tools?
As a recruiter, you do everything in your power to gather information that will help you make an intelligent decision about who to hire. But you can only do so much with the information that a candidate presents to you (like in their resume and cover letter) and the intel you collect on your own (like via LinkedIn and reference checks).
Assessment tools take your analysis one step further, helping you measure a candidate’s skills, proficiency level and personality traits on an objective scale so you can make an accurate and informed hiring decision. Assessments can come in many forms: multiple choice, open-ended answer, simulation, sample assignment and even physical testing.
Benefits of Recruitment Assessment Tools
Recruitment assessments have evolved by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Today’s testing solutions can be tailored to any role or proficiency you want to assess, from technical skills like web coding to soft skills like leadership and cultural factors like work style.
Assessment tools are easy to use and accessible for every candidate. Candidates can complete them on their own time, on a device they’re comfortable with. They can also be customized to accommodate people with disabilities, like those who use screen readers or special headsets when working on a computer.
No matter how much hiring managers want to remain objective when assessing candidates, we’re still human, and bias can creep into analysis. One of the core advantages of recruitment assessments is that they level the playing field. Pre-employment assessments help us compare candidates against one another using an equal measuring stick.
Recruitment assessments eliminate guesswork. A candidate either meets the required proficiency level, or they don’t. They’re a strong fit for the work environment, or a weak one. This level of precision reduces bad hires and helps you identify great candidates faster.
Top Recruitment Assessment Tools and Technologies
HR Avatar is a simulation-based assessment tool where candidates use animated avatars to work through tasks that are relevant to the role. The simulations assess cognitive ability, technical skills and personality in a job-related context, then send you a detailed summary report. Our favorite feature of HR Avatar is the interview guide, which comes in each report and includes suggested interview questions that are tailored to the candidate.
The Predictive Index
Building a dream team requires a mix of personalities. You need leaders, but not everyone can be a leader. The same goes for innovators, operators, and all of the other personality types that make up a high-performing team. The Predictive Index is built on this concept, helping hiring managers not only identify strong candidates, but select the ones who make the most strategic sense as part of the overall team makeup.
For technical roles, hard skills are essential, but they’re incredibly difficult to gauge from a resume or an interview. Adaface is the solution, offering scenario-based questions that test applicants’ knowledge of the fundamental concepts required to do the job. They have preconfigured tests for more than 500 roles, with a heavy focus on IT and programming specialities.
Plum is a great tool for measuring the human element that’s often left out of pre-employment skills testing. It uses a psychometric assessment developed by psychologists to gauge candidates’ personality, social intelligence, and future potential, then ranks those factors against criteria the employer itself has identified in its own survey. There’s no “winning” score; rather, candidates are selected based on the strongest fit between their test results and the employer’s.
HighMatch (formerly Berke)
HighMatch understands that no two roles are alike. Even the same job can be drastically different between two different companies. That’s why they use rigorous job profiles to personalize their assessments, ensuring that employers are judging candidates on the qualities that define success for that role in their organization. Their test questions use simple language that’s easy for anyone to understand, so candidates aren’t left going in circles trying to figure out the “right” answer.
SHL’s Occupational Personality Questionnaire
The Occupational Personality Questionnaire, or OPQ, is an industry juggernaut. It dates back to the 80s and is used in more than 10 million assessments each year. Though the test has evolved to capitalize on modern technology and contemporary science, its core value offering is the same as it was 40 years ago: to indicate a candidate’s preferred behavioral style at work and help employers gauge how well they’ll fit into a specific environment. It’s a straightforward, proven test that takes just 20 minutes and is available in 30 languages.
It’s one of the most common gripes among development candidates: that the pre-employment assessment they were given has nothing to do with the actual job. HackerRank is the platform built by computer scientists, for computer scientists to solve this problem, using a cutting-edge methodology to offer highly relevant tests for every facet of development. Tech giants like Amazon and AirBNB were early adopters of the platform, and companies like Goldman Sachs, LinkedIn, and Adobe now rely on HackerRank for hiring technical talent.
Some experts believe you should hire for fit and train for skills. DeGarmo’s pre-employment assessments help companies do just that with their proprietary Fit Index. It gauges candidates on every aspect of their aptitude for a role including their competency, work style, professional motivations and more. In addition to a fit assessment, DeGarmo’s report comes with talking points and development suggestions that are useful for both employees and managers.
If you’re a high-volume hirer, ThriveMap is the recruitment assessment tool for you. It was built for companies that hire 100 or more people into the same role every year. Its effectiveness lies in the numbers: it leverages a mix of employee data, industry context and statistical analysis to build a set of highly accurate criteria for your job, then assess candidates against it for more accurate high-volume hiring.
HireVue offers pre-employment testing with an added layer of artificial intelligence, perfect for companies that want the benefit of additional “minds” reviewing candidates without actually adding more people to their hiring team. HireVue’s tests are developed by a group of industrial-organizational psychologists and data scientists to select candidates have the correct competencies for the job, are likely to be high performers and are more likely to stay with the company.
No matter which recruitment assessment technology you use, make sure that it’s tailored to each particular role and the unique needs of your organization. You can even mix and match different tools to come up with a pre-employment screening recipe that’s a perfect fit for your requirements.