The most important goal of any recruitment process is to make sure that the most suitable candidate is hired for the job. This implies having the right skills to succeed in the job, but also the necessary abilities and personality traits to fit into the team and the overall company culture. But figuring out how to get there and what type of assessment to complete along the way can be tricky. The recruitment market is constantly evolving and companies must adjust their recruitment processes and assessment methods to catch up with competition from other companies but also the candidate market in general. 
 
In this article series consisting of two parts, we are going to talk about the importance of screening tests and interviews to make sure that the most suitable candidate is selected for final interviews, and ultimately an offer. In part 1, we are going to describe two types of candidate assessments that can be completed during the initial stages of the recruitment process and explain why candidate assessment is important. In part 2, we are going to share practical examples of how we have designed our pre-qualification process at Nixa.io to ensure proper candidate assessment. 


What is candidate assessment? 

Candidate assessment refers to the process where an employer undertakes different measures to determine whether a candidate is suitable for a role or not. It involves checking skills, competencies, abilities, and personality traits that the employer considers crucial to succeed in the role. According to well-known research conducted by Schmidt and Hunter (1998), ability tests and behavioral interviews are among the most predictive methods that an employer can use in the job assessment of candidates. 
 

Ability tests and behavioral interviews  

Ability tests or aptitude tests are standardized ways of checking a candidate’s cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills. It is used to measure performance in different work-related tasks or situations. When testing software engineers, this could involve building a set of problem-solving tests that can be solved using code. These tests are typically algorithmic, asking the candidate to solve a problem they are faced with. 
 
Behavioral interviews are structured interviews where an employer is asking situation-based questions to assess the candidate's performance in different work-related situations. When an interview is structured, it means that the same questions are being asked to all candidates and there is not a lot of room for deviation outside the interview script. In general, the interview is focused on exploring the candidate’s past experience by providing examples of how they have demonstrated certain competencies, behaviors, skills, and abilities.


Why is candidate assessment so important? 

Candidate assessment through predictable methods such as structured tests and interviews will decrease your chances of a miss-hire and make sure that better and more informed decisions are being made. It will also give you an opportunity to save time during the initial phases of the recruitment process, and to spend interview time on the stuff that really matters - is this a good match for us and how do we see this person grow within our company? Structured tests and interviews will also give you a chance to make less biased decisions. Sending all candidates through the same type of test and interview questions will give you an opportunity to compare candidates and base decisions on data rather than intuition. 
 
The most time-consuming part of a recruitment process is normally related to the initial stages where companies are screening and assessing candidates to figure out whom they want to move to the final interview with. Doing biased reviews of CVs and unstructured screening calls with each candidate is highly time-consuming and not reliable, so we suggest looking into ways to replace some of your work with automated tests or start using a platform like Nixa.io that has already taken care of all of this in advance. With Nixa.io, you match with candidates that are pre-vetted using structured candidate assessment methods (check out part 2 of this article to learn the details) and this gives you a chance to move faster and spend more time on role-specific testing or assessing cultural matches. Our assessment/pre-qualification process has proven successful in reducing the company’s time to hire down to only 2 weeks. 
 
We’ve had clients coming back to us saying that the quality of candidates from Nixa.io is much better compared to other platforms, due to the pre-vetting process that we complete in advance. Most of the candidates that clients engage with will pass the client's own job-specific assessment and move straight to the offer stage within the first two weeks. This saves a huge amount of time for hiring companies. 
 
Kristine Angeltvedt
CEO & Co-founder of Nixa.io

 

Creating a scientifically proven and well-established vetting process should be viewed as a long-term investment for your company. With more structured methods, you will be able to easily filter out the best candidates, move faster to final interviews, and increase your chances of hiring the best person for the job. There are plenty of assessment platforms out there that could be tested but keep in mind that all platforms don’t necessarily have the volume of data or documentation to really predict anything useful out of the test results. Make sure that the service you are using has a big norm group to compare against and that they can offer you documentation on what research the test is built on. 
 
If you want to learn more about how we assess candidates at Nixa.io, check out Part 2 - “How Nixa.io Has Designed An Assessment Process To Secure The Best Match” of this article series.
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