Mind the Gap!

Mind the Gap!
Mind the Gap!

Katie Herridge

Katie Herridge

Assessment Product Manager

What do your candidates really want? Do you know? Is it what you think? Saville Assessment, a Willis Towers Watson Company recently surveyed over 1000 job applicants and 200 organizational recruiters to find out what is really important as part of the online screening process. Assessment Product Manager Katie Herridge shines a light on what switches candidates on and how in sync recruiters are with these expectations.

Finding and securing the best talent is paramount to success in today’s competitive business environment. The online recruitment screening process is often the first chance an organization has to really impress that talent. Ensuring alignment between candidate and recruiter expectations is crucial for having the highest caliber applicant pool to recruit from.

How can recruiters mind the gap and ensure that their organization’s selection process reflects what is really important to today’s applicants?

Here’s where recruiters need to mind the gap.

Retention Matters

Our survey data suggests that applicants are not looking for a quick fix or a stop gap; 91% of applicants surveyed stated that they want the online recruitment screening process to help identify the job they want to stay in. This factor was given the highest overall importance rating by the applicant sample. However, fewer recruiters placed importance on identifying employees who will stay for a long time, rating several other factors as being of higher importance.

Mind the gap by looking at your organization’s retention metrics. If you have great retention, shout about it! Let your candidates know this early in the selection process. If applicants can see that your employees stay for a long time, this is likely to have a positive effect on whether they will continue with their application.

If your organization has great talent retention metrics, make sure your applicants know this. Include positive retention statistics or a short video from some long-term employees as something applicants see when they go through your online selection process. 

Being Well Suited

It is important to applicants that they are selected for a role to which they are well suited. However, fewer recruiters placed importance on identifying the right person for each role. For recruiters, aspects such as minimizing cost per hire and filling all vacancies were of greater importance. Is this quantity over quality? 

Without a focus on finding those that are best suited to a role, recruiters run the risk of increasing their overall costs. Bad hires result in wasted recruitment costs plus the cost of development / training and ultimately needing to fill the role with someone more suitable. It is essential to always look at whether the selection process is identifying individuals who will likely be effective in the role. Getting the right person in a role increases the likelihood of retention and will minimize cost per hire in the long term.

Well-researched and valid assessments help organizations to identify individuals who are most likely to be effective in the role.

Motivation is Key

91% of recruiters want the online screening process to result in the applicant feeling motivated to work for their organization. This factor was joint highest amongst the recruiters surveyed. Whilst being motivated to want to work for the organization was also important to applicants, the other factors highlighted above, along with a process that’s fair to all candidates, were more important to the applicants surveyed.

Help candidates see positive aspects of the organization throughout the screening process. One way this can be achieved is to include key facts about the organization’s core values. Perhaps embed a short video at the start of the process that showcases these areas? Alternatively look at ways to highlight what your organization does into selection scenarios. When Jaguar Land Rover came to us to redesign their early-career selection process, we built questions specifically around car engineering scenarios that could accompany 3D images of their vehicles. It validly selected the best applicants and motivated candidates to want to work for them. 


The online screening process allows recruiters the opportunity to showcase their brand. 86% of applicants stated that they want the process to give them a positive impression of the organization’s brand.


Branding, Timing and Technology

For a complete picture of what switches applicants on, request a copy of the full survey by emailing [email protected]

 As well as presenting what is most important to applicants and recruiters the survey highlights: 

  • The influence of an applicant’s recruitment experience on future purchasing decisions.

  • The maximum time applicants are willing to invest in a recruitment process.

  • The importance of technology including mobile, multimedia and game-based assessments to applicants.

  • The factors most likely to engage applicants in an online screening process.


About Saville Assessment, a Willis Towers Watson Company

Saville Assessment, a Willis Towers Watson Company offers a smarter approach to talent assessment, which delivers exceptional results. We are transforming how organizations across the globe hire, build and lead their talent with our industry-leading assessments that set the market standard for identifying potential.

All our products are designed based on extensive research into successful workplace performance and the critical relationship between motive, talent and workplace culture.

We help clients place the right people in the right roles and support them in making sure they thrive once they are there.

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