Why Use Assessments When Hiring?


Companies that spend 2% of their time recruiting and 75% of their time managing their recruiting mistakes don't have the right people- Richard Fairbank, CEO, Capital One

The use of formal assessment tools for hiring decisions is on the rise. So why are more and more companies turning to formal assessment when making hiring decisions?

We’ve found that several seven critical (and well-researched) reasons why formal assessment tools add substantial value to any company’s hiring process:

Résumés can mislead. One survey conducted by Careerbuilder.com found that 56% of all hiring managers have caught a “fib” on a résumé at one point or another. The problem is that résumé padding is easy to do but hard to catch. Formal assessments are scientifically designed to be notoriously hard to game, removing the risk of reliance upon potentially overstated résumés.

Halo. We’re all susceptible to The Halo Effect. The Halo Effect is especially noticeable in drawn-out interview processes, where the more attractive, highly verbal, or more personable candidates are often judged as better suited for the job. But formal testing can reveal the actual underlying levels of talent.

Bias exists. Research on hiring decisions has long established that extraneous variables such as physical attractiveness, gender, and ethnicity cause candidates to be judged differently, even when the résumés were identical (except for the name) and considerations such as social class were factored out. Formal assessments can help eliminate these types of personal bias and instill a more level playing field.

Sounding intelligent ≠ Being intelligent. In interviews, a clever person can successfully give the of having accomplished more, read more, and made better decisions than actually occurred. In other words, some people can sound really smart. But actual intelligence isn’t correlated with just sounding smart. Rather, intelligence is dependent on underlying cognitive abilities, such as a strong working memory; the speed at which we can assimilate new information; and the ability to think critically and logically. All of these things can be measured objectively through assessments. 

Formal assessment add value way beyond the hiring decision. Besides helping organizations make better hiring decisions, formal assessment can provide a foundation for professional development. Results of formal assessments can signal areas of weakness that could benefit from further training or work experience, and also provide a baseline against which to assess future performance. Essentially, having formal assessment at the hiring stage gives you an effective means of selecting and then developing your employees over time.

 Taking all of this together, it’s clear that the ROI for formal assessment tools like the WrightOne assessment is very high. The question isn’t: “Why are so many businesses using assessment tools?” Instead, the question is “Why aren’t you?”