Feel like you’re losing the talent war?

You’re not alone.

In a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),  nearly 90 percent of 1,200 employers responded that they were struggling to fill open positions.

With crippling labor shortages and spiraling turnover rates, employers are struggling to attract and keep the talent they need.

To gain traction, hiring organizations must strike the right balance between screening for key competencies required for job success and ensuring that candidates enjoy the process to avoid high abandonment rates.

That’s easier said than done. If you put too much emphasis on high completion rates at the expense of quality standards, then you’ll be plagued by poor job performance and high turnover. Conversely, if you emphasize the talent assessment process over the candidate experience, then you’ll struggle with high candidate drop-out.

To balance meaningful talent assessment with a positive candidate experience, take note of these tips:


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. Yet, you can’t measure every facet of job performance in 30 minutes or less. 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.


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.


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.


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


Talent assessments don’t have to be stressful or boring. New virtual 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.


While some candidate attrition is to be expected, minimizing the length and complexity of online applications can help ensure top candidates are completing your process. It is also critical to evaluate your current screening methods to make sure you’re collecting only the information you absolutely need.

Even with a smart, simple hiring process, not every candidate will complete it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some may drop out because they don’t have the right skill set. Others may leave because they learn they’re not a good fit for the job. The goal is to quickly engage the right candidates and ensure both you and the candidate have the information needed to make the right employment decision.


As we begin a new year, I trust these tips will help you find the right balance in your talent assessment process. Given the new technologies available today, there’s no reason you can’t offer an engaging candidate experience that delivers the data-driven results you need to hire with confidence.

Put Our 30+ Years of Consulting Experience to Work for You!

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