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Getting the formula right on psychometric assessments and candidate experience

4 Jul 2018 by  Caroline Pyszko

When designing a recruitment process talent acquisition teams face a common challenge: How to provide a great candidate experience while also getting the valuable data from psychometric assessments? Creating an efficient and effective process will improve the quality of hire, so how do you get the formula right?

People are complex, each with unique personality traits, abilities, and experiences. Psychometric assessments help the pre-hire process by gathering specific information about an individual in an efficient way to see if they are a good fit for a role. However, sometimes it’s difficult to balance getting as much information as possible about an individual with creating a good candidate experience. 

Organisations are increasingly (and rightly) focused on the candidate experience. One common factor they have focused on is reducing the length of time taken to complete assessments. But does length of testing time impact the candidate experience or applicant dropout rates?

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Research  recently published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, suggests it is a myth that shorter test time will retain more applicants. According to the study, assessment length does not predict applicant dropout rates. The length of the assessment phase should not be reduced at the cost of collecting less information to make an informed decision.

By making the assessment suite too short and not including enough measures to assess the candidate properly, you reduce the accuracy and usefulness of the assessment process. Why include assessments if you’re not fully utilising their value?  To get the best results, the focus should be on getting the assessment formula right, not cutting down the length only for the sake of time. 

So how do you balance candidate experience with the best psychometric assessment suite? 


When deciding which assessments to include in your assessment suite, you should choose quality over quantity. Your assessment suite formula should include these three ingredients:

1) Predictive of on the job performance
2) Unbiased/shows no adverse impact
3) Provides an engaging candidate experience

The number one question you should ask when choosing which assessments to include is: Is this suite of assessments going to provide a robust view about the candidate’s knowledge, skills and abilities that are relevant for the job?

Assessments should be unbiased towards any group of people. Ensure that this is true by asking and reviewing this information regularly with vendors. The candidate should also consider the assessment to be fair and see how it relates to the job that they are applying for. There are many other aspects of the recruitment process which can improve the candidate experience other than length of the assessment suite (e.g., clear, simple communication, ease of access and providing feedback). The candidate experience is paramount in ensuring that the candidate is an advocate for the organisation even if they are not successful in securing the role. 

It goes without saying that people are the most important asset in any organisation. It’s difficult to balance getting the right information from an assessment suite with a good candidate experience. However, when done right, it means that you can efficiently get the right people in the right roles, which will have a direct impact on an organisation’s bottom line. With the right formula, an effective and efficient assessment process will achieve a measurable return on investment while also providing a great candidate experience.  

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If you need help figuring out what assessments are right for a position or designing the right formula for your assessment suite, get in touch with us today.

Caroline Pyszko

Caroline has over 5 years of experience as a consulting psychologist specialising in Assessment and Engagement. Caroline focuses on helping organisations to make data driven decisions when designing human capital initiatives throughout the employee life cycle.

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