More than half of employers – 56% — have chosen to deploy pre-employment assessments to gauge job applicants’ knowledge, skills and abilities, new research shows.
The study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management of nearly 1,700 HR professionals found that 79% say that scores on skills assessments are just as or more important than traditional criteria in hiring decisions.
In addition, 36% of they say a job candidate who scores high on an assessment but doesn’t meet the required minimum years of experience is very likely to make it onto the list of final candidates.
“With employers still struggling to fill vacant positions, HR professionals are leading the way in using skills-based hiring and skilled credentials to acquire top talent,” said Emily M. Dickens, SHRM chief of staff and head of government affairs, when she spoke on this topic before officials of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
SHRM has said it will continue to partner with government and business leaders to reach untapped talent pools and grow diversity in the workplace.
In the survey 28% of HR pros also said a job candidate who scores high on the assessment but doesn’t meet the minimum education requirement would be very likely to make it onto the list of final candidates for consideration, and 40% said that would be somewhat likely in the same scenario.
In addition, 82% of organizations that require work samples or work simulation tests do so for applicants identified for further consideration, while 78% say the quality of their organization’s hires has improved due to their use of assessments.
Also, 23% note that the diversity of their hires has improved using these assessments, and of those, one in four plan to expand their use of assessments in the next five years. Of organizations that don’t use pre-employment assessments, one in 10 said they plan to start using them in the next five years.