Survey Reveals Corporate Recruiters Have Big Appetite for What Pre-Hire Assessments Can Deliver in College Recruiting Efforts

US Companies Admit Assessments Trump GPA and Interviews When It Comes To Ensuring Employee-Culture Fit, Improving Retention

May 02, 2012, 09:53 ET from SHL

ATLANTA, May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SHL, the global leader in talent measurement solutions, today released the findings from a custom college recruiting survey conducted by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Approximately 900 HR professionals were polled on their use of (and perspectives on) pre-employment assessments as part of their company's college recruitment efforts. Survey respondents represented a variety of industries and hailed from large corporations such as Amazon, DuPont, and Starbucks, as well as small to mid-sized enterprises. The most significant finding: Retention rates were cited as the greatest challenge facing college recruiters today, but despite evidence and perceptions that pre-hire assessments can dramatically improve employee retention and quality of hire, only a fraction of respondents (just 29 percent) indicated they actually use assessments to inform their college recruiting decisions.

As recruiters struggle to manage the influx of soon-to-be graduate applicants, many are forced to make hiring decisions with little more to go on than educational accomplishments and high GPAs – far from accurate predictors of workplace success. While over half of respondents indicated they are not using assessments either because of perceived barriers to entry or misperceptions about their end result, onboarding the wrong talent means giving competitors the edge – a costly mistake no company can afford. Beyond retention issues, recruiters surveyed expressed difficulty with finding the right candidate-corporate culture fit, and three out of five respondents agreed that offering candidates a truly realistic job preview would improve recruiting process outcomes, retention rates and overall quality of hire.

Science-based pre-employment assessments quickly, objectively, and accurately identify proven critical competencies for success. The assessment experience also provides candidates with a more realistic preview of what the job entails, while offering recruiters a clearer window into a candidate's potential success, and job fit, in any given role.

"Hiring and retention challenges are common in any sector, but the stakes are even higher in college recruiting, as companies both large and small scramble to get to the newest, best, and brightest talent before their competitors," commented Caroline Paxman, President of SHL Americas. "It's become more important than ever to ensure the right fit from the start especially since graduates represent potential leadership talent for the future.  Resume information and GPA scores by themselves are not nearly as effective as well-developed assessments when it comes to predicting of long term potential for success."

Assessments as part of graduate recruitment have been common practice across Europe for decades and have been shown to significantly improve college graduate quality-of-hire – helping to reduce turnover while increasing productivity.  However, assessments as part of the graduate recruiting process in the United States remains much less common than in Europe.

Paxman continues, "While a large number of US companies are already using assessments in the hiring process, many have been slow to adopt them for college recruiting. Coursework and internships can only tell you so much, so this is the natural next step towards improving entry-level talent programs, since assessments are the most accurate way to gauge potential for those candidates who don't yet have a body of work to demonstrate their competency potential."

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About NACE
Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit

About SHL - People intelligence. Business results.
SHL is the leader in talent measurement solutions, driving better business results for clients through superior people intelligence and decisions - from hiring and recruiting, to employee development and succession planning. With a presence in over 50 countries, SHL delivers more than 25 million assessments annually in over 30 languages - allowing over 10,000 business customers to benefit from both global expertise and local insight. Along with its world-class consulting practices and 24-hour support center, SHL clients can access over 1,000 assessments through an easy-to-use technology platform. Headquartered in London, UK, the company has offices in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia/New Zealand. For more information, visit