Recruitment Tests: Love’em or Hate’em?

Recruitment tests: are you for or against? We cover both sides of the argument in this article so tune in!

Candidate Experience

Leen Sawalha

VP Product & Growth

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Recruitment tests are becoming more popular than ever, but have you noticed that very few people are indifferent to them? Most individuals have strong feeling towards recruitment tests; they either love them, or hate them. And that made me wonder: what is it about recruitment tests that evoke such strong emotions in people?

So I went on a mission! A mission to find out why some love recruitment tests while others really dislike them, and I have noted some interesting observations! My mother always tells me to look at the brighter side of life, but I’m going to ignore her advice this one time (sorry, mom!) and will start with the bad.

Shall we get to it?

Why people hate recruitment tests

“I don’t understand, nor see the point of recruitment tests”

This point wasn’t much of a surprise to me. It’s natural human instinct to want to know and understand, and we all reacts differently when we don’t. Some people fear the unknown, some choose to ignore it, some become curious, and some just don’t like it!

There’s nothing wrong with any of these emotions, and it’s completely understandable that those who are not familiar with recruitment tests are not head-over-heals in love with them!

Recruitment tests have been around for quite some time, but they haven’t been as popular as they are now. So, instead of deciding to hate them right off the bat, look into it a little. “What are they?”, “what do they do?”, “how are they beneficial?”, and “how are they beneficial to me?” are all questions you should ask yourself before forming your opinion.

“Recruitment tests are subjective and inaccurate”

I have noticed that this opinion is popular amongst those who have previously had bad experiences with recruitment tests. And guess what, they aren’t entirely wrong! There are many, many recruitment tests out there, and I am sure that a good chunk of them are subjective and inaccurate (especially the free ones!).

But you know what else? That opinion is not applicable to all recruitment tests. There are some that have gone through extensive research and development to ensure that they accurate, objective, and scientifically validated. It is not an easy process, and if it has been done right, then you can be sure that the test is not going to come cheap, just as you can be sure that you’ll get a positive return on your investment!

“I hate spending time on something so complicated”

Don’t you just hate trying to analyze recruitment tests that have all these charts, numbers, and text that you don’t really have time for? Regardless of the industry you’re in, the size of your organization, or your role within it, time is money in business, and none of us can afford to waste any of it.

This is a perfectly valid reason to hate recruitment tests; IF they were all complicated! But they really aren’t. Doing a little research and choosing a recruitment test that best suits your needs will go a long way for your organization’s development and overall success. After all, isn’t that what we’re all looking to accomplish?

Alright, enough with all this “hate” stuff already! Let’s turn the mood around and see why some people absolutely love recruitment tests.

Why we love recruitment tests!

“They are accurate and provide an objective aspect to business”

Yes, I realize that this point is perfectly contradictory to the one above, but it’s true! Those who are familiar with recruitment tests and understand their benefit recognize that this is exactly what makes them so great. You can’t really get to know a person from a resume, interview, or over lunch. Whether you’ve just met them or have been working with them for a while, there is always some bias in how you view people (intentional or not).

Consider this: think of any random person (doesn’t matter if you’re well-acquainted or not). Now try to remember back to when you first met them; think about where you were, what they said, what was going on around you. Would your first impression of them have changed if the situation were any different? The answer is yes; simply because it’s in our DNA as humans, and for us, it’s all about perception.

With perception playing such a big role in our lives, having an objective tool can be the difference between a good hire and a bad one, between high and low turnover, and between excellent and average performance.

“Recruitment tests allow me to free up some of my time”

There is so much more to recruitment that just skills and abilities. Those are things you can quickly identify from a resume or LinkedIn profile. What really takes up time is trying to determine what is beneath the paperwork: Is he a team player? Does she have development potential? Are they going to get along with their coworkers? What about their fit with the organization’s culture?

Wouldn’t your life be so much easier if you had a scientifically validated, objective tool that told you which candidates have the most potential in YOUR organization?

“Recruitment tests give me confidence that I’m making the right decision”

So you have this candidate, they have a good educational background, did really well on technical skills tests, and their interview went great. But they don’t quite have all the skills you’re looking for. Do you hire them?

Those who love recruitment tests love it for this particular scenario. It allows them to see who they are, what they’re like, and what they can expect from them in terms of behavior and development.

Does the candidate have what it takes to learn the skills you require of them? Is he/she going to succeed in your organization even if they don’t exactly fit your specifications? Are you going to end up turning away an excellent candidate simply because you weren’t sure if they had what it takes?

Recruitment tests give you that extra boost of confidence that you are making the right hiring decision. And who wouldn’t appreciate some assurance nowadays?

Regardless of where you lie on this love-hate spectrum, there’s one thing you should always keep in mind: If you have an excellent tool that’s right for YOU (whether recruitment tests, or otherwise), there’s always going to be more pros than there are cons. If your recruitment test is accurate, precise, easy to understand, and effortless to apply, then what more could you ask for?

Don’t waste your energy hating something that might actually be beneficial to you. Give it another shot, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you will find!

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