Sharing assessments – it’s more ‘how to?’ than ‘should you?’

The question is not whether you 'should' share assessment data with candidates, but 'how' says David Creelman:

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Jun 5, 2023

With today’s technology, it is pretty easy for organizations to share the results of practically any assessments they do with the candidates that were involved in them.

The question, however, is should you do it, and if so how?

Let’s look at the ‘should?’ question first.

Margarida Rafael, a clinical psychologist who splits her time between Lisbon and São Paulo, works on cultural assessments. (One of her clients is Workzinga).

She says that bi-directional assessments – where assessments are given both to the employer and candidate – are an important trend.

The value of it, she argues, is that both the organization and the candidate can make their own judgment about their cultural fit.

Rafael sees this as a positive for engaging candidates and a way to ensure a good decision is made – both from the viewpoint of the organization and the candidate.

Caitlin MacGregor, CEO of Plum, also agrees that sharing assessments is a good practice, and her own data supports the idea that candidates appreciate seeing the results of their assessments.

Why? Well, Plum’s assessments help identify an individual’s drivers and drainers. This is vital information that can be valuable to a person throughout their career. By sharing this, the assessment enables the hiring company to give something useful back to the candidate – especially given it was they who took the time and effort to apply.

And the ‘how?’

Although it is generally agreed that providing candidates with their assessments is beneficial, we must temper our eagerness with prudence.

Reece Akhtar, CEO of Deeper Signals, focuses on assessments for purposes of development – which by their nature are normally shared with employees.

He says that the main thing to keep in mind is the risk of misinterpretation.

In other words, you don’t want someone to feel they are being reduced to a “type” or that the information will be misused or that the assessment somehow makes them feel worse about themselves.

Use clear language

Akhtar suggests it’s important to check that the language is clear for the layperson.

A clinical psychologist may not blink at the fact “neuroticism” as a big-five personality trait. But you would never want that label going out to a candidate.

Careful communication about how to make sense of the assessment will help ensure candidates and employees see the assessment as a positive and valuable experience.

In the longer run, we can expect that employees will have more and more control over their assessments, which will be stored on a blockchain and shared with potential employers as required.

This will eliminate the necessity for candidates to undergo comparable evaluations multiple times when seeking employment with different companies.

The takeaway is that it is a good idea to share assessments with candidates – but only as long as you are careful that they won’t be misinterpreted.

In fact, recruiters should be ready for candidates asking for (or even demanding) the results of their assessment. So it’s wise to get ahead of the curve and start sharing them today.