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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.

  • 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.

Design In-House Assessments That Improve Hiring Success 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.

Workshop: Design In-House Assessments That Improve Hiring Success

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 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

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 5 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

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.


  • 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,
  • 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.