More employers turning to assessment software when hiring

Survey shows majority use it to determine if a candidate is a good fit for the company

Posted October 8, 2015

As the war for talent escalates amid an improving economy and falling unemployment, employers around the country are looking for any advantage that will give them the upper hand in finding and keeping the best workers. According to one new survey, a large percentage of companies believe that advantage can be found in employee assessment software.

In the survey conducted among 300 human resources executives by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., 40 percent said they are already using software to aid in their hiring determinations. And, those not using the software apparently would like to, as 80 percent of all respondents said it is a useful tool and should continue to be a part of the hiring process.

"To avoid hiring missteps, more and more companies are turning to assessment software, which has become increasingly sophisticated at revealing things about candidates that could be easily overlooked in a screening and interview process that relies solely on humans," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The Challenger survey found that 39 percent of companies using assessment software, use it to determine if a candidate is a good fit for the company overall. Meanwhile, another 35 percent use it to decide if a job seeker is a good fit for a specific role.

The vast majority of respondents using assessment software seriously consider the results, with 67 percent saying they take the results "very much into consideration" when hiring a candidate. Another 13 percent said the results completely influence their decisions.

Furthermore, 75 percent of hiring managers who utilize hiring software have rejected a candidate who otherwise seemed like a good fit for the role and company.

While a high percentage of respondents liked the idea of using software, there were about 20 percent who remained wary of using assessment software in hiring decisions.

"An over-reliance on this software could lead to ineffective interview tactics down the line, and depending on the design and accuracy of the software, it may eliminate candidates who are actually a perfect fit for the role. In one instance described by a survey respondent, a candidate who had more than the requisite education was overlooked because the software didn't ask for the specific certification," offered Challenger.

"For companies that invest beyond the basic level, the ROI appears to be positive. Several respondents noted how useful assessments are to creating individual development plans for the candidates they hire, as well as finding candidates with the performance standards necessary for their industries. Many also expressed that these assessments represent just one data point in a big picture and should not be used as the end-all, be-all in a decision," said Challenger.

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