Virtual Hiring: Why Talent Assessments are More Vital Than Ever Before

Virtual hiring aided by talent assessments

Virtual hiring has become the norm in 2023 due to the widespread adoption of remote work. In fact, 70% of talent professionals say virtual recruiting will be the new standard going forward and 89% of organizations have shifted to virtual recruiting

Organizations have increasingly turned to technology to improve the hiring process, from applicant tracking systems to automated candidate engagement platforms. However, leading companies are adding a powerful component – talent assessments – to their hiring process that not only helps them adapt to virtual hiring, but also streamlines the screening process, identifies best-fit candidates from the start, meets diversity and inclusion objectives, and promotes the human experience at work.

In addition, while the transition to virtual hiring has brought many benefits like increased access to talent and reduced costs, it has also introduced several challenges – many of which are solved using talent assessments.

Challenge: Candidate Screening

Among other things, the current economic landscape has greatly impacted talent acquisition teams, shifting demands and responsibilities to fewer resources, and is driving the continued adoption of virtual recruiting and onboarding. While the growing availability of online job portals, social media and virtual recruitment advertising has helped employers to source more candidates, it has also led to a greater volume of applicants, less in-person or effective screening processes, and a slower hiring process. 

Despite major advancements in technology, screening is still the most time-intensive aspect of hiring with an average hiring decision for a job taking approximately 23 hours of screening time. In fact, 60% of recruiters say screening candidates is the most time-consuming part of hiring.

In today’s hiring environment, companies need practical and effective tools to effectively screen out poor-fit applicants and screen in candidates best-suited for the job – quickly and remotely. Talent assessment solutions deliver objective, science-backed data so recruiters can focus only on best-fit candidates equipped to do the job. Unlike typical selection tools that test personality or risk behavior, sophisticated talent assessments measure the critical competencies, behaviors, values, and cultural fit needed for a particular role based on a benchmark of what success looks like in the role.

Challenge: Hiring for Evolving Skill Requirements.

Changing technologies and new ways of working are disrupting jobs and the skills employees need to do them. Companies are tasked with adapting to rapidly changing conditions and how to match workers to new roles and activities and evolve their hiring to secure the right skills – both hard and soft – to deliver on new business models in today’s dynamic economy. 

More than a century of data proves that talent assessments offer a highly effective way for organizations to create value within the hiring process, through their ability to measure a person’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and cultural fit and use the results to support a standardized process of informed decision-making. 

Tools and solutions based on psychometric science, provide organizations with a reliable and accurate way to systematically evaluate an applicant’s ability to successfully perform a specific job while fitting into a specific organization. Several recent survey efforts clearly show the value assessments can add. For instance, a recent survey by Aptitude Research Partners found that companies that invest in assessments are:

  • 4X more likely to improve quality of hire
  • 3X more likely to improve retention
  • 42% more likely to improve the candidate experience

Challenge: Driving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

DEI was a “nice to have” a few years ago. Today, it has become a top priority with talent leaders hyper-focused on improving and sustaining DEI goals in a hybrid workplace. However, virtual hiring may exacerbate existing biases in the recruitment process. Studies have shown that unconscious bias can influence hiring decisions, leading to the exclusion of certain groups. In a remote setting, unconscious biases may become more pronounced, as limited visual cues and increased reliance on virtual resumes can lead to snap judgments. 

One of the most effective ways to avoid hiring based on gut feel or bias is to adopt objective, data-based assessments that “level the playing field” of potential candidates. Validated job profiles can help employers objectively evaluate hundreds of candidates by measuring against the unique competencies directly tied successful workers in the same role and industry. This allows you to go beyond resumes and gain insights into each candidate’s true potential using objective, science-backed data and surface qualified candidates that may have been overlooked. And, hiring decisions are based on unbiased data, naturally expanding the applicant base to a diverse range of candidates. 

Also, as companies seek to diversify their leadership teams and boards, embedding DEI-based competencies into talent assessments can ensure organizations are hiring or promoting leaders with the capabilities to drive DEI initiatives. For example, XBInsight’s talent assessment now includes a DEI competency that measures a candidate’s ability to contribute to an inclusive environment for diverse people, including:

  • Support creativity and collaboration across groups
  • Recognizes and acknowledges individual differences with empathy
  • Provides equitable opportunities for different groups to share ideas
  • Encourages others to celebrate and leverage their strengths
  • Attentive and adaptive to other cultures

Challenge: Enhancing the Human Experience at Work.

Today, there is an ever-critical need for employers to focus on the human experience in the workplace. Namely, expanding the concept of employee experience to create a positive, supportive, and personalized environment that allows employees to foster personal connection, meaning, and purpose in their work. In fact, a study by Deloitte Digital found companies that focus on the human experience were twice as likely to outperform their peers over a three-year period. 

A key aspect of creating a better human experience and aligning people and their employers is through cultural fit. According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), cultural fit is defined as “shared beliefs and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee perceptions, behaviors, and understanding. Organizational culture sets the context for everything an enterprise does.”

Culture fit is linked to valued outcomes such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job performance, and retention. Assessments that are designed for specific jobs, roles, and environment/culture can be most powerful in driving a better human experience. They are a single solution that offers an objective way to measure how well applicants fit with a dynamic and inclusionary definition of culture – ultimately, creating value through the psychological bond that comes with shared values.

Assessments Can Prepare You for the Virtual Future.

According to Upwork, by 2025, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely, which equates to about 22% of the workforce. This projection suggests a continuous yet gradual shift towards remote work arrangements. Meanwhile, according to Forbes, a remarkable 93% of employers plan to continue conducting job interviews remotely, indicating a willingness to adapt to virtual recruiting and hiring methods. Talent assessments are the perfect fit for today’s increasing virtual world because they:

  • Are already virtual and support the ability to adapt and thrive in the new normal.
  • Increase the odds of successful hires in the new normal.
  • Help adapt to and acquire newly emerging skill sets.
  • Create cultural alignment and shared values.
  • Help remove bias and drive DEI initiatives.
  • Promote the human experience at work.

To learn more about XBInsight’s talent assessments and solutions, click here.