Fourth Annual Screening and Assessment Usage Survey

We IO-psychologist-types tend to be real data hounds. Much of the work we do for our employers/clients involves the use of data to investigate specific hypotheses in order to answer questions and illuminate the underlying truth in a situation. Additionally, the collection and analyses of data often helps us to identify new trends that we haven’t yet thought about.

Many of you who follow my articles know that I have a keen interest in following the pre-employment assessment industry, and write quite a bit about trends and happenings within this industry. My interest in data and trends has led to the annual online screening and assessment usage survey. This idea for this survey was born back in 2002, when I became frustrated over the lack of available information about the usage of pre-employment screening and assessment tools. This lack of information has been frustrating because, though everyone seems to be saying that screening is becoming a hot area, there’s little actual data available to confirm this statement or to tell us how hot it really is. This lack of information also makes it hard for those of us who follow this industry closely to provide factual information about how companies are using online screening and assessment tools, and what the results of this usage have been. At the end of this article, you will find a link to this year’s survey.

Take a few minutes to help other members of our community by providing information about your company’s screening and assessment practices. The more data that’s collected, the clearer existing and emerging trends will become. To provide some extra motivation, here’s a quick summary of the trends identified in last year’s results (for a more in-depth look, please see the 3-article series discussing last year’s survey results). Respondents:

  • 90 persons responded (the most so far).
  • The most common job title for respondents was “recruiter.”
  • Respondents represented a wide range of company sizes.

Summary of findings:

  • The use of applicant tracking systems is ubiquitous, with a very high percentage of organizations that are adopting or are soon-to-adopt a system.
  • The use of an applicant tracking system does not appear to relate to perceptions of hiring effectiveness.
  • A majority of organizations are using some form of automated prescreening to sort applicants, eliminate candidates from the hiring pool, and move qualified candidates forward in the hiring funnel. Nonetheless, these tools are not as common as an applicant tracking system.
  • A significant number of professionals queried seem to feel that their use of prescreening tools is not effective for the organization.
  • Few companies formally assess their prescreening tools or use metrics of any kind as a decision-making aid. Those who do tend to be aware of the effectiveness of their hiring systems and perceive greater value in them.
  • Adoption of prescreening tools is still in its infancy, with a lack of understanding of their value as well as tentativeness and excessive worry about their effects on hiring success.
  • The use of pre-employment assessment tools continues to grow; however, most organizations are using these tools for only a small portion of their positions.
  • The rate of integration of assessment data with applicant tracking system products continues to increase.
  • Organizations are still failing to collect the metrics needed to understand the impact pre-employment assessments are having on their bottom lines.
  • The biggest obstacles to the use of pre-employment assessments remain in the belief that these tools are too costly, as well as a skepticism about their ability to provide meaningful results.

This Year’s Survey

Article Continues Below

The goal of this year’s survey is to continue building on the information gathered from past surveys and to verify the fact that usage rates for online screening and assessment are increasing. In order to help provide the ability to track changes in usage rates, this year’s survey is essentially the same as last year’s, with a few minor changes to help account for trends that have developed since last year. While this is hardly a scientific survey, and its length limits the depth of the information that we are able to collect, there is tremendous value in the information your survey responses will provide. For instance:

  • This survey will help to provide some reality to speculation regarding increases in the use of both online screening tools and online assessment tools.
  • Your survey responses will provide information that is extremely useful for gaining a broader perspective on the evolution of the entire staffing process.
  • The results of this survey will help provide companies with some basic benchmark information about how online screening and assessment are being deployed.
  • The data from this survey will confirm my speculation that, while many companies are using online screening and assessment, few are collecting the metrics needed to help them understand the true value it is providing. This is a problem that must be addressed, and I hope that verifying its existence will help to serve as a wake-up call.

By participating, you will help provide yourself and other members of the ERE community with up-to-date, accurate information about trends in the use of online screening and assessment tools. I’m interested in collecting information from anyone who is involved in the staffing process for his or her organization. This includes recruiters, hiring managers, staffing and HR executives, consultants, etc. I welcome participants from companies of all locations, sizes, and industries. I’m not able to use information from individual vendors of screening and assessment tools or persons who may consult to multiple organizations. Just click “take the survey”, and you’ll be taken to the survey page. This page has all the information you will need to complete the survey.

Please feel free to forward the survey on to anyone you feel might be interested in participating. If you have any questions, just contact me at The results of the survey will be featured in an upcoming ERE article. I look forward to sharing the results with you.

Dr. Charles Handler is a thought leader, analyst, and practitioner in the talent assessment and human capital space. Throughout his career Dr. Handler has specialized in developing effective, legally defensible employee selection systems. 

Since 2001 Dr. Handler has served as the president and founder of Rocket-Hire, a vendor neutral consultancy dedicated to creating and driving innovation in talent assessment.  Dr. Handler has helped companies such as Intuit, Wells Fargo, KPMG, Scotia Bank, Hilton Worldwide, and Humana to design, implement, and measure impactful employee selection processes.

Through his prolific writing for media outlets such as, his work as a pre-hire assessment analyst for Bersin by Deloitte, and worldwide public speaking, Dr. Handler is a highly visible futurist and evangelist for the talent assessment space. Throughout his career, Dr. Handler has been on the forefront of innovation in the talent assessment space, applying his sound foundation in psychometrics to helping drive innovation in assessments through the use of gaming, social media, big data, and other advanced technologies.

Dr. Handler holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana State University.







Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *