When it comes to the technology we buy, there’s one basic expectation we all have: we expect whatever we’re buying to work. If we buy a new computer, we expect the computer to perform well and run the applications we need it to run. When purchasing a new smartphone, we expect the phone to handle the latest apps, look crisp, and have the latest features. And, when a company invests in pre-hire assessment software, they expect to identify and attract the best job candidates available.

shutterstock_176713700_5bConverted5d-01.pngBut having something “work” can be a broad definition. A computer technically “works” if it’s able to turn on. A smartphone technically “works” if it’s able to make calls. These rudimentary features still fall under the definition of “working” but they do not meet the expectations we have for these products in 2015. And just like a computer or smartphone, a pre-hire assessment would be considering “working” if it does just that – assesses candidates in the hiring process.

With the surge of usage in hiring assessments over the past few years, new challenges and misconceptions have arisen. One misconception is that using any assessment is a good assessment; that buying an “out-of-the-box” hiring assessment – one that you can plug into your hiring process and go – is just as good as any high end, customized assessment. Sure, it may not be as sophisticated as a customized assessment, but the more basic assessments do exactly what they need to.

This belief is hazardous for a company’s talent acquisition strategies. Yes, out-of-the-box hiring assessments work in that they assess talent, but the question that can often be left unasked is “assess these candidates for what?” These “one size fits all” hiring assessments may come cheaper in price, but they have a cost on your talent acquisition processes because they’re using a hiring model based on averages to evaluate candidates. Do you want your company to be average?

If your company is looking to hire the best candidates available however, a general view of a candidate isn’t enough. Using customized assessments in your hiring process yields a number of benefits, from being able to target candidates specifically for the roles you’re hiring for in your company, to identifying job-relevant personality traits. Customized assessments can also help determine whether a candidate would be a risk for early stage attrition, or if the candidate may not fit into the company culture well. The result is a better talent selection process that is built specifically for the jobs at your company. It’s the difference between using a magnifying glass and a microscope.

“Using any assessment is a good assessment” is similar to saying that “any computer is a good computer.” Your assessments should be targeting your jobs, not just a general idea of the candidate. While the “one-size-fits-all” option exists, it only hinders your ability to find the best talent available because it doesn’t specifically target the best candidates out there.

If you think your company is ready for pre-hire assessments, download this e-book below on must-ask questions to see if you’re ready to begin using hiring assessments for your talent acquisition processes below.