Myth or Fact? Shorter pre-hire testing time reduces the number of candidates who drop out of the process

Recently FurstPerson participated in the 2011 Customer Contact West Executive MindXChange hosted by Frost & Sullivan in San Diego, CA.  We led an interactive session, Separating Myth from Fact: Hiring for Peak Performance and Customer Satisfaction, which was the top rated session at the 2011 Customer Contact West event.  We wanted to share some of the content from the session with you via our blog series. 

Last week, we presented data on candidate perception on the assessment experience.  You can find this posting here.

Myth or Fact?  A shorter pre-hire testing time reduces the number of candidates that drop out of the process

Answer: Myth

FurstPerson research shows that the factor in the candidate testing process which is most responsible for influencing dropout rate is not the length of the test, but the location of testing (in-office vs. off-site/at home).  Testing on-site has a dropout rate of approximately 2-3% versus an off-site rate of 40-43%.  Looking at data, FurstPerson adjusted the test battery process from 75 minutes to 45 minutes for an organization with both an off-site and on-site option.  Shortening the test battery time by 30 minutes had no effect on the dropout rate, either on-site or off-site.

Dropout rate may be higher off-site because:

  • Candidates are not motivated (i.e., just window shopping)
  • Candidates are not ready (i.e., they click a web link without realizing they’re being taken to a testing process)
  • Candidates are not engaged (i.e., off-site process tends to be depersonalized)

In fact, some organizations have found that a longer assessment process helps weed out candidates who aren’t motivated to work hard and go the extra mile. 

If you are considering an off-site assessment process, what’s critical is to find a way to connect with applicants – via personal connection – even if process is remote.  Creating an emotional connection with the employer is the first step to building buy-in from candidates and potential employees.

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