Written by: Team PredictiveHire
Blind screening – the smarter alternative to situational judgement tests?
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Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) or Ai interview automation?
From one recruiter to another and one employer to another, the ways candidates are selected vary greatly. But ask anyone involved in the process, and most will agree that what happens at the early candidate screening stage, is critical to getting the best outcomes. Traditionally, it’s also been the most time-consuming and costly part of the hiring process.
Long before a face-to-face interview, recruiters need to screen candidates to decide, from potentially thousands of applicants, who should proceed to the next steps in the hiring cycle.
But before they’ve even met a candidate, can recruiters really assess someone’s ability and suitability for the job they’re applying for? Yes, they can.
Choosing the best assessment solution for your recruitment tools suite.
In contemporary recruiting, a suite of tools and technologies can help take the hard work and the guesswork out of the hiring process. Talent assessment tools help recruiters identify the best candidates faster – talent who will be the best fit for the role and the team, work most productively and stay in the role longer.
While traditionally a time-consuming manual review of applications and CVs would begin the hiring process, recruiters have embraced technologies that can automate these processes from the outset.
In this article, we compare two top of the funnel tools recruiters are using to assess candidates: traditional situational judgement tests (SJTs) and the next generation text interview platform.
Sapia Ai-enabled automated interviews could provide the answers you’re looking for, helping to connect to the best talent faster and more cost-effectively.
So, what is a situational judgement test?
Situational judgement tests are used to assess a candidate’s judgement and ability to respond appropriately to the real-world situations they would be likely to encounter in the workplace.
Candidates are presented with a workplace scenario and then they are required to choose or rank the best (or worst) paths to resolve the challenge, conflict or opportunity. They are a type of psychological aptitude test that provides insight and assessment of a candidate’s job-related skills.
What do situational judgement tests measure?
While the challenging scenarios presented to candidates are hypothetical, the best tests are designed around the role they are applying for.
Reflecting real situations they could encounter, the scenarios may involve working with other team members or supervisors, interacting with customers or dealing with day-to-day challenges.
Situational judgement tests date back to the 1940s. While the ways they are delivered may have changed, they remain a popular way to assess skills such as problem-solving and interpersonal skills. They are also useful in assessing soft skills and practical, non-academic intelligence.
Situational judgement tests are customised to the role and the organisation. Generally, they would be looking to assess a candidate’s aptitude for a role by measuring competencies that might include:
- Communication skills – clarity, persuasiveness, empathy
- Organisation and planning – solving the problem, staying cool under pressure
- Teamwork – collaboration, encouraging others, prioritising team needs over the individual, implementing solutions
- Decision making – exercising discretion, analysing the situation, demonstrating solid judgment
- Customer focus – listening, recognising, delivering
- Initiative – taking responsibility, demonstrating leadership, stepping up
- Ambition – drive to achieve
How does a situational judgement test work?
As they are produced by a range of different providers, SJTs can be delivered in a number of ways. As they are also tailored to suit specific roles and companies, tests can vary in their length, structure and format. While some may be paper-based ,most tests are delivered digitally.
The tests provide candidates with a workplace scenario – as a written description or as a video or digital animation – and a challenge related to that scenario. Typically, candidates are then presented with four or five possible paths of action in multiple-choice format to deal with the situation described.
Different approaches are used for candidates to provide their answers. Some may require candidates to choose both the most desirable and the least desirable action. Others may ask candidates to choose just one preferred option or rank all actions in terms of effectiveness.
What benefits can SJTs bring to the hiring process?
SJTs are typically used before the interview stage and often used in combination with a knowledge-based test.
SJTs are designed to help recruiters and hiring managers to:
- filter candidates from large talent pools
- identify candidates who are likely to perform best in the role
- provide candidates with further insight into the demands of the role
- identify candidates who will be a good cultural fit
- assess candidates’ aptitude and judgement against realities of the role
- understand a candidate’s aptitude for the particular job
- help reduce staff turnover by making more informed decisions
Sapia – the smarter way to assess candidates
Since 2013, Australian recruitment technology specialist Sapia has worked to solve a problem for every recruiter and employer. That is how to get to the right talent faster while consistently improving the candidate experience.
Sapia’s text-based interview platform uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing to provide reliable personality insights into every candidate. While SJTs can be expensive time-consuming to create, administer and assess, Sapia’s platform can a like-for-like personality and job-fitness tests with far greater ease and at a fraction of the cost.
Why organisations are turning to interview automation over situational judgement tests
Here is feedback from a customer after running a pilot using SJTs:
Often SJTs don’t accurately represent what the job is really about. There are so many aspects that need to be considered within a real-world situation. Feedback from the SJTs pilot groups is that they often felt as though they were being forced into specific areas that may not be job-related. There needs to be more flexibility for a candidate to say: “I would do this, but I would also do a bit of that”. Having an experience that gives flexibility in answering. It enables candidates to have that open-ended answer to express what was important to them.
How Sapia’s interview automation works
Smart Interviewer is Sapia’s machine learning interview platform. With learning from analysing more than 165 million words in text-based interviews with more than 700,000 candidates, Smart Interviewer combines standard interview questions related to past behaviour and situational judgement to reliably assess personality traits. The questions can be customised to the specific role family – sales, retail, call centre, service etc– and specific requirements relating to the employer’s brand and employment values.
Candidate assessment at scale
The scientific foundation of Sapia’s Ai interview platform is that language forms the framework for the knowledge, skills and personality we possess. Through a simple text-based conversation, Smart Interviewer provides valuable candidate insights. It can predict a candidate’s suitability for a role and guide their progression through the recruitment process. It delivers the insights that recruiters and employers need to make better hiring decisions at scale.
Enhancing the candidate experience – 99% satisfaction
Improving the candidate experience is a priority for every recruiter and employer. The effect of a poor experience can cause lasting damage to reputations and brands. Sapia is the only conversational interview platform with 99% candidate satisfaction feedback. Candidates enjoy the process, appreciate the opportunity and value the personalised feedback. Something that’s simply not practical with most high-volume recruitment briefs.
Candidates know text and trust text
As text is a familiar, non-confrontational way to connect, candidates enjoy the text interview experience. Unlike SJTs that lock them into choosing options from pre-determined answers, candidates appreciate the open-ended questions . Here they are empowered by the opportunity to tell their story in their words.
While questions are customised to the role, some typical examples include:
• What motivates you? What are you passionate about?
• Not everyone agrees all the time. Have you had a peer, teammate or friend disagree with you? What did you do?
• Give an example of a time you have gone over and above to achieve something. Why was it important for you to achieve this?
• Sometimes things don’t always go to plan. Describe a time when you failed to meet a deadline or personal commitment. What did you do? How did that make you feel?
• In sales, thinking fast is critical. What qualifies you for this? Provide an example.
Tackling bias and taking CVs out of the equation
Sapia provides blind-screening at its best, effectively reducing opportunities for bias from the assessment process to ensure every candidate is playing on a level field. Candidates recognise and appreciate the opportunity to tell their story without the subjective biases of a human interview or a cursory review of their CV. For top of the recruitment funnel interviews, Sapia removes CVs from the process altogether.