5 Benefits of Using Pre-Employment Selection Assessments.

By Chris Tandridge

Two of the goals of every hiring process should be to ensure the continued improvement of productivity and the retention of high performers. That it is why more and more companies are adding pre-hire assessments and recruitment tools to their screening and selection processes.

Relying purely on interviews and the skills of hiring managers has repeatedly been shown to be an area of risk that is far too costly and prone to errors. You need pre-hire selecting and recruiting tools that will support your hiring decisions with sound reliable data. That’s why the recruiting and selection tools that we provide make accurate predictions about each candidate’s potential performance and their retention – plus you gather crucial intel on prospective hires to support continuous improvement within talent acquisition. Today organisations need an easy-to-use platform that provides all the necessary insights and data on which to base the interview and the selection process. Plus, it should be one that every hiring manager at every level can use without the need for complex training or expensive certifications.

We recently carried out an exercise for a client, which has generated a Case Study that we can share here. You will find that much of what you read here is transferable to other organisations, including yours. The project was with a large telecommunications organisation, and we were required to measure the impact of implementing pre-employment selection assessment tools and how that would benefit the company’s bottom line.

Below, we outline the top five benefits to that organisation.

Pre-Employment Selection Assessments

Case Study: Telecommunication Organisation

The Challenge

A large telecommunications company was experiencing very high staff turnover rates, a reduction in earnings, and loss of clients.

The increasing costs of traditional search methods undertaken by external organisations, together with the internal interview, training and onboarding processes, continued to escalate. The high staff turnover rate was also severely impacting sales revenues and escalating the problems of retaining their customers. Despite making constant changes with their search agencies, adjusting some of their selection processes, and setting various goals and objectives of the management team, there had been little impact on the overall results. Turnover of staff had remained high, and all associated costs far exceeded the business mandated requirements.

Our client had to contend with huge numbers of job applications. Every day they received hundreds of applications in response to the constant job ads they were forced to run. With such a high number of personnel leaving them in a relatively short period of time, this was now a significant cost centre that they had to try and limit.

Their previous approaches weren’t successful because applicants these days come far better prepared. Whether from online sources, or from working with a career coach, they know how to structure their resumes to get that “ticket to the dance” the interview. They have often rehearsed and come to the interview with well-prepared responses. They can, and do, anticipate the behavioural questions – the “tell me a time when…” approach. And often they will have prepared a range of stories, arranged in subject format to be able to easily handle most, if not all, the questions that interviewers rely on.

The Goal

The client required a solution that would positively impact on all those metrics by delivering improvements using pre-employment assessment tools and gathering additional metrics in the screening and selection process.

They needed to:

  • improve the overall selection results;
  • speed up the selection timeline;
  • reduce the “noise” from so many unsuitable candidates;
  • deliver improved sales numbers.

Our objective was to deliver on all those metrics in a cost-effective manner to provide a very solid ROI.

The Results

1. Created a Database for Candidate Analytics

The first step in our solution process was to clearly and accurately identify those candidates who were really suited to a career in this field. Trying to rely on the skills of interviewers and their techniques had already demonstrated that it didn’t work. Similarly, scanning the applicants’ resumes and covering letters for key words was also not working. It required a more scientific approach.

Our Screen™ pre-employment tool helped this client to create a database of suitable candidates for the company to draw upon for current and future hires. This removed all the “noise” from so many unsuited candidates, allowing them to focus only on the candidates who really are best suited to their requirements.

Respectful of Time for both Candidates and Hiring Managers

It took just 15 minutes for each candidate to respond to questions on our digital Screen™ platform. We were then able to clearly and easily identify the best candidates. And to make that selection even simpler, our unique traffic light system ensured there were no mistakes or misunderstandings. The best candidates were shown as GREEN (Proceed), the next level as YELLOW (Proceed with Caution), and the bottom level as RED (Do Not Proceed).

We even provided them with a daily dashboard, so that the selection team knew immediately who to focus on and engage with. Plus, we included some initial interview questions as part of each report, each generated as a result of the way in which the candidate responded, and not the standard behaviour questions that everyone had prepared for.

This took all the distracting “noise” out of the process; it removed all the time delays and costs out of identifying the best candidates for the roles. From the Selector’s point of view, it made their job so much easier. It also meant that because the best candidates were identified so quickly, they didn’t lose those candidates to the opposition. They quickly identified WHO to focus on and who NOT to waste valuable time on.

Ongoing Benefits for the Client

In the first six months of this Case Study program, the client hired 900 reps and it also developed a database of an additional 460 potential hires. This meant that as they drew candidates from that potential hire data base, they were able to significantly reduce their advertising spend.

