4 Ways to Know if Your Early Careers Assessment Process is Working

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A thumbnail showing Martin, a white man with glasses and short brown hair, author of Amberjack's blog about our Insights 2022 data.

Depending on your sector and hiring goals, the specific criteria you use to measure the effectiveness of your Early Careers candidate assessment process can vary greatly from one organisation (or even one stream) to the next. This can create a lot of uncertainty for Early Careers recruiters.

By working with colleagues to identify core categories that can be used to categorise the various indicators of success, we are able to provide a helpful starting point to begin answering the question: “Is this process effective?”.

If you are looking for a starting point to review the effectiveness of your process, I recommend you start by asking yourself four simple questions…

Are Candidates Completing Your Process and Saying Good Things?

This is all about candidate engagement and experience. What percentage of applicants go on to complete your process? What do they say about it when they do (or don’t) complete?

It’s amazing how often candidates talk about the assessment provider whose assessment they completed without necessarily understanding the specific role they applied to. To create a positive candidate experience, it helps to be memorable and personal – you need to be telling candidates about the role they are applying to.

A simple way to measure what candidates think about your process is through the Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS is a standardised, and benchmarked, satisfaction score which gives a quick and easy high-level view of what candidates think about your process. Particularly when supplemented with free-text feedback, this can give instant insight into candidate sentiment and provide data to support needed improvements.

Are You Hiring the Talent with the Greatest Potential?

The concept of criterion-related validity is key in assessment. This is about whether your assessment process is achieving its primary aim and identifying candidates with the greatest potential to succeed. Simply put, in a well-designed assessment process, the highest scorers at each stage should perform best in subsequent stages of the process and are in your organisation, once they are hired.

Are You Attracting a Diverse Pool of Candidates?

Are you attracting a representative pool of all candidate groups? Are they staying in your process? When it comes to equity, diversity and inclusion, if 50% of your applicants are female but only 35% of your hires are female, there’s a good chance you have a problem in your process that needs to be fixed.

You want to be confident your assessment ensures that candidates progress at proportionate rates regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, social mobility, and other protected characteristics. If population subsets are under or over performing, then it is important to look into why this may be and take corrective action.

Is Your Assessment Process as Efficient as Possible?

For recruiters and candidates alike, spending as little time as is necessary to complete the recruitment journey is important. However, you still want to make sure that it provides a robust assessment of candidate potential.

This is where the careful consideration of the interplay of these four questions becomes critical. Using a random number generator to select early career talent would be time efficient but clearly you wouldn’t identify the talent with the highest potential. The search for efficiency shouldn’t come at the cost of robust assessment.

Reviewing Your Process Holistically

Ensuring you are considering each of these four questions is important, but you also need to make sure the improvements you make in one area don’t come at the expense of another.

Amberjack’s end-to-end solutions, the wealth of data we collect through our technology, and our specialist knowledge in in attracting, assessing and developing Early Talent means we are in a strong position when it comes to reviewing processes, ensuring they are working, and making tweaks or wholesale changes when they aren’t. With our expertise and experience, we can help manage and review your process so you can say confidently, “Yes, this process is effective”.

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