Creative Ways to Assess Talent During the Hiring Process

Did you know that BenefitMall's services are not limited only to payroll and benefits administration? We also offer a variety of back-office HR services that can make your existing HR department more efficient and productive. Think of the hiring process as just one example.

There is a lot that goes into hiring in the 21st century. What used to be a simple process involving a paper application and a 20-minute interview has become a laborious project that now includes a lot more information and quite a few more steps.

We seek to help our clients streamline the hiring process. So we offer services like:

  • criminal background checks
  • drug and alcohol testing
  • employment verification.

In addition to these services, employee assessments are something that frequently come up in discussions with clients. For the last several decades, employee assessments have been handled via multiple-choice questionnaires that ask potential new hires dozens of questions, many of which are quite repetitive. Answers are run through a complicated algorithm that seeks to determine whether a candidate is a good fit or not.

While such assessments have served employers well for the last couple of decades, they are no longer a good fit for some. We suggest employing more creative ways to assess talent; ways that do not rely on the hiring and recruiting version of a final exam.


1. Real-Life Scenarios

One of the more creative ways employers are assessing new hires is by presenting candidates with real-life scenarios. The idea is to see how the candidate would address those scenarios as an employee. This could mean explaining the proper response or demonstrating it by actually working a full shift.

Employers are looking for clues as to how a candidate thinks. They are looking for specific job skills relating to the position being filled. Candidates that respond well to these real-life scenarios are a better fit than those who do not.


2. Problem-Solving Exercises

Giving candidates problems to solve works just as well as the real-life scenario concept. The problems presented could be directly related to the position being filled or they can be entirely separate. The goal here is to see how well candidates apply the problem-solving skills they possess.

Solving problems is a normal part of everyday life. If a candidate has trouble in this area, he or she may not be a good fit for a position that requires solid problem-solving skills. By the same token, the results of this kind of assessment might reveal that the candidate would be ideal for an entirely different position.


3. Written Essays

Employers can assess talent via the written word by requiring candidates to write essays on particular topics. The written essay approach eliminates some of the time otherwise required for real-life scenarios and problem solving, while also giving the candidate the opportunity to demonstrate suitability in an environment with considerably less pressure.

Essay topics can be job related or entirely random. Essay length can be based on how thoroughly the employer wants the given topic discussed. The beauty of the written essay approach is that there are so many ways to apply it. This approach also allows recruiters to do more in-depth assessments before initial interviews are ever scheduled.

Hiring is not as easy as it once was thanks to so many more steps and layers of evaluation. But it is what it is. Employers need to put in the time and effort if they hope to hire and retain the best talent possible. It is an unavoidable part of doing business in a highly competitive world.