In a competitive candidate market, time is of the essence. There are a lot of factors that every company must compete on in order to attract talent – salary, benefits, location, and opportunities for career growth, to name a few. And now more than ever, the entire candidate experience can make or break whether or not a candidate accepts your offer. But there’s also another often overlooked aspect that can make or break your ability to snag top candidates: time.
Ultimately, you can spend a ton of energy developing an attractive compensation package and a candidate-friendly hiring process, but if you take too long to extend an offer, those factors may cease to matter. Attractive candidates are likely to get multiple offers, and taking too long could be taking your company out of the running.
There are a number of typical best practices for reducing time-to-hire, from coming up with a streamlined and standardized hiring process, to investing in an ATS to automate some of the manual tasks for you. You can also look to eliminate any unnecessary steps in the hiring process that really aren’t adding any value to your decision-making process.
There are also some elements you can add to your hiring funnel to ultimately speed up the entire process. In this blog post, we’ll explain how pre-employment tests can actually reduce your overall time-to-hire and get you closer to winning your top candidates.
Assessments help you prioritize candidates
The most obvious way that assessments can cut down on your time to hire is by helping you prioritize your candidate pool. This has the biggest impact when assessments are placed earlier in the hiring funnel. In a survey of Criteria customers, for example, 70% of employers administer assessments prior to the in-person interview.
When to place those assessments in the hiring process is critical. If reducing time-to-hire is a key goal, the best practice is to place the assessments before the more time-consuming parts of the hiring process, i.e. the in-person interviews, technical interviews, or work samples. Interviews typically take about an hour each, and often take up more than one person’s time, including the hiring manager, HR manager, and any other people who might be involved in the decision. Prioritizing which candidates to invite to this stage is a major way to cut down on hours spent in the hiring process.
Take one Criteria customer who reduced time-to-hire by a whopping 94% by using assessments to identify which candidates to invite to the interview. Time-to-hire isn’t always something that companies track all that rigorously, but the labor-hours saved from using assessments is measurable and often significant.
They provide an extra data point to guide the decision
Hiring is full of unknowns. There’s only so much you can learn about a person in the hiring process, and a lot of a candidate’s future performance feels like it’s left up to chance. What’s worse is that oftentimes we make our quickest decisions based on subjective or biased information that we get from someone’s interview or resume. Maybe the candidate went to the same university as you, or they have the same unusual hobby. Maybe they were extremely charming and confident in the interview. It’s easy to see how these types of biased “inputs” can lead to fast decision-making that is ultimately flawed and based on incomplete information.
Assessments provide an additional, objective data point that helps you make a more informed decision. The charming and confident interviewee may have also earned stellar scores on your assessments, giving you more confidence to pull the trigger on an offer. Meanwhile, the charming candidate who went to your university may have bombed the assessments, giving you a reason to pause before making a hasty decision. While assessments can help you make faster decisions, they can also prevent you from making decisions that are based on first impressions and “likeability.”
While no single factor can help you make the right decision every time, pre-employment tests can add objective input to help you make a more informed decision, faster. The important thing is to make the best decision as quickly as possible, without sacrificing quality of hire.