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Hiring in a Recession:
Shortening Assessment Forms?

Hiring in a Recession: Shortening Assessment Forms?

Google up ‘hiring in a recession’ and you get a crop of “7 tips to ____”, “6 strategies for ___”, etc.

Strangely enough, the top articles offer no relevant advice but oddities such as [to avoid missing on good talent] “offer longer breaks and nicer bathrooms”. Their authors are all creative writers. No recruiter.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, in an article written for the website “Recruiter”, Ted Kinney, PhD and VP R&D for PSI Services, develops very strong points, one of which I will highlight here.

The issue: In recessionary times, should HR shorten candidate assessment forms to avoid scaring off potential talent?

Kinney makes the case that personnel assessments should remain the same (long) because during hard times, companies need more certainty (more data) on who they hire.

To a professional recruiter, that makes excellent sense for at least 3 reasons:

1- Lack of data increases the likelihood of hiring the wrong person for the job. In a recession, who would risk wasting time and money on wrong hires?

2- Candidates scared off by long assessment forms may be short on actual experience. Not a sign of ‘best suitability’.

3- Kinney underscores that 25 years of research show candidates love to be offered an opportunity to show their skills. Long forms are a great tool for this.

To get better candidates, hire a professional recruiter to do the screening job upstream. Keep your assessment forms long.