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Are Pre-Hire Assessments The Solution To Your Recruitment Bias?

Posted by Kate Smedley on 9 May 2017

Skills shortages and sourcing talent are the two issues that continue to preoccupy employers but many hiring teams still return to the same talent pool to recruit. Incorporating additional online tests during candidate screening can expand your candidate reach, reduce your unconscious bias and improve your hiring success.

Two common types of bias exist, namely, confirmation bias, evident in hiring from the same talent source, such as the same college or University and hiring on intuition. Making hiring decisions based on your ability to get along with a candidate risks overlooking highly qualified applicants in your pipeline.

As nearly three quarters of hiring decisions are based on the interview and retention of new hires is becoming a serious problem in the UK, evaluating candidates through additional screening tools within your ATS creates a more sustainable and effective talent management process.

In its recent report, the Aberdeen Group found that ‘best in class’ companies make ‘extensive use of pre-hire assessments’ to improve their candidate selection and hiring success. Pre-hire tests also help to reduce the level of unconscious bias. These organisations are also 36% more likely to incorporate assessments in their pre-hire stage than other less successful businesses. 

Improved candidate screening

The following steps will begin to reduce unconscious bias within your hiring process, expand your talent pool and help to improve your quality of hire:-

Remove the filters :  Anonymised CVs are the first step towards reducing unconscious bias which includes removing the social background of your candidates. The Social Mobility Foundation found that up to 70% of employees in professional service organisations were educated at either private or grammar schools.  A further step may include removing the requirement for specific qualifications or grades during initial screening. Google notes that grades and degrees do not predict performance or guarantee success in recruitment.

Online assessments : Online assessments incorporated within your applicant tracking software help to evaluate your candidate’s potential cultural fit.  Personality assessments or psychometric tests can be adapted to suit your vacancy and company criteria. Following the introduction of an online skills assessment test, sportswear chain, Footlocker increased their quality of hire, resulting in improved sales and lower attrition rates among new employees. This simple step had the added benefit of reducing the number of applicants for HR to review due to more effective screening processes.

Situational judgement tests (SJT) : SJTs are a type of psychological aptitude test to evaluate candidate judgement and ability to solve problems in the working environment. This may include asking a candidate to outline how they would solve a specific challenge currently faced in the role. These help hiring managers to decide whether the candidate can handle the typical challenges faced in this position. SJTs also help in the assessment of interpersonal and soft skills. The questions asked in a SJT can be reiterated during the interview itself.

Asynchronous video interviews : Video interviews provide many advantages for HR, including faster hiring and improved collaboration. As the responses from candidates are not subject to interruptions or personal interaction with the hiring manager, candidates are assessed more objectively. For increased success, remove ‘obvious’ questions, such as ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’ and restrict behavioural questions. Instead, focus on core competencies and candidate potential.

Interrupt your hiring process with analytics

‘Interrupting’ your hiring patterns on a regular basis ensures that ongoing screening and pre-hire assessments remain effective in maintaining a high quality of hire. Google describes this as ‘unbiasing’ – the process of recognising and reducing the impact of unconscious bias on attitudes and hiring decisions. Measuring data in hiring is the only way to effectively monitor your success. HR analytics tells the story of where your recruitment strategy is working and helps HR to maintain a successful, objective process.

Pre-hire assessments help to reduce unconscious bias as part of an overall data driven talent management strategy. Incorporating them into your screening process through your recruitment software is the first step towards becoming a ‘best in class organisation’.

Advorto’s Marketplace is the UK’s largest single online marketplace for recruitment services. All services are integrated through our ATS. It’s easy to start using our services. Contact us today to find out how.

You might also like to read:-

Is ‘Tattoo Bias’ Sabotaging Your Hiring Process?

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Topics: marketplace

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