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We recently conducted a study with a large company to help them assess their recruitment efforts.

The company hired about 200 salespeople per year, with a recruiting pipeline of 7,000+ candidates from both warm and cold sources. Of these candidates, 31% were identified as high potential quality recruits using the science of our psychometric pre-hire selection assessments.

The company was able to convert only 7% of those high quality recruits; the other hires came from recruits identified as having only average potential.

In this study, we monitored the performance of the recruits after they began work. The results were clear – higher quality hires out-produced those with average potential by 10% in the first year and 22% in the second year.

These results surprised the company and got them thinking… why are we not able to convert more of the high potential candidates?

Reconsider Your Hiring Priorities

Time and time again in high volume continuous flow recruitment models, recruiters need to meet annual hiring quotas. In some cases, people are even compensated based on filling their targets of recruits/hires. However, organizations that encourage this method of hiring are limiting their own profitability by directing focus away from securing high quality recruits.

I am happy to say that more and more companies are getting smart with their hiring data; a paradigm shift is occurring and companies are saying, “instead of spending all our energy filling our pipeline with candidates to meet our hiring quotas, why don’t we spend more energy and resources finding and knowing where the high quality candidates are, and converting more of them?”

Let’s consider the earlier example: we know that 2,100 candidates who applied for the role were considered high quality. At the hiring rate of 200 per year, the company would only have to convert about 10.5%.

So how do you do it?

Leverage Your Pre-Hire Assessment in Recruiting Conversation

Almost all of our clients use our psychometric pre-hire assessments in their selection process to help them determine quality/potential of the candidates. But these assessments can also be leveraged in the recruitment process to convert more high quality hires.  

Let me give you an example from one of our successful long-term clients:

For more than 30 years, this client always leveraged the psychometric assessment report in his recruiting conversations to ensure he was spending his time and resources recruiting only high quality candidates. He used the psychometric pre-hire assessment as early in the process as possible, so that he could use it to redirect candidates or show them why they would be successful with his organization.

If the psychometric tool showed that this person had high potential, he would let them know and say the following to the candidate:

“Thanks for taking the time to complete our pre-hire assessment. I wanted to have this conversation with you today to tell you more about why we use these in our selection process. One of the main reasons our office is so successful is that we use this scientific tool to help us identify top talent.

As you know not everyone is built for this business, so it is important we make sure we have the right people. Your results on our pre-hire assessment told me that you are predicted to have all the same success traits as our top performing people.

Specifically, it told me that you have strong prospecting potential, that you are a natural at closing deals, and that you would be a pleasure to coach and fit with our team. We’d like you to have your candidate report, which is about two pages long, as a thank you for filling out this assessment. We’d also like you to be aware of the kind of success you can have with us and we’d like to extend an offer to have another meeting with our successful organization.”

Now put yourself in the recruit’s shoes – wouldn’t you want to be part of something special like this? Wouldn’t you like interview with an organization that spends the time using a scientific tool to ensure your success? Doesn’t this process show that they are very selective about who they hire and that this is an exclusive offer to work for their organization? As a recruit, this conversation just sends all the right messages about their professionalism.

So in this context, not only are we spending more time with high potential people, but the psychometric pre-hire assessment acts as a great recruiting conversation to convert more high quality.

If you have a large pipeline of quality recruits to choose from, spend more energy trying to convert these people rather than settling for average talent. The war for talent is fierce in the marketplace but there is nothing like using a psychometric tool to reinforce people’s strengths and show them why they would succeed with you.

If using a selection tool early in the recruiting process is too expensive, consider an online screening tool instead. We are not talking about pre-screening questions, but rather an online interview that provides a short psychometric, collects some biographic and demographic data, and conducts a short attitude survey. Most screening assessments are about 7 to 10 minutes long, and they are usually quite cost-effective.

Convert Diversity for Higher Performance

Research shows that highly diverse teams consistently outperform non-diverse teams.

In the changing recruiting landscape, competitive companies need to not only convert high potential candidates, but also evolve their sourcing and conversation strategies to build a more diverse workforce.

Your recruitment, selection, and conversion process can be optimized to leverage diversity to enhance the quality of hires you have available.

At SMG, we offer a Diversity Recruiting workshop that teaches you how to do just this!

The Bottom Line

Successful organizations are able to identify high quality candidates early and convert more of them. Spend your time and resources on the right people.


If you’d like to learn more about the pre-hire assessments or screening tools for your organization please contact SMG or get in touch with me directly at 416 746 0444 ext. 250 and rdougan@selfmgmt.com.  

Get our new on-demand workshops, starting with “Recruiting for Diversity and Inclusion” in early September!

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Robert Dougan

About Robert Dougan

Robert is the Director of Practice Management and a senior consultant at The Self Management Group. Robert has spent many years helping professionals in financial services with personalized custom solutions in the area of talent acquisition, talent management, succession planning, coaching, and team development to improve both the top and bottom line.

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