Candidates don’t hate pre-hire assessments; they just hate bad ones.

Assessments should be ‘job relevant’.

Contrary to popular perception, job candidates have a positive attitude towards pre-hire assessments provided they communicate a realistic picture of the job and company culture.  This is one finding from research carried out by ThriveMap. The assessment company found 71 per cent of respondents said that they would be happy to take an honest and reality-based job assessment, 25 per cent had a neutral attitude and only a tiny 4 per cent said that they would not be happy to take one.

However, these results are based on the assessment questions being clearly relevant to the job. The research reveals that currently this is not always the case. Almost half of respondents (45 per cent) who had previously taken an assessment said they didn’t enjoy the experience. When asked why this was the case, the top three reasons given were:

  • It took too long – 47 per cent
  • It was unclear why there were taking it – 37 per cent
  • It didn’t relate to the job that they were applying for – 30 per cent

This shows that a significant number of employers are not using assessments as well as they could be. Rather than enhancing the candidate experience, they are detracting from it, which could be causing them to miss out on the best talent. In a market where there is fierce competition for skilled employees, getting assessments right could provide employers with a clear edge over their rivals.

Interestingly, many employers appear not to be choosing to use assessments at all in their hiring process. Only just over a quarter (27 per cent) of respondents said that they had completed a pre-employment assessment. Younger employees are much more likely to have taken one than their older counterparts. 30 per cent of those aged between 18 and 34 said that they had completed one, compared to just 20 per cent of those aged 55 and over.

This suggests that pre-hire assessments are becoming more common. However, it does appear that employers are failing to take advantage of the opportunity to discover objectively about a candidate’s aptitude, desire and suitability for a role before meeting them face to face.

“With digital native employees set to make up the majority of the employment market, it makes sense for employers to be more transparent than ever about life in their company,” says Chris Platts, CEO of ThriveMap. Platts says employers should take a ‘radically honest’ approach to recruitment and consider the following points:

  • Communication is crucial – if you’re going to ask a candidate to take a pre-hire assessment, clearly explain why they’re taking it and what you’ll do with the results. Start your relationship with any potential employees in an honest, transparent way.
  • Candidates’ time is precious – the best candidates will almost certainly be applying for more than one job. Ensure your assessment takes less than 15 minutes and provide the candidate with an engaging, positive experience that showcases your employer brand.
  • Be realistic – it’s important to give candidates a realistic view of the role and culture throughout the assessment so that they know what to expect ahead of joining. By doing this you can be confident that anyone who completes the assessment understands what is required to perform that job well.

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