2017: The Year of the Assessments

In the past, our focus has been on sourcing and the best ways to find and approach talent in the wild, but today 90% of candidates can be found online in some capacity. We have names, titles, social profile information and, in some cases, even skills and previous work history. The wild isn’t so wild anymore. We’re filing sourcing as a “solved” case.

With sourcing simplified, Talent Acquisition leaders and innovators have been able to push more toward engaging candidates, both passive and active. The 2016 year surrounded that engagement on both branding and communication levels. Technology and thought leaders alike shared employer branding tactics and implemented steps to better the candidate experience.

Pipeline development and nurturing was the goal of many spotlighted tools. For example, candidate relationship management technologies like Beamery, Smashfly, and Clinch have helped organizations of many sizes attract qualified candidates and maintain positive relationships. Candidate matching platforms like HiringSolved, HiredScore, and PlacementFeed include assessments to help recruiters sort through the resumes they receive.

Naturally, after the massive advancements in sourcing and engagement, the next step is assessing the talent we’ve more effectively attracted. We’re in…The Year of the Assessment.

Again, assessing talent isn’t new, it’s just increasing in sophistication and frequency. We see assessments in a number of traditional hiring processes, for example, there’s the standard resume and interview. In each, recruiters are asked to call on intuition, gut feelings, or at best hypothesize which candidates will fit the position and company culture. Assessments are the clues decision makers use to facilitate the best guess. No matter how experienced or confident you are in assessing candidates, hiring shouldn’t be left to speculation.

Assessing talent isn’t new, it’s just increasing in sophistication and frequency. Click To Tweet

Read on to see what we predict the “Year of the Assessment” will bring.

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Psychometric Assessments

A 2014 SHRM study revealed about 22% of organizations used personality assessments to evaluate a job candidate. When we hear psychometric assessments we think Clifton StrengthsFinder® and True Colors®. The information garnered from these tools can be helpful if you understand how to apply the data to your organization and the job. But the data gathered from them is merely an extension of the resume and interview and in some ways can complicate instead of accelerate.

Up-and-coming psychometric assessments will do more to make connections than their predecessors. What was used to solely focus on personality traits like detail orientation and temperament are pushing for a more holistic view of the candidate and organization. For example, Good & Co. turns the table by assessing and assigning the organization a persona.

2017, the year of assessments. Did you see any of these predictions coming? Click To Tweet

Candidates who take Good & Co’s mobile quiz receive their persona and suggestions on the types of organizational structure they would best thrive within. Even more, the assessment doesn’t rely on traditional personality types, but instead delegates archetypes that explain the individual in the ways they work and what motivates productivity (things that are far more important to an employer).

Furthering the connections, gamification of psychometric assessments and candidate matching will change the way we recruit. Mercer, long time leaders in the HR world, have used their neuroscience research and understanding to create MercerMatch, a game-based assessment. These games assess cognitive and emotional traits all with the goal of identifying if or how the candidate will perform the unique tasks of the job. Arctic Shores connects the obsession of mobile gaming to the world of recruiting by bringing their game-based assessments to mobile screens.

These assessments are backed by science, informative for Talent Acquisition professionals, and have the tendency to keep candidates highly engaged and enthusiastic during the application process. The applicant has fun while you gather crucial information; it’s a win-win. The positive effects this has on the candidate experience are exponential.

What effects to expect: Psychometric and personality tests of the future will refrain from black and white descriptions of a person and will instead use data and research to explain the complexity of various personalities in the workplace. In addition, these assessments are gamified making them much more enjoyable and engaging so candidates don’t feel an extra burden in the hiring process.

Psychometric testing tools to watch: Assessment Innovations, Hire Intelligence, Plum, Pymetrics

Skill-Based Assessments

Moving past personality, companies of all sizes are exploring talent through skill-based assessments. Instead of relying on the resume and interview, they’re exploring the details of experience and training. This is especially true in technology and engineering industries, where the knowledge needed to be productive is intricate and in high demand.

Skill-based assessments will surpass the traditional techniques that cover knowledge of software like Excel or typing speed to include far more in-depth approaches. For example, HackerRank gives developers a place to practice their craft with its online community for programmers and CodeChallenges. Meanwhile, employers can screen candidates for multiple skillsets and programming languages.

Of course, employers need to assess more than just developers. From the complexities of code to the more conceptual business communication, the tool Wellhire helps organizations better understand the capabilities of their candidates before making the hiring decision.

Positive effects we expect: Developing a more diverse workforce has been a big focus of many organizations. This is probably because diverse teams have been found to outperform non-diverse teams by 35%. STEM industries have long been known to lack diversity, but the movement to change this is working. We expect Talent Acquisition tech tools to help the change through blind recruiting or skill-based assessments.

Skill-based assessment tools to watch: Blendoor, TrueAbility, Codility

The Game Changer of Game Changers

Technology isn’t all online skill exams or psychometric data. We’re keeping our eyes on the developing tool of simulation assessment and training. Simulation-based assessments allow employers to test their candidates’ ability to handle situations specific to the position and industry. This is an exciting evolution for any and every industry from hospitality and customer service to health and medicine. The process further eliminates hiring bias which presents a better opportunity for hiring a more diverse workforce.

Interviewed’s Job Previews mirror realistic job tasks for the candidate to perform, even including AI-powered customer conversations. The employer can watch as the candidate moves through the simulation and decide how well they adapt and navigate the position before extending a job offer. While the experience can be eye opening for the hiring team, it also gives the candidate a chance to decide if the job is actually right for them.

It will be exciting to see what 2017 holds for Talent Acquisition innovation. We can without a doubt promise technology development and improvement will not slow.

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