Leveraging science & technology to hire the right candidate

Publication: Silicon India
January 8, 2021

The world was compelled to move offices home, cubicles to study tables, and offline to online modes during the pandemic. Yet, few changes have been made to hiring processes across sectors. While traditional hiring methods remain in suspended animation due to the pandemic, it is time to devise newer methods, and leverage scientific methods to hire the ideal candidate.

Digital transformation is inevitable. Organisations had begun using online tools even before the onset of the pandemic; the pandemic only accelerated digital adoption much sooner than planned. In recruitment, as we witness an emergence of green shoots in hiring, there is still a lot of ambiguity around remote hiring and its efficacy. A large section believes it is difficult to gain accurate insights into a person’s ability and cultural fit while hiring remotely. Most people present themselves well in a job interview, but can an employer truly understand they are hiring the right candidate based on a virtual meeting? Are they the right fit for the team?

A sure-fire way to overcome this predicament is to employ scientifically designed tests which help recruiters understand the interests and personalities of the candidates to find the best fit. Traditional assessment practices like phone screening or in-person discussions make it hard to gain insights into a candidate’s capacity to tackle issues and is time-consuming. Matching the right people for the right positions lies at the heart of building strong teams rooted in critical abilities and competencies. The biggest challenge is finding candidates with the right technical as well as soft skills essential for the job role.

How Scientific Methods can help find the Right Candidate for a Role
Scientifically designed assessments accurately assess candidates’ skills across the employee life cycle — from selection to training, retention, and development. They ensure that favouritism and human error is minimised, the results can be trusted to predict future behaviours and performances, and each candidate is assessed equally and fairly. Recruiters prefer to use objective and unbiased recruitment tests that give well-rounded information about a candidate’s cognitive and behavioural skills, and domain knowledge.

Cognitive Assessments
Cognitive assessments help organisations evaluate a candidate’s abilities to solve problems, trainability, and ability to comprehend ideas. These assessments can accurately predict a candidate’s capabilities and are a critical indicator of success in their vocational and knowledge-based roles. They test a candidate’s analytical ability, verbal proficiency, quantitative aptitude, problem-solving skills, reasoning abilities, situational judgement, and emotional intelligence. The final score can indicate how well an applicant will perform on the job and learn during training.

The cognitive assessment test enables the selection of high-quality talent and improves the job success ratio. They are widely used in the education and employment sectors. These assessments have been developed over years and are continuously improved to accurately determine a person’s fitment in a job. It gives a picture of the skills necessary to perform the job efficiently and manage the productivity levels. With cognitive assessments, an organisation can analyse the abilities of many applicants simultaneously and identify candidates with the ideal cognitive skills. The ease of conducting these assessments is phenomenal, with capabilities to be rendered on any mobile device.

Behavioural Assessments
An applicant’s aptitude for a job might make him a perfect fit for a job, but that is not all an organisation needs. They should also fit the company’s culture and succeed on the job. A failure to assess the behavioural traits of a candidate can lead to costly mis-hires, high attrition rates and affect the morale of everybody they work with. Behavioural assessments include a series of scientifically-designed questions and scenarios. Including them in the hiring process will help organisations better understand the temperament of a candidate.

These assessments are based on validated and reliable psychometric frameworks such as Holland’s career interest, Herzberg’s motivational model, the big five personalities, and Blake Mouton’s managerial grid to assist organisations in gaining an unbiased understanding of a candidate’s behaviour and social skills. They test an individual’s personality, critical thinking, creativity, leadership abilities and behavioural traits such as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

The behavioural assessment tests differ for each job role. They form an integral part of the recruitment process in determining an applicant’s fit for a work culture, team fit and predict their performance. As different roles expect different sets of skills and aptitudes, tests have to be carefully selected and adjusted to suit the job requirement. Experienced assessment services companies have developed robust frameworks and models in this space that can be completely administered online and remotely.

The need of the hour is to revolutionise the hiring process using technology. The time and effort of screening candidates can be maximised with digitalisation of the hiring ecosystem – it’s adept and economical. The use of scientifically designed assessments ensure that the right candidates are selected quickly, thereby curtailing the long-term risks of a wrong hire as well. These guarantee that more objective and data-driven decisions are made that can even help boost employee retention over a longer period of time. With the pandemic raging on and work from home becoming the norm, this shift towards digital tools for employee hiring and onboarding will lead to more efficient and effective ways of recruitment across industries.