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Candidate Experience vs. Predicting On-The-Job Performance



Living in a digitized society is a very exciting time especially in the world of recruitment. The role of talent acquisition it is not just about processing candidates and conducting interviews, but rather it is about state-of-the-art technologies to enhance the process to ensure candidates are attracted as well as creating recruiting efficiencies. Technology like the ones listed below have forever improved the talent acquisition function to get better quality hires.

  • Artificial intelligence

  • Machine learning

  • Chatbot automation

  • Applicant tracking systems

  • Simulations assessments

  • Psychometric assessments

  • Credential verification technology

  • Gamified screening

  • Digital interviews

  • Video job postings

In this realm of enhanced recruiting technology, we would believe that the prediction of who will perform and stay with your company should improve immensely, and it can if applied correctly!


The recruiter role in the organization is more important than ever where they are bombarded with many resumes and requisitions to fill. Therefore, technology can help manage and keep recruiters organized, but only if it is done right! Unfortunately, through my experience I have encountered several companies who are willing to sacrifice a better candidate experience and processing candidates quicker due to this pressure meet hiring demands. While I am all for the candidate having a seamless application process and positive experience, but do not ignore other parts of the process that may be just as important if not more important to your bottom line.


In any standard process there is an attraction strategy to fill a funnel with candidates through job postings. Then through that process recruiters or technology pre-screens and further vets the candidate. Once a short list is established then we should be carrying out a thorough investigation through a selection process to try and predict whether this person matches your top performers who stay with your company in any given role. Sounds like a fairly standard process, right? Wrong!


Some company’s lately have been so enthralled with the newest technology in recruitment like using artificial intelligence or automation to provide two things:


1) A more user-friendly experience for the candidate; and

2) Be able to process and screen candidates based on past success.


While there is no doubt that this technology is valuable, I also think this technology when used correctly is a great way to process and screen candidates using predictive screening criteria through A.I. algorithms against both top and bottom performers in the company. However, there are many companies who are filling high volume roles using this technology to screen and hire at the expense of moving the hiring process at a much faster pace.


Furthermore, those who use selection assessments as a part of their process are removing them because they believe they are too long. Simply put the selection phase is either ignored to a large degree or all together by moving from screening to hiring at the expense of a better candidate experience and a more efficient way for recruiters to process candidates.

Selection assessments were meant to be used in the selection phase not the screening phase in the recruitment process. Again, companies sometimes use them in the wrong spot of their process and use them too early and in this case are seen it as being too long for the candidate. Furthermore, in high-volume front-line jobs, talent acquisition leaders also see longer selection assessments as not candidate engaging and as too expensive (where some can range from $50 to $100 an assessment). Let us keep in mind that in some of these roles the cost of turnover is close to $15,000 per hire. So, when you look at it that way the cost does not seem that much for the investment made.


Let me give you an example. One company used a comprehensive selection assessment as a part of their process for a front-line role. The total cost of the assessment for the year in the recruitment process was $50,000. However, at the end of the year the company saw an improvement of 30% in short term attrition rates and when they calculated the savings it equated to a total cost savings of $500,000. This sounds like a very good investment, and the shareholders and executive would be equally happy as well.


Second, a good selection assessment will have low face validity meaning it is harder for the candidate to determine what we are measuring to ensure an accurate assessment of the candidate is taking place. Unlike gamified assessments they tend to have higher face validity meaning it is easier to interpret and perhaps not an accurate representation of the person. Also, a good selection assessment should also predict "on the job performance and retention" specific to the role and company if possible. The selection phase is meant to be a thorough investigation to evaluate risk so we can predict performance and retention. When going through this phase we are not looking to eliminate, but rather select the right person or people for the role. You need the psychometric depth (which means the questionnaire will be longer and more robust) to do so and if people really want to invest their time for a job they want, then I believe they will complete it at this phase. Why cut corners for speed when this is a decision that can cost the company thousands if not millions of dollars if they make the wrong decision.


In conclusion, I am all for a positive candidate experience and efficiencies in the recruitment process but do it right and know what each technology enhancement is supposed to be used for.

Always remember that you are trying to predict who will perform and who will stay with you using what you hope is a process that gives you the best odds of predicting success.

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