How to implement a data-driven candidate evaluation process

How to implement a data-driven candidate evaluation process

It’s all about the data. Especially when evaluating candidates.

In fact, research shows that HR teams who implement data-driven recruitment and candidate evaluation are twice as likely to find talent more efficiently than the ones who don’t. In this blog, I’ll tell you all about what data-driven recruitment is and how to implement a data-driven candidate evaluation process in 5 simple steps!

What is data-driven candidate evaluation process

The countless hours in the past that I’ve spent trying to figure out how to convey that I’m a great problem solver and a risk taker through my resume. My learning here was that you simply can’t. No piece of paper can capture such insights.

But if not that – then how else are you supposed to evaluate candidates? And how else can candidates showcase their skills? Is there another way to do this? 

When you’re looking for a new colleague, you are obviously looking for the most skilled people. By basing your hiring decisions solely on resumes or motivational letters, however, you are likely to miss out on the most important aspects of a candidate – their soft skills. This way introducing adverse effects on your hiring process. At the core of data-driven candidate evaluation process is specifically this – gathering valuable data not only about someone’s track record, but also their skills, potential and behaviour. As a result – creating a first impression of each candidate that is objective, fair and – guess what – data backed. Curious to find out why it’s so important to have the right first impression? Check out the blog we wrote about the danger of misleading first impressions.

Yet, what is the best way of implementing a data-driven candidate evaluation process?

Getting started: implementing data-driven candidate evaluation process 

implementing a data-driven candidate evaluation process

Step 1. Take a look at your current candidate-evaluation process 

In order to be able to change a process, you must first map out precisely what this process looks like right now. Pay attention to detail – do you hire people solely based on good references? Do you use pre-employment tests? Perhaps you hire based on skills rather than on previous work experience? Are candidates happy with the application & evaluation process – is everything clear? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself. Why? Because it will allow you to identify potential problems present within your candidate evaluation process that need improvement. 

To get a more clear picture of the overall quality of your hiring process, I also recommend you take a look at the following metrics:

  • Time to hire (the total duration time of the hiring process from start to the finish)
  • Cost to hire (the total cost of hiring a new person)
  • Candidate experience insights
  • Overall application and acceptance rates

The more critically you assess the way your current candidate evaluation process is performing, the easier it will be for you to get started with data-driven recruitment and improve your hiring quality. (Read more about the 4 data-points that indicate your recruitment success).

Step 2. When evaluating candidates, know what you’re looking for

Imagine for a second that you are participating in a treasure hunt. You’re told to find something somewhere, yet you have not been given any additional information about what you’re supposed to be looking for. So, how will you find the mysterious object? The same goes for finding candidates. You first need to know what exactly you’re looking for before you find the perfect match. If you’re scanning through applications without knowing what you are looking for – chances are you will begin settling for less (simply because you don’t know what else to do).

This is how you do it – ask yourself what underlying skills and behaviours you’re looking for in a candidate. For example, this can be either cognitive flexibility, problem solving or perhaps high learning ability. You can also look at the top performer indicators from your team – and base your future hiring needs on those. 

To sum up, the candidate evaluation process should consist of a set of specific criteria which are used at the basis of your hiring decisions. If there is no specific set of criteria – you risk evaluating candidates based on factors that have little or no relevance to the work skills and personality you are looking for in a potential employee.

Step 3. Pick the right assessment method

After you’ve, and I cannot emphasize this enough, critically assessed your current candidate evaluation process and identified a set of criteria which are to be used when evaluating candidates, you can begin looking into the different assessment methods.

Whether it is a take-home test, traditional personality assessment, coding assessment or anything similar, many organizations already use some sort of assessment in their technical hiring process. But there is a high chance that these types of assessments show a degree of bias. And that can negatively impact the way you assess candidates.

That’s why it’s important to ensure that the assessments you choose to use are created and validated as novel scientific instruments that ensure reliability and are constantly assessed for bias. For example, neuroscientific games. With increasing scientific advancements (and thanks to the power of data) we can now forecast not only the weather, population growth and much more – we can also now predict candidate future job performance. This is the closest we will get to looking into the crystal ball that shows the future, isn’t that cool?

Step 4. Begin collecting valuable data to evaluate candidates upon

If you are not measuring skills in a way that is unbiased and non-adverse, you’re optimizing a hiring funnel that is broken. Gathering valuable data does not have to be hard. In fact, using a pre-employment assessment tool, like neuroscientific games, allows you to collect insightful data as efficiently as ever. 

Step 5. Act on the data when assessing candidates

Using technology and advanced analytics not only reduces time spent evaluating candidates but also reduces the chance of human error intervening with the process. By using data-backed insights to objectively reveal the skills and behaviours of your candidates, you will be able to make hiring decisions based on science instead of gut feeling. 

And that’s how in five simple steps you are leveraging behavioural science and data to look beyond someone’s resume. Moreover, being able to evaluate candidates objectively and fairly.

Ready to get started with data-driven candidate evaluation?

In case you haven’t already guessed – I am (and so is the whole Equalture team) deeply passionate about data-driven recruitment. And above all – it’s awesome to see our tool in action and hear from our customers that it changes their recruitment game for the better.

objective first impression of candidates

Are you ready to enter the future of data-based candidate evaluation and recruitment?
Get in touch with us to find out how you can leverage these data-backed candidate insights gained to improve candidate experience, increase diversity, and make better hiring decisions!

Cheers, Anete

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