Zoom into specific points in your hiring funnel to ensure that you’re evaluating candidates successfully at every opportunity. In this article, we’ll break down eight of the most successful candidate evaluation techniques, with all the information, examples and advice you need.
Evaluating candidates for an open role can be overwhelming. There’s so much to pay attention to! So many details to check! Hiring the wrong candidate can be a very expensive mistake, costing your company lots in reputation, morale and, yes, money. But don’t feel frozen: recruiting gets easier when we break it down into smaller pieces. Zoom into specific points in your hiring funnel to ensure that you’re evaluating candidates successfully at every opportunity.
In this article, we’ll break down eight of the most successful candidate evaluation techniques, with all the information, examples and advice you need. Let’s get started!
A classic for a reason. The opportunity to ask questions and evaluate your candidate’s responses in an interview is one of the best opportunities you’ll have to evaluate a whole lot of important aspects of your candidate: their work experience, their work style, their problem solving abilities, their skills and talents and more. You’ll also get the chance to evaluate ad-hoc traits that arise as part of the interview procedure itself, like how quickly a candidate can think on their feet, what their people skills are like and how they showcase their communication skills.
There’s so much that goes into successful interviewing evaluation that we’ve written a whole other guide! Click here to read the top ten ways to assess a candidate in an interview.
There’s a lot a candidate tells you about themselves without ever opening their mouths. Evaluate the candidate’s body language from the moment they enter the room (or join the video call) to get a sense of how they will be to engage with on an everyday basis. Are they smiley or stern? Do they make eye contact? Are they open to a handshake? Do they fold their arms across their chest and seem closed off? Are they distracted or inattentive?
These body language examples are all important keys to evaluating your candidate and getting to know them better. Don’t classify body language as “good” or “bad”: for example, that person who folds their arms over their chest and seems shy might not be a great fit for a sales role, but they could be an excellent strategic thinker in a role which requires less client-facing communication. Instead of discussing “good body language” or “bad body language”, consider the body language important for the open position, and how the candidate would perform within that sphere.
Most job descriptions have skills and abilities required which are an absolute necessity within the role. And yet, people have been known to stretch the truth and tell a white lie or two on their CV. This makes it very important as part of your evaluation process to provide a technical assessment that verifies the candidate’s skills are at the level they profess.
For example, you might set a software engineer a coding task. If a language is required for the role, you might ask your candidate to go through a short oral or written assessment with a native speaker to get an accurate sense of their level. If you’re hiring for a marketing role with lots of data analysis, you could ask them to generate an example report. These are all great examples of candidate evaluations which give you objective insights into how successful the candidate would be in the role.
You might have verification that the candidate you’re interviewing is a wonderful copywriter. But how skilled will they be in writing copy for your specific brand? An on-the-job task is a great way to see how your candidate will perform in the role they are interviewing for. Rather than a technical assessment where you evaluate an objective skill (i.e. coding, data generation, language skills), with an on-the-job task you evaluate how the candidate will apply this skill in your organization.
For example, give your candidate a small task that they can perform without much onboarding, which is extremely similar to the work they will do on a day-to-day basis within your organization. You could ask the hiring manager or the person they will report to for assistance to draft up a task that will give you a good sense of the skill this candidate will bring to the company.
Soft skills are just as important as hard skills… but more difficult to test. Unlike hard skills, soft skills aren’t an easy-to-check “yes or no” box about whether or not the candidate has them. Instead, you’ll have to delve deeper and figure out an objective way to analyze traits which often come across as quite subjective.
A good approach here is to bring in objective academic personality tests. Tests like the Behavioral, Emotional, and Social Skills Inventory (BESSI) offer data-driven insights that measure social, emotional, and behavioral skills. You could also use proven, academically-tested evaluations of adaptability, creativity, attention to detail, energy and more.
Cognitive abilities affect every part of your candidate’s work, and companies that use cognitive ability tests in recruitment see increased employee performance and productivity along with reduced turnover. These tests assess tasks associated with perception, learning, memory, understanding, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intuition and language, so they truly touch every role and every area of a candidate’s working life.
Read our complete guide to testing cognitive abilities for examples on how to implement them in your recruiting tunnel!
How will a person fit in your existing culture? What are they like to work with? How do they work as part of a team?
Unfortunately, trying to evaluate a candidate’s personality as a single recruiter often leads to bias, a major problem in the recruiting world. That’s why personality tests are a great alternative for evaluating a candidate successfully to get an understanding of their traits and characteristics without bringing bias into the process. For example, you could use an academic test like the Big Five Quick Screen to test important traits like neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion and openness/intellect.
There’s no better evaluation of a candidate’s work history and personality than the evaluation provided by someone who has already worked with them! Reference checks are one of the most significant parts of the entire hiring process. Using them reduces the risk of a mis-hire, improves onboarding, helps you compare candidates and ensures that you hire the right person for the role, every time.
A reference check involves getting 360° feedback on your candidate from their former colleagues, peers, managers, direct reports and even teachers. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to the best reference check questions to ask.
With these eight candidate evaluation examples under your belt, we’re certain that you’ll find evaluating and hiring successful candidates much easier. But it is undeniably a lot to keep your eye on! That’s why we’ve built a solution.
HiPeople’s smart hiring technology helps you use all eight of these evaluation techniques (and many more!) to hire the right candidate every time. Book a demo today.