Four Reasons to Use Talent Assessments in a Candidate-Driven Market

Published: October 2021


Using talent assessments to hire the right employees who have future skills an organization needs is critical. Yet in this tight job market, many firms are considering removing this step from the process. Here are four realities you may encounter if assessment is removed.

The talent market is tough right now. In sectors like retail there are too few applicants to fill available vacancies. In other sectors, such as technology, recruiters are struggling to find talent with the specific skills needed for the role. Employers that do attract enough top applicants are often challenged to secure talent since quality candidates are in high demand and likely to receive multiple job offers.
A common knee-jerk reaction to the increasingly competitive market is to cut assessment out of the hiring process altogether. Many organizations believe this will speed up hiring and keep them ahead of their competitors. In some cases, managers are even advising employees to hire anyone who applies to avoid turning away any applicants.

However, today’s race for talent does not only depend on speed. Companies have a greater need to build a psychological contract with job candidates to capture their initial interest and obtain their commitment to the firm. Employers must also ensure they hire candidates with skills to meet evolving business demands and demonstrate transferable skills including agility and resilience.
While hiring processes can streamlined and made more efficient in many cases, removing assessment to save time will create unintended consequences. Here are four realities organizations face when cutting out assessment entirely.

1. Hiring without assessment will hurt in the long term.

It’s important to remember why assessment is so widely used: It ensures the person hired has the skills and attributes to perform in the role, while also confirming alignment with the company’s culture and values. Eliminating assessment means cutting off access to this insight. Essentially, you are making a hiring decision in a vacuum devoid of key information. And a firm will be paying for the costs associated with higher turnover that result from poor hiring decisions.

2. Candidates want to work for a company that is fair, objective and committed to hiring the best talent.

Regardless of the market, candidates continue to want to work for a firm that has fair and objective recruitment processes. They want to be confident that the best candidates are offered the job, which can be difficult to convey when reverting to the subjectivity of an interview or resume as the sole decision-making tool. Increasing fairness and objectivity through assessment can also lead to a more diverse workforce.
Far from thinking good candidates won’t hang around for assessment, the best candidates will wait for the right company fit. Furthermore, when the labor market is less tight and recruiters focus on the best talent, explaining the importance of assessment to applicants will become more challenging.

3. Eliminating assessment can actually slow down the hiring process.

With limited application numbers, business leaders often demand removing the assessment component of hiring to reduce the time-to-offer. In our experience, this isn’t the case for two reasons. First, inserting assessment into the process at the right time can accelerate the time-to-offer. Assessment information enables you to make quicker and more confident decisions. Also, additional candidate insight gathered during the hiring journey can help prepare pre-boarding, induction and ensure training is ready from day one of employment. Secondly, talent assessments, such as those developed by Aon, harness the power of adaptive testing. This means that the tests are as short as possible, and only include items or questions based on the candidate’s responses or a company’s specific requirements. Feedback can be automatically generated with instant recommendations.

4. Without assessment, there is less opportunity to build a psychological contract and strengthen your employer brand.

Assessment provides insight into the skills, capabilities and behaviors of candidates. It also provides the opportunity to establish a connection to communicate values and showcase the firm’s purpose and brand. It enables the hiring manager to build a psychological contract with candidates so that the firm remains front of mind as the employer of choice when an offer is made. Removing assessment from the hiring process cancels these opportunities and may even weaken the employer brand.

Alternative actions to take

Instead of removing assessment from your hiring procedures, consider taking the following actions:
  • Draw attention to your commitment to the use of fair, equitable and objective assessment.
  • Showcase your use of online processes, quick assessment and rapid decision-making.
  • Use the information gained through pre-hire assessment to organize training from day one.
  • Offer all candidates feedback for a complete learning experience.
  • Ensure each part of the hiring process provides you or the candidate relevant information and insight.
  • Remain flexible. Look at the challenges in your processes and redesign them if needed.

Hiring journeys are not set in stone. In a tight job market, it’s a good time to rethink how you attract, identify and employ talent. But taking the easy route to quickly hire talent will cost the organization more in the long run. For more information and to learn how we can help effectively integrate assessment into your hiring processes, please visit or contact our team at

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The information contained herein and the statements expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information and use sources we consider reliable, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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