10 of the top candidate assessment tools – and how to choose the best one for your NFP

Do you know what the top predictors of success are for new staff in your NFP?

The evidence shows that when you’re recruiting, there are three things you can do to work out whether someone will do well in the role:

  1. Structured Interviews
  2. Work sample tests
  3. Pre-employment tests/assessment

You’re undoubtably making good use of interviews in your organisation (though many organisations continue to use unstructured interview questions like “What is your greatest strength/weakness?” which research shows aren’t a good predictor of success”.)

But how about pre-employment tests? In the age of “Big Data”, there are new tools emerging every day that use data collected from thousands – or millions – of people to show you how your potential hire compares across a variety of evaluation areas and metrics.

Given that different tools provide immense value in different areas and for different organisations, how do you choose between them?

An article for software company Workable rounds up 10 top candidate assessment tools available online, right now.

They are:

  • The Athena quotient – Measures a candidates’ judgement based on the notion that sound judgement skills are what make people good at their jobs.
  • The Berke assessment – This customisable test gauges personality and intelligence, allowing you to compare candidates’ traits against a list of desirable qualities.
  • Codility and Test Dome – For recruiting software developers, these tests allows a non-tech recruiter to specifically assess and compare candidates via coding challenges.
  • HireSelect – Provides aptitude, personality and skills tests designed by Harvard psychologists.
  • HR Avatar – Measures things like cognitive ability and job knowledge through simulation-based tests.
  • Saberr – Assesses a candidate’s cultural fit by measuring their values against your organisation’s.
  • Sales Assessment by the Objective Management Group (OMG) – This is a sales-specific candidate assessment tool, which would be relevant for NFFs that have a social enterprise arm, but also could provide valuable insights for hiring fundraisers, who need similar skills to salespeople.
  • Skillsarena – Provides psychometric tests, including situational judgement (assessing a candidate’s ability to choose the most appropriate action in workplace situations) and character (showing how personality profiles drive aspects of behaviour)
  • Wonscore – Delves into a candidate’s motivation, personality and cognitive ability/intelligence.
  • Revelian – Provides a variety of candidate tests including cognitive ability or general mental ability (GMA), personality & behaviour,  emotional intelligence, work reliability (integrity), and cultural fit tests.

So many options! The question, however, remains: how do you choose which test is the right one for your NFP’s needs? In determining this, here are four key questions to ask:

1)  What do you need to know about your people?

Is the right personality key to the role for which you’re hiring? Or is success in the position more contingent on skills, numerical or verbal reasoning or something else entirely?

Once you have a grasp on what you want to measure, you can begin to identify the tools that will provide the data you’re looking for – and help you make a more informed decision.

2) Will the tool’s design sit well with candidates?

Regardless of whether they’re successful or not, it’s critical that every candidate walks away having had a good experience with your organisation’s recruitment process.

But applying the wrong recruitment assessment tool – ones that are illogical, not challenging enough or clumsy – could dent the impression your NFP gives to candidates, which in turn could negatively impact your employer brand.

3) Does it integrate with your existing processes?

There’s no use adopting an assessment tool that doesn’t feed in smoothly to the systems your organisation already has in place. However you record assessments for candidate interviews, consider how the tool and its results will integrate with your system current to allow you to combine the results of all your assessment tools?

4) How in-depth – and in what format – does your feedback need to be?

Once the candidate has been tested, do you need the recruiting assessment tool to provide in-depth reporting? Or do you seek a tool that evaluates answers and presents the results as a simple number or ranking or candidates? These tools often aren’t cheap, so this is also an important consideration before choosing which tool you’ll move forward with.

5) So you’ve chosen an assessment tool – now how do you use it?

The benefit of candidate assessment tools is that they are measurable and more objective than some other recruitment methods, such as unstructured interviews, and also provide insights that interviews or work tests can’t provide.

But they still have their limits. For instance, some assessment tools can be perceived as intrusive (like personality tests), or it’s possible that some could actually be discriminatory.

Further, many tests – particularly skills-based ones – only measure current knowledge, failing to determine a candidate’s willingness, ability and excitement to learn into the future.

That’s why it’s crucial not only to choose the right assessment tool, but to use it in conjunction with the other recruitment methods.

Ultimately, any well-designed candidate assessment tool should be able to improve your not-for-profit’s hiring practices. But the biggest impact can be found by seeking out and applying the rights tools that meet all your particular recruitment needs.

Does your organisation use candidate assessment tools? Which have you found to be the most useful? Let us know in the comments below!

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