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Want to see your grads' true potential? Cut out the stress

Tuesday 9th June

Want to see your grads' true potential? Cut out the stress

Ever applied for a job, sought out a bit of advice, and been told promptly to “just be yourself“?

Well, it turns out that this might be easier said than done. While Gen Z grads are all about authenticity, traditional assessment methods are stressful. And, when things get stressful, we all tend to stop worrying so much about authenticity. Instead, when the stakes are high, we focus on what will get us the job. That means your grads can quickly transform from ‘themselves’, into whatever they think you want them to be.

This isn’t just bad for candidates. It’s bad for employers too. We’ve done some digging, and found three reasons why:

  • Harder to gauge job fit
  • Cost inefficiency
  • Impact on cognitive diversity

Trouble finding ‘fit’

When did you last hire someone that, it quickly became clear, wouldn’t be right for the role? Well, you’re not alone. Survey data shows that 95% of recruiters have found themselves in your position.

Nearly half of all unsuitable hires are the result of a “mismatch of skills”, according to Robert Half research. So assessing job fit is an ongoing challenge for many – and much of this will come down to identifying the right behaviours. But, with stress directly linked to authentic responses, it’s clear that employers need to find ways to set graduates at ease. This will help them painting more accurate pictures of their candidates – and make the right hire.

Getting hires right, first time round

CareerBuilder data estimates that it could cost more than £10,000 to replace a hire that hasn’t worked out. That sounds bad. But when we looked at this figure in context, it got much worse. That’s over 36,000 Chicken McNuggets, 1,000 days of unlimited London travel, or (handy for a year like 2020) 1,900 glasses of wine.

So there’s clearly something to be said for getting it right first time round, then. Even more so as we enter another uncertain business climate in 2021. A clear picture of every candidate’s potential has never been more important – but you can’t paint that picture when their stress levels are dialled up to 11.

Think different, do different: building cognitive diversity

Teams tackle obstacles faster when different members offer different ways of thinking (defined as cognitive diversity)But, as candidates’ stress-induced responses land closer to the interviewer’s expectations, the process can become a quagmire of sameness.

By easing candidate’s stress with a more relaxed experience, you’ll get  a truer reflection of their unique approach to workplace challenges. This means you can more easily build teams that are cognitively diverse. And, with cognitive diversity directly linked to productivity, there’s plenty to gain on this front in 2021 and beyond.

Assessing away the stress

We’ve looked at the problems. Now’s the time for a solution.

You don’t want stressed candidates – we know that. But you also can’t just stop assessing them. There has to be a balance.

So how about a psychometric assessment that 82% of candidates find less stressful than traditional tests? One they actually enjoy, while still delivering you the insight you need to see beyond the CV?

That sounds a bit like our behaviour-based assessment (BBA). We asked a few candidates how they felt after completing it:

  • “A fun way to take the edge off the ‘normal’ psychometrics. Refreshing!” – AXA candidate
  • “This is the best assessment I’ve ever done. Once I started, all my nervousness was gone with only excitement left.” – PwC candidate
  • “All companies should use an assessment like this. You don’t feel as nervous.”  – Capita candidate

So, out with the sweaty palms (and unpleasant handshakes). In with honest, impactful insight into how your grads really think. Recruiting your grads this year? Our advice: don’t stress it.

Psst – we’ve now processed over 2m candidates! We’d love to show you how you can see yours for who they really are – without the stress. So get your demo arranged here.

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