New Web-based systems not only track the candidates, but deploy a series of job applications, screening instruments, tests and assessments, and performance hurdles or tasks such as interviews or background checks. This multi-hurdle approach helps to evaluate and filter the candidate pool with speed and efficiency impossible in the paper-pencil and file cabinet era with features like:
The “open system” aspect of well-engineered web platforms allows for a heretofore unreachable level of business process re-engineering for the HR department. Common standards and “early adopter” cases have created strong awareness of the economies of such solutions. For example, organizations like the U.S. TSA, Capital One, P&G, and Georgia-Pacific have created dozens of multi-application integrations in their assessment-driven hiring programs, with a wide range of company end-users able to access data and screens that are functional for them. Both hiring managers and candidates prefer these web-based methods, which are convenient and inclusive. HR Executives also embrace the model, as the digital nature of the process allows for process control, audit capability, data security, and both macro and micro level reporting and trend analysis.
Going forward, we will see development of combinations of assessment with other elements in the employee lifecycle. For example, sourcing is merging traditional recruitment and staffing disciplines with assessments and talent management systems. “Ranked Talent” is becoming an expectation. And by standardizing job applicant input, companies are climbing out of the deluge of electronic resumes in favor of a format that is standard, searchable, auditable, and controlled.
Candidate-driven environments also are here to stay, letting hiring managers and applicants perform a variety of mutually beneficial tasks and communications. For example an applicant can log into their ID/password controlled space to see how they have fared on the steps in a hiring process, or to book a time for proctored testing or for an interview.
Return-on-investment for well-executed selection systems is impressive for even mid-size firms. In fact, the pan 2004-05 U.S. Employee Engagement Survey found that workers (N>3000) who had taken a pre-employment assessment for their current job were far more likely to be strongly loyal to their employer, work harder, and were even willing to work for their current employer for less pay than they might get elsewhere. Clearly, assessment is the Big Idea informing much of the human resource industry for years to come.