What Are the Problems With Traditional Hiring Assessments?
Hiring Trends

What Are the Problems With Traditional Hiring Assessments?

Proactiveness score of 62
Marc Fogel, MS
September 6, 2023

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Companies often use assessments during the hiring process to ensure applicants are suitable matches for a position.

In an interview, a hiring manager might assess soft or hard skills, such as critical thinking, by introducing situations and asking candidates to describe how they might approach or solve them. 

On the other hand, personality assessments measure candidates’ thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and preferences that influence how they interact with their environment. Organizations might use these assessments to determine whether applicants match the job requirements and/or the company culture. 

However, today’s job candidates understand that responding to assessment inventories in a certain way could increase their chances of landing a job. So, if candidates can plan how to respond to a hiring assessment, we must ask: What is the assessment measuring?

Why Use Assessments in Hiring?

A 2015 study in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology found that out of interviews between 166 interviewers and 700 students at a US university, 60% of interviewers decided if the candidate landed the job within the first 15 minutes of the discussion. 

Of that group, about 26% decided in the first five minutes, and five percent decided in the first minute. But one problem with a hiring decision after spending only five minutes with a candidate is that it is a gut-based decision.

Gut-based hiring decisions are riddled with intensely human and painfully normal biases precisely because we all experience these (mostly unconscious) biases that we must do all we can to: a) acknowledge that we have the biases and b) seek ways to minimize their impact. Doing so allows interviewers to focus on identifying and hiring the best possible candidate(s) for the job.

However, extensive research also shows that well-designed and professionally validated assessments, such as Talent Select AI, help safeguard us from our own biases by providing a scientific, consistent, and neutral lens into candidates’ potential fit with the role.

Well-validated selection assessments can statistically predict the likelihood of successful job performance and provide multiple other benefits, including enhanced decision-making, competitive advantage, legal compliance, leveraging diverse talent, efficiency, insight, and employee development. 

Results from Traditional Assessments May Not Be Authentic

Noncognitive attribute assessments, often called assessment inventories, measure candidates’ job-related traits such as their personality, preferences, values, etc. Assessment inventories could help employers identify strong candidates when developed and administered professionally and thoughtfully. 

That said, today’s job candidates understand that responding to assessment inventories in a particular manner could increase their chances of obtaining a job. Thus, they do the logical thing, try to understand what the company wants to hear, and respond accordingly rather than describe themselves truthfully. 

On top of this is the question of who is actually completing the online assessment. Is it truly the job candidate, their more capable friend, or even a professional test-taker doing so for a fee. Online companies offering test-taking services and making statements such as “We help you to pass your job assessment - Guaranteed result, low price” and “We help our clients to pass assessments from top companies” have become ubiquitous. 

Beyond concerns regarding faking and questions about who is actually completing the assessment, candidates often find assessment inventories time-consuming, confusing, and invasive. Assessments ask about their personal preferences and opinions that may be perceived as not wholly job-related. 

This sense of invasiveness can influence candidates’  perceptions of fairness and whether they even complete the application. And in the age of social media, candidates often share these experiences online. Such publicity could negatively impact a company’s brand and reputation or even reduce the quality of future job candidates.

Talent Select AI’s Assessment Tool

Talent Select AI’s innovative approach allows companies to combine interviews and assessments into a single, concise step, saving time, resources, and cost and streamlining the candidate experience.

Our approach to measuring personality and other noncognitive traits leverages technology built on a foundation of decades of research in industrial-organizational (I/O) psychology, language psychology, text analysis, natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML).

Using TSAI to assess candidates’ fit with the job benefits both the hiring organization and the candidate by saving time and resources, reducing candidates’ ability to fake responses, requiring the candidate to be on camera, and complying with EEOC guidelines. 

Ready to start measuring what matters?

Schedule a free consultation to explore how Talent Select AI can help you quickly identify and hire best-fit candidates – without administering a single test.

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