Assessments in Hiring: When They Actually Do More Harm Than Good

Anete Vesere (1)

Anete Vesere

Content Marketer

a depiction of where the assessment is placed normally in the hiring funnel

Are you struggling with the same hiring challenges as everyone else? Are you constantly facing a shortage of talent, a mismatch in skills, and a lack of diversity and inclusion in your hiring process? 

Here’s a wake-up call: the placement of your assessment in the hiring funnel could be the culprit behind these issues. 

The current situation

At least 82% of companies use at least one form of assessment when screening candidates. However, the vast majority of these companies choose to use an assessment post-initial candidate screening.

Here are two reasons why:

  • Fear of candidate drop off. One of the main reasons companies opt to use traditional assessments in later stages of the hiring process is to avoid candidate drop-off. This is when candidates lose interest or withdraw their application due to the length or complexity of the hiring process.
  • Bad candidate experience. Another reason for this is to avoid a bad candidate experience. The general assumption is that if traditional assessments are used too early in the process, candidates may feel overwhelmed or frustrated with the amount of time and effort required. 


As rational as these fears are, introducing assessments later on in the process will leave you with other detrimental consequences as well..

3 risks of using an assessment post-screening

Assessments are a crucial step in the hiring process, but using them post-screening can lead to major risks.

3 risks of using an assessment post-screening

Subjective first impressions

We’ve all heard the phrase “first impressions matter“, but in the world of hiring, they can be downright dangerous.

Consider this: you’re in charge of hiring for an Account Executive role. You meet the first candidate and are struck by their impressive appearance and confident demeanour. You’re immediately impressed and think this candidate is perfect for the job. 

But what if that initial impression is clouding your judgment? What if, the assessment results say otherwise, yet you still are more prone to trust your first impression? Or vice versa – missing out on great talent by wrongly rejecting them based on a misleading, negative first impression?

Limiting your talent pool

If you’re focused on a candidate’s work experience and education during your initial selection process, you are likely to miss out on great talent the later on in the hiring process you introduce assessments.

By putting too much weight on factors such as work experience and education, for example, at the beginning of the hiring process, you risk overlooking candidates who have valuable skills and potential. Think about it this way – you find yourself a candidate with incredible high learning ability but no work experience. You wouldn’t have known this and rejected the candidate if you use an assessment post-screening.

Furthermore, by waiting until the later stages of the hiring process to assess candidates, you might be losing out on opportunities to match candidates with open roles that better suit their strengths. It could be that a candidate applying for the role A can be a perfect fit for role B, but you wouldn’t know that if you have an assessment that late in the funnel.

This results in a missed chance to fully leverage your talent pool.

Reduced efficiency

Introducing an assessment later on in the hiring process might result in spending a lot of time on candidates that actually turn out not to fit your open position. Thus, wasting your time detrimentally. For example, the assessment results may reveal that the candidate is introverted and prefers to work independently, which does not align with what you’re actually looking for in the new hire.

This brings you back to square one.

The bottom line is – the later you gather insights about candidates that are actually crucial for their success in the role, the more reduced the efficiency of you to continue doing your job. 

5 factors to consider when choosing an assessment to use at the top of the hiring funnel

If you want to find the perfect candidates for your organization and ensure their success on the job, it is absolutely critical to introduce assessments early in the hiring process. Miss this opportunity and you risk wasting precious time on candidates who will never be a good fit. 

Be warned though, choosing the right assessment tool is a matter of make or break for your hiring process.

You must carefully consider these 5 key aspects to avoid a hiring disaster:

  1. Test format. Is the assessment innovative and engaging for candidates? Will it help to boost your employer brand by creating an unforgettable candidate experience?
  2. Test duration. Is the assessment is too long to be used at the top of the funnel? Could it potentially cause candidate drop off? 
  3. Measurements. Does it measure traits that are predictive of job success, i.e. behaviour and cognitive abilities? And relevant to the role you are hiring for?
  4. Objectivity. Are the measurements used in the assessment objective and free from any potential unconscious biases?
  5. Inclusion. Are the assessments created in a way that prevents any possible effects of demographics, colour blindness, AD(H)D, ASD, dyslexia, and more impacting the results?
5 factors to consider when choosing an assessment to use at the top of the hiring funnel

It's time to face the harsh truth

If you’re placing assessments at the bottom of the hiring funnel, you’re contributing to a lack of diversity, limiting your talent pool, and reducing your efficiency in finding the right candidate. 

Hope this blog opened your eyes to the fact that investing money in an assessment that is used so late in the funnel and leads to many negative consequences means you’re wasting money.

Our inspirational blogs, podcasts and video’s

Listen to what they say about our product offering right here