How many times have you sat in your car during rush hour traffic, looking out to an endless stretch of cars packed tightly together, and thought ‘I’m so lucky that I’ll get home much later than I thought I would!’ If your immediate answer is “I’ve never thought that” then you’re not alone. Nobody likes having something take longer than it should, from being stuck in traffic or waiting for a website to load. And when it comes to the hiring process, the amount of time it takes to complete a pre-hire assessment is no exception. If your job candidates are finding your hiring assessment is lengthy, cumbersome, and repetitive then they too might decide that the process is taking much longer than it should – causing you to miss out on some of the best candidates available.
The Trouble with Time
How long is too long when it comes to measuring length in a hiring assessment? The answer to this question is a frustrating one when you first hear it, because the answer is ‘there is no right answer.’ And that’s true. According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology there is no “one length fits all” answer because the position a candidate applied for, the level of the position, the number of tests, and the length of the interview are all deciding factors. A pre-hire assessment process can range from under an hour to two days.
There’s other challenges too. Specifically, the industry and the type of pre-hire assessment will cause variations in length. An in-basket simulation for an executive role will be vastly different than someone taking an adaptive personality assessment for a contact center role. That’s not unreasonable to expect, but with so many variables in play it’s hard to find a general answer to the question “how long should this assessment take?”
But there’s a reason for that, and it’s because asking if an assessment is too long is only a small part of a much more significant question.
Focus on Results
It is true that having a long pre-hire assessment process may hinder your talent acquisition efforts, turn candidates off, and lead to negative candidate experiences. However, the question shouldn’t be “how long is too long?” it should be “is this pre-hire selection process giving both my company and the candidate everything they need?”
Consider these three points to help evaluate if your pre-employment hiring process is doing that effectively:
- Is the assessment measuring the aptitude of the candidate? Skills to do the work, motivation to do the job, and the ability to put those skills into action. Is your hiring assessment measuring these? If your assessment is doing this effectively, you’re off to a good start because you can link your hiring process to delivering positive business outcomes.
- Is the assessment providing a positive candidate experience? Assessments come in all shapes and sizes, and just because they’re used for hiring purposes doesn’t mean they can’t also be engaging, pleasant experiences. Consider trends like gamification in the hiring process and how making a pre-hire assessment a “game-like experience” can leave a much more positive – and engaging – impression on a candidate.
- What does the candidate think of the process? Collecting feedback and survey data from actual candidates will help you understand the real impact of the length of your pre-hire process on the candidate population. Make sure your survey allows you to measure feedback on each phase of your process. Job candidates may not know (or care) if they are in the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), assessments, or background check process. You will need to know specifics though to be able to make the right changes.
To learn more information about making sure your pre-hire assessments are the right length, contact us today. If you’d like to learn more information about implementing a pre-hire process, download our e-book below on must-ask questions to determine if your company is ready for hiring assessments.
Topics: Better Interviewing