Why Specialized Candidate Assessments are Critical for Filling “Unfillable” Vacancies

Talent acquisition can often feel like a full-time job, but for most HR professionals it’s just one of the many responsibilities they juggle on a daily basis. For organizations large and small, finding and keeping the right people in the right roles is no easy task — but a successful talent recruitment and retention strategy is critical to boosting a team’s morale, engagement and productivity. So how can recruiters and HR professionals make smarter hires with the time they do have, and even speed up the process of hiring for difficult-to-fill vacancies?


Enter the specialized candidate assessment. These assessments fill a critical gap in the recruitment process by giving recruiters a clearer picture of a candidate’s skills, competencies and disposition. Before making your next major hire, consider these four ways specialized candidate assessments can enhance your current recruitment strategy.


Skill- and logic-based assessments separate the truly qualified from the “good salespeople”.


While interviews are a necessary step in every recruitment strategy, just about every recruiter knows how misleading interviews can be when assessing a candidate’s on-the-job competency. While it’s important to get a feel for someone’s personality face-to-face, there’s no way to guarantee that a candidate is giving a completely accurate assessment of their abilities.


In fact, a recent study1 conducted by the Yale School of Management demonstrated just how inaccurate these types of “assessments” can be. In their study, people were instructed to interview one another and then use those insights to determine what they believed the students GPA would be, and how they would perform academically in the future. Simply put, their guesses were just that — guesses informed not by hard facts, but internal biases or assumptions.


Skill-based candidate assessments are a great way to control for these biases and assumptions, since they enable you to verify that a candidate’s resume accurately represents their expertise. Plus, since many of these assessments have logic-based elements, you can even assess a candidate’s problem-solving approach and get a better look at how well they’ll fit in with your company’s management culture.


Specialized assessments help recruiters create a more robust and useful talent pool.


For hard-to-fill vacancies, specialized assessments are a great way to easily determine if a candidate has all of the necessary competencies and abilities required for a position — but the insights these assessments provide can be used for months and even years following initial candidate screening. If you’re maintaining an evergreen database of candidates you’ve screened for previous positions (which is a key strategy for hiring in today’s challenging market), specialized assessments can add another yet level of value to this data.


The beauty of specialized assessments is how they can be used to build a robust database of candidates organized by their skills, abilities, level of experience and even their personality and temperament. So even if a candidate is not deemed suitable for a role at a particular time, you can record detailed information about them in order to reach out later for future opportunities. This not only makes a great impression on interviewees, but saves time and frustration for recruiters in the long run.


Specialized assessments provide a more holistic picture of a candidate — without bias.


We already know that human beings are not particularly good at assessing candidates with traditional methods like resumes and interviews — but that doesn’t change the fact that recruiters need some way to parse out the right people from a large group of applicants. That said, even the most experienced and skilled recruiters will fall prey to their own biases, values and beliefs when interviewing candidates — and may unintentionally allow these factors to influence their decision.


Specialized assessments can help eliminate human bias when it comes to recruitment and hiring, since they allow candidates to demonstrate their abilities in a neutral environment. Quality assessments like those used here at LINK go far beyond just skills and expertise by screening for Aptitude, Behaviors, Competency and Desires (referred to as the A, B, C, Ds of effective hiring).


By getting a more complete picture of a candidate, you can make a more informed decision when selecting talent for particular roles — and get a sense of whether or not a candidate is suited for the more nuanced demands and requirements of a job. Better yet, you can proactively determine which characteristics are essential for a particular role — and only screen candidates whose assessment results match those characteristics.


Specialized assessment strategies managed by recruitment firms can reduce uncertainty and save money in the long-run.


While specialized candidate assessments can fundamentally transform a talent acquisition strategy for the better, they often require time and resources beyond what an organization has available. In this case, partnering with a recruitment firm that has candidate assessment down to a fine art can save time, money and plenty of frustration down the line.


This is especially true of recruitment firms like LINK that are constantly on the hunt for highly-qualified talent, since they are uniquely positioned to provide you with targeted lists of pre-screened candidates. More often than not, recruiting firms can eliminate the need to even post a job and instead connect you directly with a robust talent pool — and help narrow down possible hires based on factors like cultural fit, experience level and skill set.


In many ways, firms like LINK are the recruitment strike force that your organization needs in the face of staffing shortages in today’s market.


Finding, screening and hiring the right talent for an organization is of critical importance — but it doesn’t have to be a headache. By including specialized candidate assessments in your acquisition strategy, you can find the right people for difficult-to-fill vacancies in record time. Not sure how to get started? Contact our team at LINK to talk about our unique approach to candidate assessments and talent databases.





  • 1. http://journal.sjdm.org/12/121130a/jdm121130a.pdf