HR pros lack confidence in skills assessments, SHRM/Mercer study says
- HR professionals don't have much confidence in their organizations' ability to assess entry-level candidates' skills, according to a new report from Mercer and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Entry-Level Applicant Job Skills Survey reports that only one-fifth of the more than 520 survey respondents trusted assessment methods.
- The survey also found that less than half of employers use selection tests for entry-level hiring (42%), which is described as one of the most accurate indicators of performance, and few test for personality (13%) and cognitive ability (10%). Instead, most rely on resumes and interviews.
- The researchers concluded that skills assessment could benefit from advanced technologies, using such tools as high-fidelity simulations, gamification and machine learning algorithms for all job levels.
A trusted screening process is critical in hiring. Screening "misfires" can create barriers for applicants who appear unqualified but could be a good fit for the job. For example, a Rockefeller Foundation and Edelman Intelligence report shows that 70% of hiring managers screen applicants for bachelor degrees and pass over those without degrees who would otherwise qualify for the job.
Finding a good hire the first time is important because the cost of replacing new hires can be astronomical. Therefore, hiring managers should look at more than basic criteria to assess candidates, extending their reviews to things like cultural fit.
Finding the right entry-level hires starts with effective screening tools used early in the recruitment process. As the Entry-Level Applicant Job Skills Survey points out, technology can be leveraged to create a less-biased screening process and help recruiters zero in on the characteristics needed for the job.