As the battle for talent wages on, two-fifths of job-seekers are being hired into new roles only to discover they have the wrong soft skills for the job, and over half (53%) are leaving companies because their personality or work style didn’t fit. So say the results of new research commissioned by HireVue, provider of the most comprehensive AI-driven talent assessment suite and video interviewing solutions, which sought to examine the current state of pre-hire assessments and the impact they are having on talent acquisition.
With 53% of those who had left for this reason saying the format of the hiring process had prevented them from discovering the mismatch earlier, the research – which questioned over 2,500 job-seekers across Europe and the US – revealed that companies’ current approach to pre-hire assessments leaves much to be desired. This offers recruitment professionals a golden opportunity to deliver a more positive experience and better match candidates’ innate skills and abilities to the roles they are trying to fill.
Further key findings from the research include:
- Question of confidence: While four-fifths (82%) of candidates are confident in their ability to articulate their soft skills and personality traits in an interview, many doubt that pre-hire assessments can showcase these important attributes. Of those who have taken a pre-hire assessment, or have some understanding of what such tests entail, over a third question their ability to measure personality traits (37%) or soft skills (35%). A worrying 41% are also less than certain that pre-hire assessments can gauge potential.
- Fulfilling their potential: Over four in ten (43%) candidates see potential as extremely important or critical to employers when hiring – more so than prior experience, academic achievements, or soft skills. Three quarters (76%) of respondents also stated that they would prefer to be judged on their potential versus their previous experience.
The research also highlighted clear room for improvement in the experience of taking pre-hire assessments:
- Less complexity: Only two fifths found their assessment to be straightforward (42%) and/or professional (39%)
- Quicker process: Nearly a third (30%) of respondents were concerned about the length of time pre-hire assessments take to complete – with length given as the number one reason over a quarter (26%) had dropped out of an assessment before it had finished
- More responsiveness: On average, candidates received feedback on their pre-hire assessments less than half the time (48%), if at all, and it took two days to arrive
“This study demonstrates a real urgency for organizations to reimagine their approach to identifying and retaining the best talent for the job,” said Clemens Aichholzer, Senior Vice President of Game-Based Assessments, HireVue. “This becomes even more critical when you consider that candidates are often customers, and their interaction in the hiring process will impact how they engage with the brand in the future. Indeed, according to our research, over a quarter will engage more with the company on a personal level after a positive assessment experience.
“At the moment, organizations clearly aren’t assessing for the right attributes, and that is setting candidates up for failure later on. Companies should consider more modern assessment methods such as scientifically-designed games and video interviews, which contribute to a faster, more candidate-centric application process but are also extremely effective at predicting an applicant’s potential and matching him or her to the right job. This benefits everybody: recruitment leaders can cast a wider net and then choose from a better qualified and more diverse pool of applicants; candidates feel valued and engaged throughout the hiring process; and organizations boost their bottom line by finding talent that will thrive, while minimizing churn.”
Vanson Bourne, the research firm that conducted the survey, interviewed 2,500 job seekers in the following countries: the UK, US, France and Germany (500 respondents in UK, France and Germany, and 1,000 in the US). For the purposes of this research, pre-hire assessments apply to multiple choice questionnaires, personality tests, situational judgment tests, written tests, job trials, presentations, assessment centres, game-based challenges, video interviews, and technical coding challenges. Fieldwork was conducted in September/October 2018.