One of your greatest assets for improving your company’s pre-hire assessment process may be right around the corner, literally.

Recent hires working at your company are a terrific resource for evaluating and updating your selection process. Having just completed the process, these individuals can provide pertinent feedback that can really make a difference right away.

While you may feel comfortable with your organization’s current assessment practices, you might be surprised how they strike applicants. Curious if your assessments seem relevant and engaging? Concerned about high drop-out rates? Looking for ways to improve your applicant experience?

Ask new hires.

There are two key advantages to engaging recent hires in evaluating and refining your pre-hire assessment process.


  • Engaging new hires for feedback gives you the most recent experiential data.

In his recent article, An Insider’s Guide to a Winning Applicant Experience, Kyle Leveille critiqued his recent job search, highlighting both the positive and negative aspects of his experience. Asking new employees to evaluate your assessment process creates a unique opportunity to see the process from the applicant’s point of view. New hires can provide insights about the process itself. Is it easy to follow with clearly outlined steps and instructions? They can also offer impressions about specific assessments. For instance, tests that are perceived as intrusive or irrelevant are big contributors to applicants dropping out of the process. New hires can be your best source of honest feedback.

  • Engaging new hires for feedback gives them confidence.

As new employees, what better way to know you are a valued part of the team than to be asked to help refine the hiring process. Pre-hire assessments are an essential part of hiring, and one that your new hires have most recently completed. Giving new employees the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way gives them added confidence in their role within your company.  Writing for Harvard Business Review, Professor Rosabeth Moss Cantor identifies three things more valuable than money to employees:  mastery, meaning, and membership. By engaging new employees in the evaluation and improvement of the pre-hire process, you are granting them membership to the contributor club for your company.

Here are a few ways to consider engaging new hires in refining your pre-hire assessment process:

  1. Use anonymous surveys.

Because your new hires may be nervous about providing negative feedback – and because in order to be effective, the feedback must be honest – use an anonymous survey to garner the most accurate reviews of your pre-hire assessments. Survey Monkey provides this service for free and makes designing a simple survey very straightforward and easy even for beginners.

THIS WILL ONLY WORK IF:  you are careful when designing your survey to ensure that questions cannot lead to identification of the employee.

  1. Use informal focus groups to create a safe space.

Engage a focus group facilitator from outside the company to work with new hires to evaluate the pre-hire assessment process. Empower the facilitator to align with the new hires and to protect their identities. If you have only a few new hires, consider engaging them in one-on-one interviews with the facilitator.

THIS WILL ONLY WORK IF:  the facilitator is able to establish a high level of trust with the new hires.

  1. Meet with new hires personally.

Create a safe space for feedback by ensuring them that you are looking to improve the process, not merely evaluate. Reward employees who participate with a simple gift card or thank you gift. Better yet, engage them in evaluating future aspects of the improvement process.

THIS WILL ONLY WORK IF: you already have a cordial and trusting relationship with your new employees.

  1. Create a working task group.

Bring together a group of new hires alongside the experienced HR professionals who administer the pre-hire assessment.  Assign them with the task of looking at every aspect of the process.

THIS WILL ONLY WORK IF:  the experienced HR professionals are open to changes that will improve the process.

Most importantly, if your new hires invest in this process, the best thank-you you can give is to carefully and thoughtfully evaluate their suggestions. Implement the best ideas towards the improvement of your pre-hire assessment process. Be bold in making changes that can be documented with regard to improvement. And reward those successful ideas by engaging your new hires in the next step in the process.

We’ll talk about that in an upcoming blog!