How Assessments Help You Hire – Even During a Talent Shortage

Yes, really. We all know hiring during a talent shortage isn’t easy. Employers are facing the increasingly-common challenge of finding candidates to fill their openings. As a result, many companies have chosen to strip down their application process as much as possible. Employers have dropped everything from standard job requirements to pre-employment assessments. These efforts are meant to both reduce friction and increase the number of candidates who apply. And while streamlining your application process is always a good idea, removing assessments could hurt your cause.

You might be thinking I don’t have enough applicants to justify the cost of adding assessments.” But testing remains a worthwhile investment, even – and especially – during a talent shortage. That’s because assessments can reduce the risk of making a bad hire, help you find high-potential candidates, and cut your time-to-hire significantly. Let’s break it down.

The Cost of a Bad Hire

One of the last things you want to do after finally filling an opening is have to turn around and find a better replacement. To put it plainly, bad hires are bad for business. But even more than that, they’re expensive. Think about everything that goes into hiring… Taking time to write a job description. Posting on a job board. Reviewing the applications. Interviewing candidates. Putting together your offer. Onboarding and training your new hires. It all adds up! In the US, the average cost per hire is $4425. And certainly some roles at the C-suite level cost more to fill, but even the median cost per hire is $1633. And that’s when everything goes right!

Making a bad hire means you have to go through the hiring process all over again, effectively doubling the cost per hire. And this doesn’t take into account the lost time, reduced productivity, or potential damage control needed to right the ship again. According to the US Department of Labor, a bad hire can cost up to 30% of their yearly wages – with some research showing that the average cost of a single bad hire is $14,900. To have all that time, money, and effort go to waste is incredibly frustrating.

So even if the upfront cost of adding assessments to your hiring process seems high, it’s no where near as costly as hiring the wrong person for the job. Assessments can help you figure out early on which candidates are more likely to succeed in the role. There are many different types of assessments, so you can find the right type for your positions and solve some of your hiring woes. Pre-employment assessments are simply a way to gain deeper insight into each candidate so you can make more informed hiring decisions.

The Value of High Potential

Including assessments as a part of your hiring process can help you widen your applicant pool with confidence. This is especially important during a talent shortage! Many employers are struggling to find enough qualified candidates. Part of this has to do with the number of role requirements tied to the position. These strict requirements, not assessments, can yield low applicant numbers, which ultimately limits your ability to find the best possible candidate for the role.

If you haven’t already, consider reducing the number of required skills for the role where you can. The reality is that we’re experiencing a nationwide skills shortage. Instead of limiting your applicant pool to candidates who already have the skills you’re looking for, consider hiring candidates who have the potential to learn them quickly. This will allow you to cast a wider applicant net. Rethink the required experience, background, and education needed for the job. Yes, this would mean that onboarding and training would be more intensive. But using assessments – cognitive aptitude assessments in particular – can help you determine which candidates have the highest potential to succeed. Candidates with high cognitive aptitude are highly trainable, adaptable, and learn quickly.

With this in mind, you can open your applicant pool to include candidates from a variety of backgrounds, experience, and education levels. You’ll boost the number of applicants coming into your hiring pipeline and adding assessments can help you quickly identify your strongest contenders. Let’s say you have 10 candidates who apply. Cognitive testing can highlight the top 3 applicants with the most potential from the start, regardless of what their resume might look like. You’ll cut down the number of applicants you need to painstakingly review, focus on those with the highest potential, and increase your hiring success rate.  You can trust Criteria assessments to help you find the best candidates as you widen your applicant pool.

How Assessments Help

Assessments are a solid investment to improve your hiring strategy for a number of reasons. In addition to reducing the chances of you making a bad hire and helping you find diamond candidates in the rough, pre-employment testing can drive measurable improvements throughout your hiring process.

Better candidate engagement.

Testing increases commitment from candidates. Candidates who invest a little of their time taking assessments more likely to show up for their interview. Once hired, they’re also more likely show up to work. Taking a test shows commitment to the role, and can help you figure out who is willing to invest their time and effort in your organization.

Reduced time to hire.

Assessments do more than just save time for recruiters and hiring managers. The objective data from testing helps you confidently move candidates forward faster in the hiring process. And in a highly competitive job market, how fast you move matters. Candidates may not be answering your calls because they’ve already lined up another job while you were still mulling things over. Shortlisting candidates with objective data allows you to get your offer out sooner, improving your chances of making the hire.

Positive candidate experience.

There’s a common misconception that adding testing to your hiring process hurts candidate experience. More than 80% of candidates who start a Criteria assessment finish. So tests aren’t as much of a candidate drop-off point as one might expect. In fact, tests don’t threaten the candidate experience – they can actually enhance it. From Criteria’s game-based assessments to personalized assessment feedback, pre-employment tests create a more fair hiring process and a more positive candidate experience. A recent Criteria candidate survey of more than 4 million test takers found that our tests had a 96% candidate satisfaction rating.

So even during a talent shortage, the benefits of including assessments in your hiring process far outweigh their costs. You’ll be able to leverage their objective results to widen your applicant pool, find strong candidates, and make better talent decisions.