Step Up Your Hiring Game: Discover How Assessments Can Help You Find the Perfect Candidate

Figure out how different types of assessments can make your recruiting process more efficient and find the perfect match.

Step Up Your Hiring Game: Discover How Assessments Can Help You Find the Perfect Candidate
The IT job market is a battlefield.

The IT industry is a highly competitive job market. This goes both for the candidates and the companies: the candidates have to put their best foot forward during the hiring process, and the companies have to make sure that their offer is attractive enough.

However, among all the embellished work experiences and flashy compensation packages, it’s difficult to truly see whether the candidate and the company are a match. In the long run, an inefficient recruitment process can lead to hiring the “wrong” people that won’t stay long. If the fluctuation of employees is big or you can’t find qualified talents, you might jeopardize the company.

So, a recruiter needs to dive below all the words and grasp the candidate's work experience, skills, and potential, all in relation to the company's needs. And how to achieve this?

An important step in making such a recruitment process possible is including different types of assessments of candidates.

Assessment vs. Screening

Before diving deeper into the topic of assessments and testing as a means to evaluate the candidate, let’s first make a distinction between assessment and screening. This is because many use these terms interchangeably despite them being different.

Screening is all about time efficiency and ensuring you don’t invest your time in unqualified candidates. To put it in simpler terms, you are tending to the number of candidates.

On the other hand, assessment serves to evaluate the quality of candidates, their skills, experience, and potential.

Screening is a preliminary step to eliminate candidates who don’t meet the basic job requirements, while assessment is more of an in-depth evaluation.

When and How You Can Use Assessments

These types of evaluations of potential employees can be done online and in person and, depending on the type, are mostly equally effective in both cases.

Tests that are done in written form usually don’t have to be done in person, and it can even be a hassle if a person lives in a different city. However, in some cases, the recruiter might need to read the candidate’s body language, which can be quite tricky via a video call. So, the best course of action is to decide on the test and then consider which option works better, and then organize it carefully.

In addition to that, the tests can be introduced in different stages of the recruitment process to achieve different goals:

  1. together with the application
  2. interview pre-elimination
  3. during an interview

If a condition to apply for a position is to complete some kind of a test, it’s obvious the first elimination criterion. This is an excellent means to shorten the list if the number of applications is significant. However, for the same reason, choosing an overly complex test doesn’t make sense as it will take you a lot of time to check all of the applications. It’s best you choose a multiple-choice test so you can “grade” it relatively quickly, regardless of the number of applicants.

The interview is, for many companies, the pinnacle of the recruiting process, so it’s only natural that you want to invite only the most suitable applicants. This is why many choose to conduct different types of assessments before this stage to exclude those who might not be the best fit.

Interviews can also be the perfect opportunity to assess certain things live — sometimes, it’s not only what the candidates say but also how they say it. One of the reasons is that the candidates, at times, say what they think the recruiters want to hear and by reading their tone of voice and body movements, you can learn a lot, inducing whether they are being honest.

Types of Tests

Now that we have covered these basics, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty. As you might assume, there are a lot of different types of tests and ways to classify them, so here is one of the categorizations.


  • Technical Skills

An example of an assessment that puts the technical knowledge of a software engineer to the test would be to program a piece of software or troubleshoot a system's issue. Regardless of whether you opt for a complex or a simple “problem,” the point is not whether the candidate will end up solving it but to check their way of thinking and how they tackle the problem itself. Resolving the problem is a plus.

  • Creative Skills

These types of skills are, for the most part, necessary for positions such as UI designer, brand designer, art director, social media manager, copywriter, etc. A recruiter can choose to test applicants by asking them to create a logo, write a test blog, make s short animation, and create a video — depending on the position that the candidate applied for. Since the line between right and wrong in creative tasks is not that clear, recruiters are usually curious about the candidates’ approach, inspiration, whether they respect deadlines, if their work is neat, etc.


As with the skills assessments, many personality tests are available, and we covered some of them in more detail in this blog. Although we all change and evolve, which makes us difficult to categorize in terms of personality traits, these tests can be useful in showing candidates’ present state of mind and enriching the picture the recruiter is creating.

Here are two of the most commonly used:

  • Myers Briggs

Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), also called the 16 personalities test, maps candidate personality types. It covers the candidates' drivers, habits, perspectives, strengths, and weaknesses. This assessment is particularly useful for positions such as business analysts, UX designers, and project managers because effective communication and collaboration are critical for achieving successful outcomes.

  • DiSC Behaviour Inventory

DiSC analyzes the candidates’ strongest personality traits observed through four main quadrants: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. DiSC is most suitable for roles such as software developers, QA experts, and technical support specialists because teamwork and collaboration are the most important elements for them to be successful.

Situation-specific behavior

Behavioral tests, that is, Situational Judgment tests (SJT), are the best option to assess how a candidate would apply their knowledge and skills when placed in a specific real-world situation. For example, a recruiter can place the candidates in a situation where they need to communicate something sensitive to their teammates or superiors to observe how they would behave in a team environment and if they can find a solution on the spot.

Choose the “Right” Type of Assessment

Many factors can affect the decision of which assessment method to apply. The approach may vary from company to company, position to position, or recruiter to recruiter.

For example, conducting in-person tests doesn’t make much sense if the position is fully remote. Then again, once you narrow the candidate pool and even the slightest details start to matter, meeting someone in person becomes important.

Some companies wouldn’t place much emphasis on personality tests, while others might need a quick decision, so situational judgment tests might be too time-consuming.

But there is one factor that not many recruiters consider when choosing the assessment method: the candidate’s experience.

If a candidate gives up on their own before the end of the hiring process, don’t you think it might have something to do with the process itself? Nowadays, candidates send a dozen applications every few days — they keep their options open. If you seem disorganized or the process includes tests poorly conducted or not explained thoroughly, they will move on. And this is where the Four-Point Model of Candidate Experience in Assessment comes into play.

As the name suggests, there are four parameters related to the types of assessment experiences to keep in mind: difficulty, engagement, convenience, and relevance.

  • Difficulty: Is it easy, or is it difficult? Ideally, they provide a worthy challenge but aren’t overwhelming or underwhelming.
  • Engagement: Is it engaging? These assessments should be fun, interesting, interactive, and memorable.
  • Convenience: Is it convenient? They require minimal administrative effort, logistic planning, and time commitment.
  • (Perceived) Relevance: Is it relevant? This means it’s perceived by the candidate to be directly related to the role’s requirements.

Let’s compare in-person interviews to those conducted via video or regular phone calls.

Those in person are usually perceived as relevant by the candidates as they usually get to ask all the questions about the position. The recruiters, for the most part, ask relevant questions. However, it might not always be considered convenient, especially if a person lives far away or has to leave work to make it to the interview.

Interviews not conducted in person are often seen as more convenient as candidates stay home in a familiar environment, making them more relaxed. However, sometimes these interviews can seem somewhat depersonalized, especially if it’s not a video call and therefore not that relevant for the candidate.

To give another concrete example, from the engagement perspective, the candidates mostly find game-like assessments quite fun and engaging, while the typical open-ended biodata questionnaires bore them to death.

Enhance the Efficiency of the Recruitment Process

It’s not whether you should make assessments a part of the hiring process — the real questions you should be asking are

  • which ones to choose
  • at which stage to conduct them, and
  • whether they would be in person or online.

They significantly accelerate the decision-making process and enable you to find qualified candidates easier. If the recruiters take into account both the needs of the company and the candidate, they are bound to match the company and the position to the right candidate.