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A case for using pre-recruitment assessments in your recruiting process



Traditional methods of hiring require lengthy and expensive interviews for the employer to find the right candidate. Pre-recruitment assessments have proven to be of immense help in cutting down on time to hire and improving the quality of hires.


In most large organizations, time-to-fill is the most important metric to measure recruiting team's performance. At the same time, we all know there is a quality element to focus on as well.


Consider this scenario described below:

  • Week one: Komal applies for an opening advertised on your LinkedIn feed. She is a top-tier candidate.

  • Week two: Her details are passed on to a recruiter. Your recruiter does a phone screen and passes the resume to the hiring manager.

  • Week three: The hiring manager finally reviews the resume and agrees that Komal should be one of the eight candidates to be interviewed. The recruiter schedules the interview slots for all eight candidates for the following week.

  • Week four: The interview takes place, and the hiring manager wants to bring four candidates, including Komal, back for the second round with a department head requesting this position.

  • Week five: Komal appears for an interview with the department head. After interviewing all four candidates, the hiring manager decides to extend an offer to Komal. He contacts HR to assist with the offer process and to obtain the necessary approvals.

  • Week six: Before receiving the offer, Komal is asked to complete a personality assessment that is mandatory for all candidates before they can be offered a position. She scores high in the requisite areas.

  • Week seven: The offer goes out to Komal, but she declines. She just accepted another offer from a competitor.

In this scenario, it can be seen that the recruiting process was too long. Seven weeks for moving from application to final offer for a high potential candidate is not the most efficient way to recruit.


The recruitment funnel for organizations following the approach described above typically has a longer time-to-fill. A deeper analysis of the funnel also suggests that these companies usually work with many applications, which puts an extra workload on recruiting teams.


In the absence of any structured assessment at the top of the funnel, the recruiting manager prefers to meet as many candidates as possible (in the example above, the hiring manager invited eight candidates to fill one position). This leads to a higher application to interview ratio, which slows down the recruiting process even further. The second interview and subsequent personality assessment lead to further loss of time, leading to a longer time-to-fill.


Let's now reimagine the scenario again with a pre-recruitment assessment included in the recruitment process.

  • Week one: Komal applies for an opening advertised on your LinkedIn feed. She is a top-tier candidate. The job advertisement has a link to the pre-recruitment assessment. Komal completes that assessment right at the time of application. Week two: Recruiter compiles a list of top 10 candidates based on their pre-recruitment assessment scores. The shortlist, along with the resumes of these 10 candidates, is shared with the hiring manager. The hiring manager instructs the recruiter to schedule interviews of the top 8 candidates for the next week.

  • Week three: The interview takes place as scheduled. Komal comes out as one of the top 3 candidates suitable for the job. Komal's interview rating complement the scores she got in the pre-recruitment assessment. The personality profiling for Komal is also in line with a preferred profile for the job.

  • Week four: The second-round interview takes place with the department head who has requested this position. After the discussion, the hiring manager decides to extend an offer to Komal. He contacts HR to assist with the offer process and to obtain the necessary approvals.

  • Week five: The offer goes out to Komal, she happily accepts the offer.


Adding pre-recruitment assessment to the recruiting process helps cut down the time to fill by at least 20%. This happens as the recruiter's efforts focus on shortlisted candidates very early in the recruiting process. The pre-recruitment assessment provides scores and data that in turn leads to quicker decision making.


If you are in two minds about using pre-recruitment assessment in your recruiting process, your recruitment funnel data would be a good point to start. As a seasoned recruiter/hiring manager, you will be able to decide for yourself how pre-recruitment assessment can help you up the game.


SmartList pre-recruitment assessments allow you to quickly assess, score and shortlist candidates based on their skills and personality. SmartList lets you assess at scale so that you can make better hiring decisions faster. What used to take months now takes days or hours - for less cost!

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