“Should I invite everyone who applied to do a skills assessment?”.
We hear that question every day. Testing everyone is such a change in mindset for recruiters and hiring managers alike because they’re so used to screening people out. Résumés to decide who to phone screen. Phone screens to decide who to interview. And so on. Candidates are funnelled through the stages.
Rethink the hiring funnel
We built Vervoe to change all that. Yes, to replace traditional screening methods with job auditions, because seeing candidates do job-related tasks actually predicts whether they can do the job. But that’s not enough. Because that still doesn’t solve the problem of having to review every completed skills assessment, which takes time.
Job-related testing in the form of job auditions or work samples is not an innovation in and of itself. There are many forms of “in the room” or offline testing – from code challenges to doing a trial shift in a restaurant. The innovation is doing it at scale. Otherwise, how do you really know you’re testing the right people? How do you know you haven’t eliminated someone amazing just because they didn’t tick some boxes on paper? You don’t.
The key is testing everyone who applies in parallel.
Spend less time screening
Below is an except from an email I received from a client. I have removed anything that would disclose their identity in order to protect their privacy, but everything else is word for word.
Client: “Haha. I had 100+ people apply for this job, invited 10 to complete a Vervoe skills assessment and am literally only going to interview one. … . In a nutshell, Vervoe is so good, I’ve dodged 9 bullets. Interviewing candidates feels like roulette with a loaded gun compared to Vervoe.”
Me: “Why did you only invite 10 to complete an assessment and not everyone? Which criteria did you use to screen the others?”
Client: “I manually reviewed their resumés on [job board]. But yeah – maybe this is not the best thing to do. Good point.”
After this exchange I felt that we let this client down. Sure, we help them hire someone who will probably be great. But we only saved them 10% of the pain. They still had to bear 90% of the pain because they manually screened 90% of the applicants. But why? Because that’s what they’re used to.
Now imagine if instead they just invited every applicant straight to the design challenge. First, there is a chance they might have hired someone even better. Second, they would have spend less time screening and more time talking to the most qualified candidates. After hiring 2,500 people using Vervoe, this is what Australia Post had to say:
“We are now spending our time talking to more qualified candidates rather than reviewing and screening unsuitable candidates.”Spencer Timmins, Talent Acquisition Manager – Campaigns @ Australia Post
It might have required a small adjustment to the process. A shorter assessment, for example, plus very clear messaging to candidates about why they’re being invited to do a design challenge. But the client would have unquestionably had a better experience.
We can say this with certainty because the majority of our clients – from Walmart to Australia Post – use our skills assessments at the top of the funnel. So it’s a proven method of candidate selection. And once you start doing that there is no turning back. The time saving is enormous and it surfaces better candidates from more diverse backgrounds.
What’s more, candidates prefer to be given a chance to prove their skills. We know that too because we survey them daily and they are overwhelmingly in favor of being given a chance.
Ditching the résumé
Our happiest clients use Vervoe at the top of the funnel. It’s not rocket science, they’re just utilizing more of the product’s power so they’re getting more value. They test more candidates, save more time and surface more high performers.
We know it requires a change in mindset. We know it’s a big leap of faith to ditch résumé screening altogether. But let’s face it. If résumés screening was working out so well for you, would you be doing skills assessments to begin with? Would there be countless articles about how much bias résumés introduce and poorly they predict performance?
Give everyone a chance to prove their skills. Utilize the full benefit of AI-powered skill testing and automation. Spend your time with the best people instead of screening them out based on their résumé.