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Candidate Experience: Friendly or Meaningful

September 18, 2017

When you ask your hiring managers what they look for in a candidate, how many times do you hear things like: “I have a good feel for who will work,” “I know who is going to make it here,” or “I just go with my gut.”

At a time when organizations are required to do more with less, having the right individuals in the right jobs has never been more important.

There is something to be said for intuition, or a “gut feeling.” Certain hiring managers have been doing their jobs long enough to see some consistent signs of success. That said, some of those signs we think we see, may not be what is actually enabling that high performance. This is exactly what a well-constructed behavioral assessment process is able to quantify when it compares your candidates to an ideal benchmark of success for your organization. So how do we, as an HR community, look to an assessment to help us determine 1) who will be a good fit for the role, and 2) who will be a good fit for the organization, and 3) ensure the candidate experience is as efficient as possible so candidates don’t get lost in the process?

The answer is to find an assessment partner who can provide you with a process that allows you to see how external or internal candidates fit across all positions in your organization – without requiring the applicant to take hours upon hours of different instruments for each and every role. A partner that enables a smooth talent mobility experience without reassessing the employee when they want to explore other positions within the business. A partner that allows succession planning and development in such a way that it works seamlessly with internal Learning and Development projects and talent planning efforts.

A few years ago, there were plenty of candidates to go around – as a result, businesses could afford to be judicious and deliberate in how they went about selecting people to hire. We are in a unique time right now. With historically low unemployment rates, this is now a candidate-driven market. It is imperative that the application process be easy and the candidate experience engaging.

Human resource champions and operations managers are losing sleep at night wondering whether they have the right talent at every level to achieve business success. This need for greater insight of the applicant pool is being challenged by the pervasive concern over candidate experience. While there are certainly instances where reducing the amount of steps the candidate completes during the hiring process is justified, unfortunately, the pre-hire assessment is often the first step to go.

Arbitrarily swinging the pendulum away from assessment and into the direction of an ‘easier’ candidate experience is not going to automatically make the application process more meaningful – and it most certainly will leave you relying more and more on instinct and ‘gut-feel.’ Only a well-constructed assessment strategy will answer questions like, “Will they share our values?” “Will they stick around long enough to progress them through our career paths?” “Will they enjoy working here?” Cutting out a truly predictive assessment strategy removes your ability to understand whether the people you are considering have the behavioral alignment required for success within your specific roles.

So, if the question is, “How do we utilize an assessment (or perhaps incorporate one for the first time), yet also provide the candidate with a respectful and efficient hiring experience?” then the answer is to streamline each element of your recruiting process – reduce the candidate experience to cover the necessary, minimum requirements for the job. This is where Talent Science excels. By leveraging a single assessment across all roles (that the candidate takes only ONE time), each candidate can be compared against unique and predictive benchmarks of incumbent success at the job level – these benchmarks, or profiles, are data-centric models that unlock the mystery behind what is actually driving high-performance.

We can all sit around the fire with our highly tenured leaders and hear glowing recollections about great hires that were made based on “gut-feel.” But the reality is we are working with candidate pipelines that are in a different time and place than ever before. It’s getting harder for people to have the requisite experience to make those judgment calls, and for employers to convince candidates why our company is better than the one down the street. We need to have access to the holistic view of external applicants and internal candidates so that we can quickly find the best fit roles within our organization. Behavioral assessment allows hiring managers to leverage the broader capabilities of their staff to achieve positive business outcomes. It also affords us the opportunity to show not only that we want the candidate to be a good fit for us; also, employers can show they care whether we are a good fit for them – and that is the key to a truly meaningful candidate experience.

Aylin Basom, VP, Customer Success, Infor

  • Talent Science
  • North America
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