7 Talent Acquisition Technology Solutions to Assess Quality of Hire (and the Pros and Cons of Each)
Over the last few months, we’ve been talking a lot about quality of hire – what it is, how to measure it, and shared some easy ways to improve it. One of the top ways to improve quality of hire is to leverage technology.
There are numerous solutions that talent experts use to assess quality of hire across a variety of perspectives. Some assess quality from a skills perspective, others from a behavioral perspective, and others through a workplace misconduct perspective. A robust tech stack for measuring quality of hire incorporates each of these perspectives to ensure the candidates you shortlist, evaluate, and select are good-quality.
In this article, we’ll walk through the tools that talent experts use to measure and assess quality of hire. You’ll learn more about the ins and outs of each below to make more informed buying decisions.
#1. Video Interviews
Video interviews allow hiring teams to interview candidates over video. They can be done as live interviews where people meet at the same time, or asynchronously where candidates record themselves answering questions and then hiring teams review responses later on. Either way, video interviews make it convenient for hiring teams to meet with candidates all over the world.
Video interviewing technology has been around for over a decade, and increased in popularity and adoption over the pandemic. Today, HR Tech Analysts, Aptitude Research, are expecting further increases in adoption as companies look for ways to improve hiring outcomes.
It’s important to note that world-renowned business and psychology experts have questioned the validity of interviews, in any format, as an effective measurement of quality of hire. Additionally, technological advances in AI are now making it so easy to cheat on video interviews, that the FBI actually issued a warning to companies around deepfakes interviewing for tech jobs. This will make it substantially harder for talent teams to assess candidates through this technology alone.
- Easy to use, administer, and review
- Easy for hiring teams to meet with candidates all over the world
- Convenient for candidates who work long-hours while job hunting
- Much of the technology is integrated into existing systems and offer mobile applications
- Great options for people with limited mobility - whether due to disability or geography
- Interviews aren’t great measures of candidate success or quality
- Asynchronous interviews lack a human touch and create a poor candidate experience
- Easy to “cheat” with recent technology advancements
- Often leverages biased AI, facial recognition, and behavioral queues to score and rank candidates
#2. Pre-hire Assessments
Assessments have been used by talent teams for many years to assess all kinds of things – behaviors, motivations, skills, technical abilities, handwriting, and more. Several different types of exams are used to get information about candidates' blindspots or weaknesses.
At the same time, candidates don’t like being asked to take assessments. Aptitude Research found that 60% of companies say that their assessments take over 45 minutes to complete, and companies struggle to get candidates to take the tests. That may be why nearly 20% of companies are replacing their assessment solutions this year.
This also doesn’t take into account cheating, which is easier than ever with today’s access to technology. Our recent article, What Talent Acquisition Needs to Know About Quality of Hire: The Connection Between Workplace Misconduct and Quality of Hire, mentions the fact that ChatGPT has passed major examinations for the first time. It really makes one question how good will behavioral assessments be now that ChatGPT can pass the MCAT and get into medical school?
- Can be used to assess a variety of qualities, capabilities, and attributes
- They are easy for companies to administer and grade
- With a trained person analyzing results in an unbiased manner, they can help companies understand candidate behaviors, skills, and more
- Poor candidate experience and take a long time for candidates to complete
- People have always found ways to cheat on exams, and technology advances make cheating even easier
- Analyzing results require specific training
#3. Job Simulations
Job simulations are programs that bring candidates through scenarios to see, measure, and assess how candidates will handle a variety of situations they may encounter at work. They help talent acquisition teams observe how a candidate behaves in a work environment.
What’s great about these solutions is they can provide a realistic view of specific aspects of the job. This allows hiring teams to see how candidates would behave and respond in those specific situations. Additionally, the more advanced solutions will come with a grading rubric to help talent teams fairly evaluate candidates.
That said, it’s important to understand pitfalls, as well. Due to the technical nature of these assessments, these solutions may create barriers to entry for administrators and candidates that are less technically savvy. This and the fact that evaluating candidates through these solutions can be a challenge may increase bias in the hiring process - whether intended or not. Beyond that, simulations also only provide insight into specific scenarios of a position, so the scope of the assessment can be limited. Overall, this is a pretty new type of technology and Aspect43’s 2022 Talent Acquisition Tech Guide reports adoption is low.
- Provides a realistic view of certain aspects of the job
- Can give insights into a candidates behavior in specific situations
- May include a grading and evaluation system to help assess candidates
- Low adoption of technology
- May extend time to hire by adding an extra step for candidates during the hiring process
- Simulations only provide insight into specific scenarios so the scope is limited
- May require more technical capabilities for set up and use, which creates potentially unnecessary barriers for admin and candidates
- Any bias the tool has will show up in your hiring process
- Can be costly, depending on the customizations required
#4. Background Checks
Traditional background checks are one of the oldest and most adopted screening solutions on the market, according to HR.com’s The Future of Recruitment Technologies 2023. And with good-reason, too. They help organizations verify candidates' work, educational, criminal, and financial histories, which can be extremely important when bringing a new hire on board.
