Skip to Content

The Four-Point Model of Candidate Experience

The Four-Point Model of Candidate Experience

Lead consultant at Test Partnership, Ben Schwencke, takes us through the question: What are psychometric tests?


Candidate Experience in Employee Selection and Assessment.

Now HR professionals and hiring managers have been increasingly cognisant of issues surrounding candidate experience.

Naturally they want to provide candidates with a fun, interesting, meaningful candidate experience that they will remember; hopefully influencing the candidates perception of the employee organisation and encouraging them to follow through with the recruitment process itself.

Now, when people say 'Positive Candidate Experience' almost everyone means: fun, interesting, engaging, which of course is very important but isn't the whole story.

In my estimation there are at least four key elements which underpin a positive candidate experience. First is the Relevance of the selection tools being used.

For example, assessment centres are perceived by candidates as very relevant to the role, to the organisation, and to these skills that underpin performance in that role.

As a result, candidates are likely to perform well, they're likely to do their best in this given assessment; highlighting their skills, abilities, and indeed values to the organisation because they believe the assessment methodology is sound.

The perceived relevance really improves the candidate experience.

When you do not have that, if you have something which is perceived as irrelevant, they'll probably give up or they won't try - yielding less information to make selection decisions.

The next issue is Convenience.

It's all well and good having a very relevant assessment but if people don't do it it doesn’t yield any useful information so for example, if you're using an assessment centre, say right at the beginning of the selection process, the odds are people aren't going to show up, they're not going to dedicate that kind of time this early on.

They would much rather do something quicker and more convenient, for example, an application form.

Quick, 5-10 minutes, doesn't require much effort - perfect for something easy, early, and fast.

The next issue is Difficulty.

Now you want assessments of moderate difficulty ones that candidates will find engaging but not overwhelming.

When tests are too difficult its prone to cause test anxiety which is particularly problematic for people of a nervous disposition.

When tests and assessments are too easy, what happens is people get bored.

They don't really try and take the assessment seriously and they may feel that they haven't been fairly vetted.

As a result, you want assessments that are challenging and engaging but not too difficult and certainly not too easy.

Lastly you want assessments which are fun, interesting, and engaging which is indeed what most people think when you say 'Positive Candidate Experience' and there's a good reason for this.

Of course you want people to think that your organisation is fun, interesting and memorable and you can do that by giving them interesting assessments during your assessment process.

As well as that, there's a good chance that candidates will try harder if they're enjoying the process itself and there'll certainly be less likely to deselect themselves.

As a result, if you can, using things like gamification, you can improve the overall candidate experience by making it more fun, more interesting, and more memorable.

So, those are the four elements of candidate experience and all four should be optimised to provide the best possible candidate experience for your applicant pool.

Back to top