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Help your candidates out of the hurdle race

You could describe traditional assessment processes as a bit like a hurdle race. Candidates complete one narrowly focused test at a time and at each stage some fall out of the race. Those that clear the hurdle face the next one. Those that make the final hurdle get to interview.

However, there are a number of reasons why the hurdle race doesn’t deliver the best for candidates or the business. In the latest paper in our Assessment Insights series, we explain why and we introduce the idea of whole-person assessment.

Using whole-person assessment, you can measure all the factors that matter at once, through one assessment, fairly and objectively. This helps get your candidates out of the hurdle race that can be damaging to your selection and development process.

The hurdles

A hurdled approach means candidates may become excluded from an assessment process based on criteria that have little to do with their potential for success in a role:

Hurdle #1 Wrong priorities: Each stage of the race is considered in isolation and not necessarily in order of priority. If you assess for numerical reasoning early on and discount all those who are poor at maths, you’ll never know whether they’re a customer-focused team-player.

Hurdle #2 Poor social mobility: Starting the race with CV and following it with ability tests is in effect putting up socio-economic hurdles that allow bias into the process. Academic achievement and verbal and numerical reasoning are linked to education opportunities, and therefore those from more disadvantaged backgrounds will be less well-prepared.

Hurdle #3 Focus on the past: Many assessment models have their roots in IQ testing which is not a predictor of success in a role. This is a legacy of paper-based process and has little relevance to organisations aiming to build a workforce for the future.

Hurdle #4 Low engagement: If an assessment is too far removed from a role, candidates are less invested in the process because they don’t understand its relevance. A low level of engagement can increase drop-outs.

Hurdle #5 Compromise: The limitations of technology can mean organisations end up making compromises. That might be a compromise on candidate experience, organisational context or meeting the demands of varied stakeholders. These trade-offs result in poorer assessment outcomes.

Measuring what matters

Assessment journeys that generate the best outcomes for all have some common characteristics. They:

  • Are outcomes led – built around what organisations need from candidates now and in the future
  • Are future focused – so organisations can understand how much ‘stretch’ people have to cope in a rapidly changing environment
  • Reduce adverse impact – offering a bias-free process that is built around potential and predictors of success
  • Enable you to get to know candidates quickly – by providing a rounded view of every candidate from the outset

Whole-person assessment blends a range of questions including ability, personality and situational judgement together into one assessment. Whole person assessment isn’t restricted by legacy models or by frameworks anchored in the past, so it can provide a future-focused view of people and potential. Plus, feedback from candidates is that more than 90% find the experience engaging and that the assessment has given a positive impression of the hiring organisation.

Our new whitepaper offers up some questions for you to audit your own assessment solution to check it’s delivering what you really need and avoiding the hurdled approach. Download the paper to test your approach in terms of:

  1. Extent to which it’s based around positive outcomes
  2. Systems used to connect data and the onward development journey
  3. Ability to predict success
  4. Efficiencies for candidates and the internal team
  5. Success at tackling bias

To find out more about whole-person assessment, download An introduction to whole-person assessment.

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