Over time, the client has been able to use this database at any given moment to compare hires to recruits on key metrics captured in the pre-hire assessment tools. It also means that they have created their very own pipeline of potential future hires, thereby reducing costs further.

2. Pinpointed best candidate Sources in Terms of Quality and Quantity

Our Screen™ pre-hire tool allowed this telecommunications company to understand which candidate sources were providing the most qualified, quality candidates.

The client used these insights to reduce their costs by focusing their selection resources on to their best recruiting sources and letting go those poor performers.

Our pre-employment selection platform was also proved to be highly efficient and valuable in screening huge quantities of candidates from various colder sources. By using our Screen™ tool, the company was able to “warm up” cold source applicants to ensure only qualified candidates were coming through and hence focusing their time and resources appropriately.

3. Improved Time to Hire by 50%

By adding the Screen™ assessments to the company’s screening and selection process, we were able to reduce Time to Hire from 3 weeks to 1. 5 weeks.

Their recruiters felt that the Screen™ tool enriched the process because they could now focus their time on assessing the “High Potential” candidates, thus eliminating the need to spend time on unqualified and unsuitable candidates. The improvement in the time to hire was mirrored by an improvement in morale across the recruiting team. It also supported the management team in achieving the goals set them by Senior Leadership.

We studied the key predictors of performance for the role and were able to establish a benchmark using the pre-hire assessments. Using the custom-benchmarked assessment designed to showcase the important information, recruiters felt they were better prepared to identify candidates more quickly based on the key drivers.

The recruiters also received reports that provided further specific individual interview questions, which ultimately enriched the recruiter experience as well as improve the Time to Hire.

4. Improved Turnover

In discussions with various team leaders and managers, a common thread had appeared. Staff Turnover was a major problem, a major cost and one that they were being held responsible for. Far too often, candidates who didn’t really fit either the role or the industry had made it through the previous system, and regularly left the company to float onto the next job. Weeding these wasters out would be a major and significant improvement.

Some team leaders shared with us the number of people who left the organisation at the conclusion of a training period, having been paid to be trained, with some having no intention of staying on in the role. These individuals saw it as a stop gap opportunity to earn some money till the next opportunity presented itself. The team leaders and managers saw this as a massive cost and severe impact upon their metrics and one that needed to be stopped.

Measurable and Tangible Benefits

Our Screen™ pre-employment assessment clearly identified the best-suited candidates and helped to dramatically improve the bottom line by reducing staff turnover rates along with associated costs wasted on the wrong selection decisions.

In this particular Case Study, the hires who had gone through our Screen™ assessment in the screening and selection phases reflected a highly credible 40% reduction in staff turnover numbers. This number was reflected in annualised savings of over $2,700,000 for this client.

It is this significant number that reinforced the validity of the pressure that senior management was placing on the business, its leaders and managers.

It is important to note that the client company only invested a fraction of that number on the use of our Screen™ Pre-employment assessment platform. Therefore, the business case proving the use of Screen™ and the cost savings it generated was of major significance and importance to the profitable running of the company.

5. Increased Productivity

It is obvious that having the right people in the right role has a direct bearing upon results. One of the most indispensable benefits of using our assessments in the screening and selection process is increased productivity!

Our client used our Screen™ assessment benchmarked to their current top performers in call centre sales positions. This both allowed and ensured that they could hire future staff with a focus on replicating success, using those metrics and solid data points.

The benchmarked assessment identified which qualities were essential for top performers in their specific organisation and helped them assess those qualities against incoming candidates, setting them up for repeating that success.

It also meant that they were able to compare all other staff against those metrics and determine whether, and how, they fitted the model of success. The client was aiming for a full team, who fitted the model and hence improve performance and results.

As a result of the benchmarked assessment, our client increased revenue per call by 74%.

In Closing

Whilst this particular case study is focused on a call centre environment, the learnings, outcomes and applications are applicable across many roles, and across all industry sectors with the application of any of our selection assessment tools.

Like our client in this case study, many organisations struggle with handling high volumes of applicants.

The Solution is to Provide Automation

So what would automating the process look like? The flow is as follows:

  • The Screen™ assessment is linked into the client’s website. Branded to the client’s requirements, it will form part of the client organisation’s processes and protocols.
  • Applicants click into the assessment through the client site and complete the Screen™ assessment as part of that initial process.
  • Once completed by the applicant, our platform can automatically generate the reports into the client’s preferred Human Capital Management (HCM) System.

Easy, fast, accurate, straightforward, and automatic.

Low touch saves everyone time, and delivering a daily report to the selectors ensures a smooth and problem-free environment. The applicants have a far better experience, plus it also reflects very positively on the client company.

Your pre-employment selection and recruitment tools are easily accessible right here.

You can find out more at Validity Assessments or email us at info@validity.group.

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