That said, it’s important to understand the limitations. Because they are done after an offer has been extended, traditional background checks lengthen the time to hire. They also miss crimes that aren’t recorded through the legal system. This could increase bias in the hiring process, potentially because of injustices in the justice system. This is why California just introduced a bill that would ban most criminal background checks in the state.
- Easy way to verify identity, credentials, and more
- Modern technology makes this very easy to use
- Integrated into existing processes and technologies
- Regulations around background checks are changing, like in California
- Extends time to hire
- Returns results that are as biased as the criminal justice system
- Doesn’t return results that haven’t been recorded in the databases being screened for
#5. Drug Testing
Drug tests are a way for employers to test whether candidates or employees have recently used any illicit drugs. While many companies today choose to opt out of drug tests, these pre-employment screens do have some benefits. The AddictionCenter shared that drug abuse and addiction cost American companies $81 billion every year. Drug use can sometimes harm the workforce by leading to inhibited behaviors, impaired decision making, or even cover ups that lead to corruption and other misconduct at work. This is why some employers still test for drugs, especially in regulated industries and positions like truck drivingand airline piloting.
At the same time, the decriminalization and de-stigmatization of drugs in recent years has made many employers pause testing for drugs during the screening process. The fact that many substances are no longer a crime and stigmas aren’t as strong means there will be less misconduct as part of cover ups.
- Allows employers to identify candidates with certain substance abuse issues
- Can reduce workplace accidents and misconduct
- Many industries regulate drugs and testing may keeps companies in compliance
- Many candidates believe drug tests are an invasion of privacy
- Deters candidates from continuing on in the process
- Might not catch candidates that use drugs if they stop using them before their test
- Extends time to hire
#6. Reference Checks
Reference checks provide an opportunity to gather feedback from current or past coworkers of your candidates, which can be a helpful part of the hiring process. However, hiring experts Freesia Chen, Keirsten Greggs, and Robin Schooling shared some pitfalls during a recent ERE webinar, Improving Quality of Hire by Evaluating Candidate Behaviors. As an example, most candidates only share references from people they know will say good things. This makes it hard to assess the authenticity of the feedback.
- Potential for insights into a candidate’s skills or behaviors at work
- Technology automates this previously-manual, time consuming process
- Candidates know how to play the system to provide only good references
- Compliance regulations may limit what past employers can say
- Makes candidates who are already working during their job hunt uncomfortable that their employer will find out about their search
- Reaching out to a candidate’s existing employer for a reference may alert them the candidate is looking, and may make hiring the candidate more competitive
#7. Online Screening Solutions
Online screening works similar to your traditional background check and is a great option for screening candidates where they already are - online. These solutions screen for critical workplace misconduct issues like violence, crime, threats, harassment, fraud, drugs, and more. These solutions are a great way to assess quality of hire from a workplace misconduct perspective.
What’s more – many managers and hiring teams are already Googling or friending candidates on Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more about them. This is extremely problematic for many reasons. First, it can be challenging to know if the information your hiring team finds on their own actually belongs to a candidate and not someone else with the same name. Second, because you can’t hide protected class information during a manual search, this opens the door for bias and unlawful hiring decisions and subsequent discrimination lawsuits. Finally, it can take a long time and surface insufficient results.
By using a 3rd-party vendor, hiring teams can screen candidates for workplace misconduct issues based on your organization's unique code of conduct without the compliance risk of doing it on your own.
- Prevents workplace misconduct
- Removes protected class information to keep you compliant
- Provides insight into a candidate’s values and behaviors before onboarding
- More reliable insights about the candidate than references
- One of the most cost effective types of background checks
- Catches misconduct and crime not recorded in the criminal justice system
- Less advanced solutions can take several days and extend quality of hire
- Less advanced solutions don’t properly hide protected class information
- Less advanced solutions can take a long time to return results
When it comes to recruiting, obtaining a deep understanding of your next hire is crucial. This knowledge not only fosters trust and paves the way for successful, mutually beneficial relationships but also safeguards your organization’s reputation, brand, and profits.
Companies can better assess quality of candidates by using technology. The right tech stack can help organizations get those deeper insights and weed out poor-quality applicants, which reduces the cost of bad hires. Solutions approach quality of hire from different perspectives – whether from a skills perspective, experience and credentials, and even workplace misconduct. A robust HR tech stack includes a mix of video interviews, pre-hire assessments, background checks, reference checks, drug tests, as well as online screening solutions.
Hiring can be a lengthy process, and there’s no guarantee that someone who looks great on paper will suit the role in practice. That said, the right tech stack can help your talent organization make hiring great people easy.
For more tips on improving quality of hire, this article can help.