All posts Contracting Tips Developer Life Distributed Workforce Hiring Strategy Screening Talent Sourcing

The Power of Candidate Assessments

Header image

Not all business is created equal, and not all business challenges are universal. We may like to think we operate on a level playing field, but the obstacles that one organization must overcome are inherently different from the hurdles that another faces. An issue uniting all companies, however, involves the delicate art of finding and retaining top talent. For businesses in the tech industry, this challenge is compounded by the fact that supply can’t keep up with demand.

Whether you’re a tech start-up, small business, or global enterprise, you’re searching for high-class developers and tech talent. The problem? Everyone else is, too. A global shortage of software engineers and skilled IT professionals means that those in search of new hires have a difficult task. For one, you’re competing against other organizations — and, thanks to an astronomical rise in remote work, you’re not only in competition with businesses in your area, but jockeying with companies in your industry around the country and across the globe. Additionally, for each open position that you advertise, you’ll receive hundreds (if not thousands) of applications, and it’s tedious to filter through these candidates to determine who’s qualified and who isn’t.

The hiring process takes a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of risk. With so much at stake, it’s easy to see the value of screening candidates early on in the hiring process. How should you go about doing this? Two words: candidate assessments.

What is a Candidate Assessment?

A candidate assessment is the process of determining whether a person is suitable for the role they’re seeking. It’s a catchall term, really, as the candidate assessment process may include:

  • Résumé review and verification of information
  • Reference checks
  • Background checks
  • Behavioral assessments (to screen for cognitive abilities, risk aversion, etc.)
  • Skill assessments
  • Social media profile reviews
  • Pre-screening interviews
  • Formal interviews

In a nutshell, candidate assessments screen and evaluate applicants. For a new hire to succeed, it’s essential that they “fit” their role, the team, and the company. The best way to ascertain whether or not a prospective employee is the right fit before they join is by performing a candidate assessment.

Why are Candidate Assessments Used?

Given their versatile nature, it’s no surprise that candidate assessments have multiple uses. Tech companies in particular use them to reduce risk. The turnover rate in the IT industry is the highest of any industry at over 13 percent. If you hire the wrong person for a position, expect to pay between 50–250 percent of the salary to find a suitable replacement. It’s crucial, therefore, to do your due diligence to ensure that you’ve found the best person for the job.

In addition to being a risk management tool, candidate assessments are used by larger companies to streamline high volume recruiting efforts. No matter the size of a business, these assessments provide in-depth evaluations of potential hires so that a team can make an educated selection.

Candidate assessments give employers insight. This is where their value lies. Companies gain a comprehensive understanding of a person’s professional background, skillset, abilities, and personality. This information allows employers to select new employees without taking a shot in the dark. Candidate assessments reduce employer risk, minimize the attrition rate, shorten time-to-hire, lower hiring costs, and improve the applicant’s overall experience.

What Candidate Assessment Tools are Available?

Technological advances have revolutionized the hiring process. Social media provides us with an intimate look into the lives of others. Apps automate nearly every step of the screening process. Video conferencing allows us to have face-to-face conversations regardless of where we happen to be, and messaging platforms give us convenient access to one another.

Employers can either tackle candidate assessments in-house or outsource them to experts. An entire industry has emerged to assist with the problem that all companies face: how to find the right talent in a cost-effective manner.

Some things still require you to roll up your sleeves. Need to verify the information a candidate gives on their résumé? Someone has to make calls, hunt down addresses, and speak to references about prior work performance and education credentials. On the other hand, much of the candidate assessment process can be automated, and many steps even enlist the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning. For example, there are video platforms that use AI to “read” people during interviews and determine behavior traits and soft skills.

It’s not just qualitative information, either. If you’re in the market for a developer, you can leverage coding challenges to assess a person’s tech skills. There are chatbots that pre-screen applicants, answer common questions, and unburden your team.

For every part of the assessment process, you can find tools, platforms, and people to assist you. When used properly, they lessen hiring bias and elevate your diversity. You can even find platforms of sourced, pre-screened candidates if your team wishes to take on a more active role in the hiring and recruitment of new employees. Be selective, however, in choosing which tools, platforms, and services to use in evaluating your candidates. Machine learning is incredibly powerful and automations can significantly reduce your workload, but don’t lose sight of the fact that your candidates are real people, not data aggregates.

Candidate Assessment Meets Screening-as-a-Service

Esteemed Screening was born to address the desire to pre-screen talent and the understanding that automated processes can unwittingly overlook top tech talent.

Meet Screening-as-a-Service: we use coding assessments, algorithm challenges, live technical interviews, and code reviews to screen your candidates and determine how they fit into your organization. We know that no two candidates are the same, so we offer tailored screening. When you augment your candidate assessment process with Esteemed Screening, you’ll get a holistic picture of your potential hires. Best of all, when you tech applicants submit their coding assessments, their work is reviewed by human experts.

Learn more about Esteemed Screening here.

Category: Screening