12 Assessment Tools That Will Help You Hire the Best Candidates Quickly (and Fairly)

January 14, 2019

Nearly everyone wants to shake up the traditional interview, according to the our Global Recruiting Trends report. Talent acquisition professionals note that conventional interviews often reinforce existing biases, have a limited ability to assess soft skills, and are unreliable. Besides, they’re often not much fun.

But there’s now a chance to swap the test of wills that interviews have become for an actual test of talent.

The fast-growing roster of online assessment tools holds the possibility of making the hiring process easier, more productive, and even more enjoyable, helping companies target candidates who have the skills and temperaments to be successful. Assessment tools range from broad personality tests to aptitude tests aimed specifically at delivery boys. (Boys?! Apparently, some vestiges of the early 20th century linger in even the most cutting-edge of technology).

Here are 12 tools to consider for assessing your candidates:

1. Applied

Kate Glazebrook, the co-founder and CEO of Applied, found traditional CV sifting an unsatisfactory way to find talent. She worked with a team of behavioral scientists to create her company’s platform, which includes timed assessments that allow a company to avoid bias in their initial look at a candidate.

In an interview with The New York Times, Glazebrook said the platform also allows recruiters to “anonymize applications, chunk them up into batches to allow for better comparative assessment, randomize candidates to avoid ordering effects, and allow multiple evaluators to contribute their scores independently to harness the wisdom of the crowd.”

2. Codility

Customers in over 1,000 companies in 62 countries have done more than 5.5 million coding assessments using Codility’s technical recruiting platform, which automates sourcing, screening, and interviewing. “With Codility,” says Stefan Begall, Volvo’s director of recruitment, “we can accurately assess the skills of candidates while improving our candidate interactions and their overall experience during the hiring process.”

3. eSkill

eSkill is the Swiss Army knife of online skills assessments. The company’s customizable tests cover specific job requirements for roles in HR, sales, administration, IT, and accounting in industries ranging from health care to hospitality, more than 500 professional subjects all told. eSkill has more than 4,000 customers around the globe — from Coca-Cola to Zappos, FedEx to Paychex.

4. HackerRank

Ten years ago, Vivek Ravisankar and Hari Karunanidhi were software engineers at Amazon (Kindle) and IBM, respectively, who were frustrated by the time they were spending on engineering interviews. Today, their company, HackerRank, offers a platform that helps companies find the best available engineers and software developers. HackerRank allows companies an opportunity to use coding assessments in over 35 programming languages. Amazon, Twitter, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, and more than 1,000 other companies have already used HackerRank’s tools.

5. HireSelect

Earlier this year, Criteria Corp. rolled out a new version of its SaaS-based product, HireSelect, that allows for web-based pre-employment testing. HireSelect has assessments for aptitude (cognitive, mechanical, and attention skills), basic skills (from typing to numeric entry), and personality (including a sales achievement predictor), all reviewed and refined by the company’s scientific advisory board. Criteria offers tiered pricing based on a company’s size so that it’s accessible to smaller businesses. HireSelect has recommended tests for 1,100 positions, ranging from loan officers to correctional officers, human resource managers to warehouse managers.

6. Interview Mocha

Interview Mocha offers over 1,000 skill tests for coding, enterprise resource planning, finance, languages, manufacturing, and retail, among others. Some of its most popular skills tests include the Big Data Pig Test, Java Coding, Bank Teller Aptitude Test, and Salesforce CRM Test. Customers can go into the skills test library and curate their own assessment or ask Interview Mocha to assemble a customized test. The company also offers assessment integration and candidate ranking tools.

7. Koru

The 2015 GeekWire Startup of the Year, Seattle-based Koru puts its philosophy — “Grit over grades” — into action by offering companies a 20-minute online assessment they can use to get a read on where candidates rank on seven key soft skills: grit, ownership, curiosity, polish, teamwork, rigor, and impact. Candidates answer questions about past experience, work style, and work scenarios. They are then ranked against other candidates by algorithms that compare their scores with those of a company’s top performers.

8. Mettl

Companies looking for tech talent can turn to Mettl’s extensive battery of assessments for back-end, front-end, and full-stack skills to measure code correctness, time, and space complexity. Mettl offers assessments for retail, legal, financial, and even “delivery boys,” but the company’s offerings are particularly deep in engineering (chemical, mechanical, electrical, civil, etc.) and software development, including an array of programming languages that includes JavaScript, Java, SQL, C#, Perl, Ruby, Python, and many others.

9. Plum

At the $5 million 43North startup competition in 2015, Plum beat out 11,000 other entrants to win the grand prize. Plum deploys over 24 trillion behavioral data points in its proprietary database to help companies hire the right candidates, retain them, and make evidence-based development and culture decisions. Plum offers a six-minute survey for hiring teams to define the behavioral needs for any unfilled role. Then it provides applicants with a personality and cognitive ability test, which leads to every candidate receiving an individualized talent profile. Those talent profiles are then matched against the needs of the role to determine the best candidates.

10. Predictive Index

In 2016, Recruiter.com rounded up its “Top 10 Tools for Building a Strong Talent Pipeline” and The Predictive Index ranked No. 3. “[I]t can actually serve a pretty critical role in your pipelining efforts — especially when it comes to matching the right candidates to the right jobs,” Recruiter.com said. The Massachusetts-based business works with more than 8,000 companies to help them understand what drives workplace behavior and to strategize about how to harness that learning.

11. Pymetrics

A 6-year-old startup founded by two Harvard- and MIT-trained neuroscientists, Pymetrics offers games that can be used to assess soft skills, measuring 90 cognitive and emotional traits. The Pymetrics tool measures a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and uses algorithms to benchmark them against a company’s top performers. The games take about 20 minutes and lead to a great candidate experience. At the end of 2017, The New York Times bestowed a first-ever Actually Good Tech Award on Pymetrics for making “the hiring process fairer” and for putting “applicants from nontraditional backgrounds on more equal footing.”

12. Self Management Group

Toronto-based Self Management Group has assessment tools for accountants, actuaries, analysts, architects, consultants, and lawyers but has made its name primarily as the go-to tool for predicting the performance — and retention — of salespeople. Touting SMG’s availability in more than 40 languages, the Ideal Blog notes that one of its “strengths is the very hard-to-do accurate sales profiling.” The sales version of SMG’s trademarked POP (Predictor of Potential) relies on a database of 10 million previous assessments and has evolved through seven editions.

Final thoughts

Online assessment tools can help you remove some of the biases that creep into the hiring process, making for a fairer experience that produces better long-term results. For companies that feel legal vulnerability, online assessments and the data they produce can make hiring more easily defensible in court.

Coding tests have gotten a lot of attention in this sphere over the last couple of years. Makes sense: Online tests for those building the online world seem like a no-brainer. But whether you’re looking for architects or accountants, salespeople or HR specialists, you may find this the ideal time to put online assessments to the test.

*Image from Applied

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