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There’s no need to compromise when it comes to assessment

The latest paper in our Assessment Insights Series talks about compromise. We find there is a bigger and bigger disconnect between what companies need, and what their assessment processes are set up to achieve, and so they end up with a compromise.

That compromise might be on candidate experience, on outcomes for the business, or meeting the demands of varied stakeholders. Of course, there will always be factors to balance but with the technology that’s available to us we shouldn’t have to compromise on the most important factor – business outcomes.

In this post I’d like to share with you some examples that I talked about on our recent webinar, Re-Making Assessment for the Digital World, where we’ve helped clients towards business goals by using Sova’s whole-person assessment.

Zurich Insurance Group

The Swiss-based insurance giant’s TA team wanted to make three key changes to their assessment process. They wanted to move to a mobile-friendly single assessment, to address a gender-balance issue that was being evidenced in their existing process and to make cost savings.

What does success look like at Zurich? Our research drove us towards values, behaviours and ability questions. The new process is a ‘whole-person’ mobile-first assessment that has generated the right outcomes:

  • Balanced gender selection 50/50
  • Better calibre of hires at assessment centre so the team can make more offers per centre and therefore run fewer assessment centres which has led to cost savings
  • Reduced spend on assessment centres by 40%


Another insurance sector client, RSA, found that attrition was being driven by good candidates who accepted an offer but weren’t prepared for the job. The TA team therefore wanted to give applicants a realistic job preview. RSA also wanted to identify their high performers efficiently and effectively through assessment. And, given the pace of hiring in contact centres, they needed a swift process.

What does success look like at RSA? Our research led us to create a process that included video content, SJT’s and an automated report for each candidate. Videos were hosted by people already doing the job. As a result of the change:

  • Candidates offers at assessment centre went from 1:3 to 1:2 for claims handlers
  • Candidates offers at assessment centre went from 1:3 to 2: 3 for customer service advisors
  • Predicted high performers with 80% accuracy
  • Attrition levels dropped


International bank, Santander was suffering from high attrition in contact centre and customer advisor roles. In an agile job market, candidates want to decide quickly and so a speedy hiring process is essential. Good candidates who find themselves in a lengthy process frequently drop-out.

What does success look like at Santander? Our research led us to replace the two-stage process with a single whole-person assessment that was followed by an instant candidate report. The switch has created positive business outcomes for the business:

  • Completion time reduced from 11 days to 1.5 days
  • Completion rates increased to 68%
  • Gender balance remained at 50/50
  • Offer ratio up from 5:10 to 8:10 offers at assessment centre
  • 89% accuracy in predicting high performers

This is whole-person assessment

At Sova, our approach to assessment avoids trade-offs. We make sure the assessment content is specifically relevant to the role, the organisation and the organisational context. We build the solution into a single assessment that takes 20- to 30 minutes to complete.

Feedback from candidate is that more than 90% find the experience engaging and that the assessment has given a positive impression of the hiring organisation – which increases the likelihood of them accepting an offer.

We break up the content by introducing videos about the organisation and life in the role, plus realistic job previews, and ‘thank yous’ to the candidate as we bear in mind that they’re likely to be applying for multiple roles.

Whole-person assessment is a great way for organisations to showcase what they have to offer and what it’s really like to work there – it’s a communication tool as well as an assessment process. Importantly, as well as creating a great candidate experience, you don’t need to compromise on outcomes.

To find out more about whole—person assessment, download our latest white paper, An introduction to Whole-Person Assessment.

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