Talent Assessment and the Candidate Experience.


Millennial job candidates and the use of technology have dramatically altered the landscape of talent assessment. Attention spans are shorter and competition for top talent is fierce. Given these factors, hiring organizations need to strike the right balance between finding talent assessments that measure job-relevant factors that predict success, and ensuring candidates enjoy the talent assessment process to avoid high abandonment rates.

That’s easier said than done. To compete in today’s job market, talent assessments not only need to be shorter, they also must be interesting, engaging, and fun. Our recent experience tells us that talent assessments which take longer than 30 minutes, unless they’re interactive and engaging, are more likely to be abandoned by job candidates. The days of 100+ item surveys that seem to ask the same questions over and over are gone.

So how do you strike a balance between meaningful talent assessment and a positive candidate experience? Here are some tips to consider.

Narrow your focus

You can’t measure every facet of job performance in 30 minutes or less. Be leery of talent assessment providers who claim they can measure everything in less than 30 minutes. Instead, focus on the most important facets of job performance that need to be measured in the talent assessment process. Focus on the things that are required for success in the first year of employment, knowing that many employees will grow and develop on the job over time.

Tell your story

Most talent assessments are still a one-way experience, with candidates providing information but getting nothing back. Let them know who you are, what your expectations are, and what it’s like to work for you. Well informed candidates have the right to decide if working for you is a good fit for them.

Ensure Clarity

Candidates want to know what they are going to experience during the talent assessment process. Let them know what’s coming and don’t try to trick them with unclear or inaccurate instructions.

Make sense

Candidates should clearly see the link between your talent assessment and the requirements of the job. Our candidate reaction data indicates that candidates have a better overall experience and believe talent assessments are fair, when there is a clear link to the job.

Have fun

Talent assessments don’t have to be stressful or boring. New HR technologies are using animation and gaming approaches to make talent assessment a positive experience that will enhance your brand and attract today’s top candidates. Also remember, talent assessments are designed for candidates not the recruiters or executives in talent acquisition. Some might be tempted to bypass new technologies because they don’t fit the traditional view of testing. But trust me. Your candidates are ready for a fresh approach.

Live with some attrition

To take full advantage of the many benefits gained by talent assessments, you’re going to have to live with some attrition. Not every candidate is going to complete your talent assessment process. And that’s not a bad thing. Some may drop out of the talent assessment process because they don’t have the right skill set. Others may leave because they learn they’re not a good fit for the job. While some attrition is to be expected, the tips above will help you limit drop rate. Minimizing the length and complexity of on-line applications will also help. Collect only the information you absolutely need.

As you begin 2018, I trust these tips will help you find the right balance in your talent assessment process. Given the exciting new technologies available today, there’s no reason you can’t have your cake and eat it too.


Put Our 20+ Years of Consulting Experience to Work for You!

As this recent article in Forbes points out, a new focus on the employee experience is driving leaders to “examine their employee journey map and optimize it as much as customer experience teams do for customer journeys.” That journey begins with your recruiting and hiring process.

If we can assist you in charting a compelling candidate experience and optimizing your talent assessment process, give me a call at 888.332.0648. We’re here to help!