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Candidates Don't Drop Out Because of Assessment

We spend a lot of time talking to accounting and bookkeeping firms about improving their hiring processes. They tell us about the difficulties they have had finding candidates, but then being disappointed with the quality of those they hire. They often love the idea of being able to assess skills and work habits in advance, but express to us their concern that good candidates won’t want to continue in a hiring process if they have to complete any testing. Research suggests in fact the opposite is true – it’s much more likely that poor candidates will withdraw from the process, or not complete the testing – saving you the effort of engaging with them! 

The study (Note 1) concludes that the best applicants are the ones most likely to see the assessments through to conclusion. Depending on the role this means assessments can even be used as a method to eliminate candidates who would not have the attributes to succeed in the role – allowing you to focus your efforts on those that would.  

Minerva Psychology summarized with these points: 

  1. Candidates with stronger assessment performance (as an indication of hire-ability) are more - not less likely - to complete assessments compared to lower performers. 

  2. This difference holds up regardless of assessment type, length, job level and hiring context. 

  3. Those identified as having stronger person-job fit are less likely to drop out than those with a weaker fit. 

This is the same as the discussions and feedback we get from firms. What many tell us is that if a candidate is not willing to invest an hour or two of time to demonstrate their knowledge and how they like to work, then they are clearly not very invested in the application process. These same candidates are more likely to just be seeking advancement rather than looking for a career with your firm.  

Other benefits of completing assessments prior to interview are: 

  1. You can eliminate really poor performers even before interview – reducing your cost of engagement, especially if you’re pulling in professionals who could otherwise be doing client work; 

  2. You don’t have to spend the interview time assessing their technical skills – you already know; 

  3. Your interview questions provided from the personality profile can be very targeted and immediately drill into areas you want to explore further – not just generic questions the candidate may (or may not) have practiced answers for; 

  4. You have more interview time available to sell the benefits of working for your firm, and allowing time for the candidate to ask questions. In this market the candidate is assessing you just as much as you’re assessing them, so you need to leave time to demonstrate how good a work culture you have, and how working for you is going to advance their long term career aspirations; 

  5. If you find a real quality candidate you can speed up the hiring process. Research also shows that if you run a slow hiring process you will definitely lose good candidates. 

From a candidate perspective when a firm does testing the candidate knows that the firm is serious about both wanting quality talent, but also making sure their new starters are well supported, and they have a good understanding of the training and personal development needs, so career development is not delayed.  

Knowing good candidates are not going to drop out of the process just because you want to assess them gives you the confidence to use the tools available – and make faster, more informed (and cheaper) hiring decisions. 

Note 1 Source : “Quitters would not prosper : examining the relationship between online assessment performance and assessment attrition behavior” Jay H Hardy et al - International Journal of Selection and Assessment March 2021 


Want to see if Accountests will work for your firm? Click on the button for a FREE trial test - use it on a candidate or get one of your staff to give it a go and see what they think.  
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Giles Pearson  |  After 18 years as a partner with a large public accounting firm, Giles founded Accountests to help those recruiting accountants make better hiring decisions

Accountests  |  Accountests deliver the world’s only online suite of annually updated and country-specific technical skills, ability and personality tests designed by and for accountants and bookkeepers. 
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