The best time to assess candidates is after the phone screen, core values assignment, and first interview. As assessments become easier to administer, more-and-more organizations are assessing candidates at various points in their selection process. In some cases, where they are being inserted, and how they are being used might create a legal or moral dilemma.
Legally, no assessment should count for more than 1/3 of the selection process and no assessment should be a go/no-go decision on its own.
There are two other business reasons not to assess too early in the process: 1) hiring managers might be investing in an assessment for a candidate they don’t like and could have screened out without the investment; and 2) the assessment might bias the view of the candidate before the meeting. Meeting with a candidate before assessing allows for an open mind about their styles.
A bigger mistake hiring managers make is administering assessments too late in the process. It is common for managers to assess candidates as the final step “just in case something pops up.” By the time a candidate gets to this stage of the process, hiring managers have emotionally committed to the candidate and cannot objectively interpret the results. If hiring managers are deep into the process and committed to a candidate, they shouldn’t bother assessing.
Assessing candidates after the first interview allows the hiring manager to confirm their observations and objectively focus on concerns in follow-up behavior-based interviews and behavior-based reference checks.
Empowered hiring managers assess their candidates at the right time in the process for successful results.