Selection and Assessment Tools Help Companies Separate the Jewels from the Trinkets

With near double digit unemployment rates, today’s recruiters and hiring mangers are being inundated with hundreds of applicants for every job opportunity. Yet despite such tight economic times, our recent RPO market analysis found that talent acquisition demand continues to be the top HR issue organizations face. So how can someone tasked with hiring sift through volumes of resumes to select only the most viable candidates?

There is an increasing array of selection and assessment tools – both those developed and utilized by RPO providers on their clients’ behalf as well as SaaS purchases leveraged directly by in-house recruiters – in the marketplace. These tools not only assist in identifying those candidates who meet the skills and experience qualifications of a given job and then assess best fit based on multiple criteria, but also considerably reduce cost-to-hire in terms of recruiters’ and hiring managers’ time expenditure.

Let’s look at several examples.

Aon Consulting’s Screen Machine combines applicant tracking, custom assessment and back-office functions appropriate for entry-level and skilled positions, designed for specific industries. It begins by screening applicants for basic skills and job fit followed up by a custom realistic job preview. Next, the applicant must pass an online assessment which measures their work habits, dependability and retention likelihood. If qualified, the applicant schedules himself or herself for an interview. 

Kenexa Performance Indicators is a web-based suite of pre-employment assessment tools designed to identify prospective employees who have a propensity to be engaged, to work well in a team and to demonstrate excellent customer service orientation. It and other Kenexa offerings help organizations select and retain top performers based on seven key areas that predict individual performance and potential – experience, skills, abilities, personality, motivation, judgment and culture fit.

An offshore services provider uses a Predictive Index tool which measures each candidate across four distinct parameters per a software-based test completed by the candidate. The system-generated scores are used to determine the suitability of each candidate for a specific job.

We believe the use of candidate selection and assessment tools will increase, not only today when there is such a job applicant glut, but also after the current economic crisis subsides. It makes sound business sense to continually develop and leverage new and improved automated tools to reduce the number of potential candidates to only those who meet key specified criteria.

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

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2 Comments on “Selection and Assessment Tools Help Companies Separate the Jewels from the Trinkets”


  1. I agree that the use of assessments will increase. In fact, our assessment business has grown during this down turn. Companies realize that the same tools they use for selection can also help with leadership development.

  2. Gary Bragar Says:

    Steve, thanks very much for your confirmation and good point that the same tools can be used for leadership development. I believe that will be an increased emphasis as companies begin to focus more on full talent management, and not just hiring, to develop and retain their talent.


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