Talent Assessment: Critical for Competitive Hiring at Scale

Workplace assessments have historically been unpopular in the hiring process – and not without cause. They are often administered poorly, and have resulted in a waste of time for all involved. However, for those who have embraced the evolution of assessments and are utilizing them correctly, they are an invaluable part of hiring at scale. In fact, today’s fast-moving organizations, particularly tech companies, can’t afford NOT to have assessments as part of a robust and efficient hiring process.

Good hiring managers and recruiters know that nothing replaces sitting down with someone, face to face, and having an in-depth interview. In this setting, an interviewer can assess body language, communication skills, and assess a myriad of additional soft skills necessary for the job or task. Two-way communication allows for more relevant discussions and clarifications.

One to one (single candidate -single job) is what many of us think of when we think about the “traditional” interview process but what happens when the scale is increased? For example, when employers need to fill 5, 10 or more roles at once? In today’s traditional recruiting model this creates unprecedented challenges as it relates to the employer, candidate experience, and agency model. Interviews require a significant investment of time by all parties involved. From an employer perspective, devoting more team members to the process, or holding out for the best candidate simply does not scale. How can applicants ever know they are fully communicating their ability to perform a job (especially technical) by answering obscure questions or completing random homework assignment? Moreover, how can anyone ever hope to benchmark talent?

There has to be better way to source, engage and assess Talent. For today’s discussion, let’s start with how talent assessments can improve scale, quality of resources, offer standardization, and how it is reshaping the landscape of the recruiting model.


To really understand where assessments can serve as a useful tool to both candidate and employer we must first understand how they have previously been utilized. In the past, candidates might be given paper tests, or tests with limited human interaction, or tests centered around very specific (and at times obscure) pieces of information. While these sorts of assessments provide some value (albeit – very limited) on problem solving they often fail to assess things like aptitude, communication, core fundamentals, work ethic & history, team fit (by skill and style). Essentially, they are lacking in their ability to provide a candidate centric experience while providing structured data to drive good hiring decisions. The current model is both costly and time consuming and eventually burns out everyone involved in the process. Imagine having to scale out a large team with these inadequacies…while possible, it is far from ideal.


The next generation of top tier talent requires the next generation of tools and techniques fueled by technology. Selection of the correct assessment solution requires careful forethought and planning around the needs of your organization. Also essential to this process is flexibility in administration and the ability to provide baseline insights to drive decision-making.


Making assessments work for you require three key components 1) clear objective(s); 2) correct implementation & administration; 3) data driven tools and techniques.

Consistent use of assessments allows your company to create benchmarks and ensures that everyone entering the organization meet key standards. In technical roles, this can be particularly important. Detailed talent assessments can ensure that every hire is capable of meeting the high standards of an organization.

At TalentReach, we are experts in hiring at scale and have the tools to uncover and assess the best talent for your organization as part of our elective service offerings. Our unique RPO service offerings allow us to quickly administer assessments based on the clear objectives of your business, scale from one to many, and offer a personal touch to soft skill assessment.


Let’s say you’re hiring for a developer. One of the first things you would want to know is how good a candidate is at basic CS fundamentals. As one of our services, we have candidates sit down with an actual engineer, and talk in real-time over a problem set that is specific to the position. The real-time meeting is done through video conferencing tools that are built in to the assessment process. This interaction allows us to get a better understanding of a candidate’s overall skills. It provides a glimpse of “soft skills” such as communication and how candidate’s approach a problem. We are firm believers that getting the “correct” answer is only one part of the equation: how one thinks or processes is equally important. Think back to the days of showing your work in math class.

Straight technical answers to questions don’t show how well a candidate will perform their job duties, processes, or general knowledge. Best of all, our processes allow for multiple candidates working with multiple engineers, each an expert in a discipline. All this happens BEFORE a successful candidate is moved on to meet hiring managers, preserving their limited time. Best of all we’ve thought out similar process for other fields such as sales, analytics, etc.


“Hiring at scale is always a challenge. When it is done best it’s performed with clear objectives, select tools, and is candidate-centric throughout the entire process. I’ve hired teams of people in very short windows of times – to do so required every piece of the puzzle to be in place and well defined prior to getting started. The problem with most talent assessments is that organizations simply view them as “add-on” or afterthought to the interview process. They lack the necessary data to be effective and solely address the needs of the employer.” – Eric Crawford, Co-Founder of TalentReach

Recruiting in Seattle’s competitive job market is rapidly moving from a more contingent model to a service model of delivery. The needs of employers are changing in addition to the needs of the candidate. Next generation Talent Agencies, need a well thought out plan to address the needs of both. Recruiting is fundamentally shifting from reactive to proactive models of support and to do so talent assessments will play a fundamental role in the shift. Some might think that assessments might slow down a hiring process – in fact, properly administered, it can drastically speed things up.

Surviving the competitive market for talent acquisition requires real change. Embracing effective solutions around talent assessments allow for organizations to quickly differentiate between resources, stay ahead of their competition, and provide a better overall experience for everyone involved especially when attempting to hire large numbers of resources for a specific job or requirement.

TalentReach is working with Seattle’s top companies to change how they hire. Call us to find out how we can help you.


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