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Design In-House Assessments That Improve Hiring Success

Go beyond the interview to better assess for competencies specific to the organization’s culture and unique needs.

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  • Nicole Bonenfant, Adjunct Professor, Recruitment & Selection, Humber College
  • Matt Burns, Founder & CEO, Global HR Collective
  • Glenda Fisk, PhD, Employment Relations Program, Queen’s University
  • Chris Frame, Partner, Operations, LiveCA
  • Tom Haak, Director, HR Trends Institute
  • Chris Hodge, AVP, Talent Acquisition, RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation
  • Angela Hountalas, VP People, Rangle.io
  • HR Professional, a U.S. Insurance Organization
  • Ernest Mistica, HR Consultant, Enterprise Communications Company
  • Lucy Norman, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Poonam Ramkhelawon, HR Professional
  • Joanne Roth, Director, Talent Acquisition, Special Projects, Sun Life Financial
  • Sebastien Savard, CEO & Co-Founder, Sourcinc
  • Wes Winham, Founder & CEO, Woven

Several anonymous contributors were also interviewed.

  • The cost of making a bad hire is high, even for entry-level positions.
  • Lack of skilled interviewing is intensified by the fact that over half of job applicants don’t meet the basic requirements of the role.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Increasing the quality of pre-hire assessments beyond an interview improves objectivity and the quality of hiring decisions. Designing them in-house allows for greater alignment with the organization’s unique needs.

Impact and Result

  • Create an in-house assessment to accompany an interview so that you can better assess the on-the-job competencies of your candidates.
  • Create a scoring rubric for the assessment to improve objectivity of hires and to mitigate bias.
  • Test the assessment to ensure that it is valid and reliable before integrating the assessment into your talent acquisition process.

Research & Tools

2. Design your in-house assessments

Choose an assessment method to develop and create scoring for the assessment.

3. Ensure assessments are valid and reliable

Test the assessment design for alignment and bias.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Determine priority areas

Call #1 - Discuss pain points and determine priority roles.
Call #2 - Review competency framework.

Guided Implementation #2 - Design your in-house assessments

Call #1 - Design your in-house assessments.

Guided Implementation #3 - Ensure assessments are valid and reliable

Call #1 - Discuss and determine validity and reliability methods.

Guided Implementation #4 - Create an action plan for implementation

Call #1 - Develop an action plan for implementation.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Determine Priority Areas

The Purpose

  • Identify priority roles and competencies.
  • Select an assessment method.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Priority roles and competencies selected
  • Assessment method chosen




Confirm focus competency or role.

  • Focus competency or role confirmed

Determine pain points in current assessment process.

  • Pain points determined

Set goals and metrics for the assessment.

  • Goals and metrics set

Determine the required proficiency for the competency or role.

  • Proficiency determined

Choose the method you will be using for your assessment.

  • Method selected

Module 2: Design Your In-House Assessments

The Purpose

  • Develop the assessment and scoring rubric.
  • Test the assessment design’s validity and mitigate bias.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Assessment and scoring rubric established
  • Assessment evaluated with a sample group




Develop the assessment based on your chosen method.

  • Assessment designed based on method

Develop the scoring rubric.

  • Scoring rubric created

Determine resourced required.

  • Required resources identified

Map accountabilities.

  • Accountabilities mapped

Evaluate the assessment design for validity and bias.

  • Assessment design validated

Prepare to test the design on sample group.

  • Test design prepared

Module 3: Create an Action Plan for Implementation

The Purpose

  • Determine an action plan to integrate the assessment into the TA process.
  • Outline guidelines for running the assessment.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Plan to launch the assessment detailed
  • Guidelines for administrating the assessment set




Outline project milestones and key actions.

  • Key actions outlined

Develop your communication plan.

  • Communication plan mapped out

Draft assessor guidelines.

  • Assessor guidelines created

Determine feedback and metrics review.

  • Feedback and metrics review determined