Let’s assume you have a good website, complete with an online resume builder. Candidates fill out a questionnaire and the data ends up directly in your applicant tracking system, and you are now harvesting more resumes in a day than you used to get in a week. But there is one BIG problem: too many unqualified resumes! You are taking more and more time to screen the resumes and finding that for the most part they are not the kind of people you are highly interested in. So what do you do? The choices are far from ideal: hire more recruiters, work the current recruiters more hours, dump everything into a database and screen on key words, simply send the resumes to the manager without any preliminary screening, or… Find a way to screen these candidates using some sort of technology. The fourth and fifth steps of screening and assessment can be automated to some degree and many organizations are offering tools to screen incoming candidates. (The other steps are: planning, branding/marketing, sourcing, screening, assessing, selling, checking and closing, on-boarding or orienting and retaining employees. See the articles from the past two weeks). For years it has been possible to improve the reliability and validity of candidates by putting them through assessment centers or lengthy and expensive paper and pencil ability or personality tests. But these have been used mostly for skills testing of entry-level workers or for culture and personality fit or for people about to enter extremely sensitive positions. They were simply too expensive and time consuming to be practically administrated to a large number of potential hires. Tests exist that rate candidates on their personality traits, corporate culture fit, honesty, aptitude, and IQ. As long as an organization can show that whatever is tested for is directly relevant to doing the job successfully, it is probably legal. While there are still legal issues to be aware of in testing candidates, mostly it is perfectly legal to use these tests and liability is minimal. And, the payback from a testing program is faster candidate selection and greatly increased job performance and satisfaction, factors that lead to greater productivity and lower turnover. So how do you use these tools on your web site? You should think of candidate screening and assessment as different issues. Screening is to find candidates who meet the minimum job qualifications. These are things such as the willingness to relocate to a new city or to accept a certain salary range. Other job qualifications could include minimum educational standards or experience criteria. Several firms offer tools that can be integrated with your website to do this level of screening. Some of them include Hire.com and Recruitsoft (Note: I am on the advisory board of Hire.com). By asking candidates these basic things, you eliminate them from the jobs where they are not going to be successful. And these tools can also refer the candidate to jobs where they may meet requirements or allow them sign up to receive emails of appropriate jobs whenever they become available. Candidates find this to be a satisfying experience as they are not left waiting for feedback as to whether or not they may be considered and they are immediately put into the loop for referral to other, and more suitable, jobs. Assessment gets at a deeper level than screening. It tries to get at issues of fit or skill or aptitude. Interviewing candidates is the most common form of assessment. Yet the value of most interviews is suspect and study after study shows little correlation with the interview and subsequent performance or job satisfaction. Testing is a way to augment interviewing and increase the chance that you will find the best people for a specific position. These are usually tests that have been prepared by experts and offered by firms who specialize in testing reliability and validity. By integrating a multi-level assessment process into your web site you can reduce the number of frivolous resumes submitted by curiosity seekers and filter out the resumes of those only partly qualified. What these tools can do, when properly constructed and deployed, is to give you a few really good candidates who meet your job requirements and have the skills, aptitude or cultural fit you are seeking. Some of you may feel that testing will be a “turnoff” to candidates and they will opt to go to other sites. While I cannot say that this doesn’t happen, I do have testimony from many that they find it useful. It underlines an organization’s seriousness about filling the position (why would you test for a boilerplate job?) and their seriousness about finding a really high quality candidate. What seems to matter is how long and difficult the test is. The newer online tools are short and when implemented in a well-designed web site are offered in incremental “doses” that offer feedback. The leaders in this space include giants like SHL International and Development Dimension International. Other major players are organizations such as The Center for Creative Leadership and Personnel Decisions International. Each of these organizations has been in the business of providing pencil and paper tests for many years, and has recently added on-line tools that can also be integrated into your recruiting web site. There are also several newer companies that are designing, developing and offering a variety of good tests, as well. These include firms such as ePredix, Treeba, Brainbench, and DirectFit. As you redesign your website or think about a second or third generation site, you should investigate incorporating some of these tools into it. They will give your candidates a better sense of what kind of company you are and about what a particular job involved. They will reduce your resume piles; provide you with quality candidates and overall lead to employees of greater and greater quality. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>
Hundreds of tech hiring teams have halted their standard hiring processes in favor of remote interviewing, sourcing and screening, which can directly impact the candidate experience. Download this guide to see how the best-in-class teams approach remote tech hiring in a dynamic, candidate-centric market.