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Understanding Accurate Talent Assessment

Erin Iafelice

If making great hires doesn’t happen often enough in your organization, part of the problem could be your accurate talent assessment. According to a new study by Aptitude Research, two-thirds (67%) of talent acquisition and HR professionals do not provide hiring managers with the correct data to make decisions. This finding begs the question, Are the talent assessments you use accurate? Here’s a look at five widely used types of talent assessments and their value in hiring.

Job simulations. Talent Board’s latest research indicates that job simulations for accurate talent assessment have grown by 19% since 2019. More than half (53%) of organizations now assess candidates with job simulations in the hiring process. Job simulations like Modern Hire’s Virtual Job Tryout™ create a multimedia opportunity for candidates to experience the tasks they will do on the job to get a broad sense of the role and their fit for it pre-hire. Some job simulations use gamification or making the job simulation more like a game to increase candidates’ engagement. Other types include role-playing and work assignments or presentations.  

The use of job simulations has grown in part because they can predict candidates’ future success in the role and reduce bias in the hiring process. They accomplish both by focusing on candidates’ competencies with the position. However, not all job simulations are equal to the task when it comes to accurate talent assessment. It’s essential to use job simulations that have been scientifically validated to predict future performance accurately and are substantiated with metrics in avoiding an adverse effect on protected classes of candidates.

Another benefit of some job simulations is that they can be implemented at scale, enabling recruiting teams to quickly and accurately assess an entire talent pool.

Personality tests. Personality tests help recruiting teams better understand candidates as individuals by providing insight into their thought processes, personality traits, and motivations. Some of the common personality tests used are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Caliper Profile, and the HEXACO Model of Personality Structure Personality Inventory.

Personality tests can reveal attributes like creativity, leadership, empathy, and flexibility, all of which are seeking specific roles in the post-pandemic environment. However, these tests are not job-specific like job simulations, so they are not necessarily accurate for talent assessment. Also, recruiters use them to infer fit for the job, opening the door to human bias.

Pre-hire profiling tests, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the DiSC Personality Test, do not predict job success. When trying to gauge an employee’s work style and how they’ll fit and work with others, a profiling tool offers little more insight than a social media quiz.

When flawed and inaccurate profiling quiz results are used to measure new hires against, organizations may end up with a workforce that closely mirrors the existing workforce, creating a complete lack of diversity.

Organizations achieve their diversity and inclusion goals when they make a whole-of-company commitment, starting with hiring.

A scientifically valid multimethod assessment to measure the whole candidate with all the weaknesses and compensatory strengths that make us human is a proven method for achieving these goals.

Structured interviews. Structured interviews use a series of standard questions in a planned sequence to generate information about candidates. Traditionally structured interviews are performed by an interviewer one-on-one with the candidate. While they may be more accurate for talent assessment than other types of interviews, generally, the results are subjective. Modern hiring platforms can help increase the accuracy of structured interviews by offering on-demand interviewing. The interview questions are recorded in advance and presented to candidates in the hiring platform, so every question is asked in the same way by the same person in the same sequence for each candidate. On-demand interviewing enables recruiters to develop structured interview data for many candidates with speed and efficiency.

Unstructured interviews. Unstructured interviews are more flexible. They allow the interviewer to ask follow-up questions and discuss the direction they believe will provide the most valuable information about the candidate. Unstructured interviews provide qualitative data that is open to interpretation by the recruiting team, making them less accurate in talent assessment than job simulations. However, they can help provide additional insight into candidates.

Work experience. A candidate’s work experience is frequently considered as part of a talent assessment. However, prior work experience is not an indicator of future job performance, so it is not an accurate method of talent assessment. Using work experience as a hiring criterion can have adverse effects on hiring performance and outcomes

Impact of artificial intelligence on accurate talent assessment. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and tools can contribute to more accurate talent assessment in several ways:

  • AI-powered job simulations enable accurate prediction of future job performance at scale, ensuring that recruiting teams can identify and advance the most qualified candidates from the entire talent pool.
  • AI-enabled hiring platforms can score structured and unstructured data from interviews, providing consistent, accurate talent assessment on a broader scope, especially for high-volume hiring.
  • AI-enabled hiring platforms allow the use of talent analytics. Quantifying and analyzing hiring enables recruiting teams to eliminate bias in talent assessment and control for adverse impact. 

With so many categories of talent assessments available and product differences within each category, it can be challenging to know which talent assessment will deliver the best return on investment for your talent acquisition team. To get started on the path to choosing the right assessment provider for your organization, read this article by Modern Hire.