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A successful hire that is well-matched to the needs and dynamics of an organisation will help to increase productivity and profitability. In contrast, the cost of a bad hire is estimated to be three times higher than the salary paid, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

During an era of sector-wide skills shortages and increased competition to secure the best talent, organisations require a robust and effective strategy and the right assessment tools to ensure the right hiring decisions are made.

The CIPD Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey 2021, produced in partnership with Omni, revealed that nearly two-fifths of organisations received more unsuitable applicants for each vacancy this year than they did last year r, with only 14% using tools to enable self-selection.

The survey identified that the majority of organisations use a combination of methods in their selection process, with most including an assessment of previous work history or experience, thorough CV/application screening and appraising qualifications.

In terms of approach to interviewing, competency-based interviews remain the most popular, although fewer report using them this year (60%, down from 76% in 2020). Similarly, fewer reported using purely biographical interviews that follow the contents of a CV or application form in the past year (49%, down from 57% in 2020), continuing a longer term decline. In contrast, the use of strengths-based interviews (while less common overall) has increased (38%, up from 31% in 2020).

Around two-thirds of organisations reported using some form of test, assessment or exercise in their selection process. The use of pre-application assessments remains similar to last year, although the use of verbal and numerical reasoning tests, assessment centres and work-sample tests has declined, no doubt at least partly due to the pandemic and reduced recruitment activity.

Despite objective assessment and scoring criteria reducing bias and enabling a fair assessment of candidates, just 68% of respondents report their line managers do this when recruiting and only 54% reported providing recruitment training for line managers involved in recruitment decisions.

Here, we explore the benefits of implementing the right assessment methodology into your hiring process and how it can help you accurately select the best talent available.


1. Identify the strongest candidates

Assessment tools should be designed to measure whether candidates have the attributes that are predictive of their sucess in the role. Although a CV or application form may be employed well to provide some of the required information, further insight can provide assurance that the candidate is aligned to the requirement in terms of their: experience, skills, behavioural patterns, and how they contribute to the organisational culture, whilst outlining their motivations for the role.

Multifaceted assessment processes should be developed to specifically measure those attributes that are objectively predictive of success. The process should seek to eliminate any criteria that are non-predictive of performance or that are overly subjective. Including irrelevant or subjective criteria in the process not only limits the likelihood of hiring the best person and effectively reduces the talent pool, but can make the hiring process less inclusive and adversely impact diversity objectives.


2. Time and cost savings

Creating a structured process that employs the most appropriate tools to role related criteria significantly increases the likelihood of the best hiring decision being made efficiently. Not only can this help to significantly shorten the selection process, but it may also reduce the expense of a prolonged talent search where hiring managers may be reticent to make an offer in lieu of ‘seeing who else might be on the market’, due to the fact they do not have confidence in the assessment process.


3. Create a better candidate experience

Candidates want to know they have been treated fairly and their suitability for the role is measured accurately. An accessible assessment tool that is transparently measuring something that the candidate is aware of is paramount to a candidate’s performance. . Whether implemented at the pre-employment or interview stage, this can help to improve a candidate’s impression of the organisation.

Additionally, assessment processes should be created to enhance and differentiate the employer brand. This can have a huge impact on the calibre of candidates you can attract, engage with and ultimately hire. A candidate is very likely to base much of their decision as to whether to progress to the next stage of the recruitment process, or accept an offer, on their experience of the assessments they complete at each stage.


4. Harness data to make better decisions

In the race to secure the right talent, employers must make informed and impartial decisions based on data. Taking a structured approach to assessment where standardised ratings are provided against objective, role related criteria allows this to happen and helps organisations to build an evidence base of data pertaining to each role they recruit for. In turn, this can inform future hiring strategies, with implications not only for assessment but also job design and candidate attraction.


5. Improve employee retention

A candidate that is better aligned to the role, and in particular, is confident that they are able to deploy their authentic strengths well,whilst feeling aligned to the broader organisational culture, is likely to feel more engaged, more likely to remain in role longer and to seek opportunities to develop within the organisation long-term. There is also evidence that shows the new hire’s view of their own recruitment experience impacts their feelings towards the organisation, and even their performance once they are in role. For example, candidates that report a more positive experience in the recruitment process perform better, on average, than those that report a poor hiring journey.


Helping you identify the best talent

Omni Assess is the dedicated assessment practice within Omni’s Resourcing Transformation Consultancy. We support organisations to achieve better outcomes through being able to deliver more effective, fairer, more inclusive, more engaging and more reliable talent assessments that

enhance talent acquisition, talent development and talent management activities. For more information, contact James Crichton, Head of Assessment, on james.crichton@omnirms.com.

You can also download your copy of the CIPD Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey here.