Should You Include Assessments in Your Startup Hiring Process?

The recruitment process in the early stages of a startup is a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, you want to find the best candidates who align with your company culture and mission, and it’s not always possible to make that kind of determination in a single interview. On the other hand, you need to make efficient decisions that don’t consume too much time or resources and keep candidates rolling through the application process at a comfortable pace.

One tool that can help you achieve this balance is a hiring assessment. Here, we will explore the pros and cons of including hiring assessments in your startup’s hiring process, how they are used, and how job seekers view them.

The state of the hiring market

Employers learned a great deal during the peak of the Great Resignation when churn levels reached an unprecedented high. As employees across various industries reevaluated their career priorities and sought more fulfilling work experiences, the entire recruiting process became more strategic and intentional on both ends of the equation.

Assessments have gained even greater importance in this environment as they can help startups identify qualified candidates aligned with the company’s values and culture. Job seekers are increasingly looking for workplaces that offer a strong cultural fit, and assessments play a crucial role in facilitating this match.

According to Employ Test, a large majority of employers use hiring assessments. Their data found that as of 2022:

  • 52% of employers test for job-specific skills
  • 37% of employers test for cognitive ability
  • 34% of employers administer personality tests
  • 26% of employers test candidates for culture fit

It seems to pay off, as that same data found companies that use pre-hire screenings report a 39 percent lower turnover rate and are 24 percent more likely to have employees who exceed their performance goals.

The data seems to favor hiring assessments in general, but we’ll look at the pros and cons as we see them for the world of startups.

Related: 6 Ways to Attract and Hire Best-Fit Startup Talent

The pros of including hiring assessments

Hiring assessments have emerged as a valuable asset in the startup recruitment toolkit, offering numerous advantages. These assessments provide a structured, data-driven approach to evaluating candidates, allowing startups to make objective and predictive hiring decisions.

Objective insights: Assessments provide a standardized, objective way to evaluate candidates. They allow you to look beyond resumes and interviews to understand better a candidate’s skills, personality, and potential fit within your organization.

Predictive accuracy: Some assessments, like the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment, are designed to predict a candidate’s behavior and job performance. This can be incredibly valuable in identifying individuals likely to excel in specific roles.

Time efficiency: Assessments can streamline hiring by quickly eliminating candidates who don’t meet your basic criteria. This frees your team to focus on the most promising candidates, saving you time and resources.

Reduced bias: By relying on assessments, you can reduce unconscious bias in hiring decisions. This promotes diversity and inclusion within your startup, which can lead to a more innovative and dynamic team.

Enhanced employee retention: When you hire candidates whose personalities and work styles align with your company culture, you’re more likely to retain them in the long run. Assessments can help identify individuals who will thrive in your startup’s unique environment.

The cons of including hiring assessments

There are also potential drawbacks or cons associated with using hiring assessments:

Costs: Some assessments can be expensive to implement, especially for cash-strapped startups. Costs may include assessment fees, training, and time spent by your team in administering and interpreting the assessments.

Candidate experience: Lengthy assessments or those perceived as irrelevant can deter talented candidates from applying or continuing in your hiring process. It’s essential to strike a balance between assessment depth and candidate engagement.

False positives and negatives: No assessment is foolproof. There’s always a risk of hiring someone who performs poorly despite a positive assessment or missing out on great candidates who don’t perform well.

Privacy concerns: Collecting personal data through assessments can raise privacy concerns. Handling candidate data carefully and ensuring compliance with data protection regulations is crucial.

Related: Sourcing, Recruiting, and Retaining Startup Talent Using AI

The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment: A Valuable Tool

The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is a widely respected tool that can be an excellent addition to your startup’s hiring process. The Predictive Index (PI) assesses an individual’s workplace behavior and offers insights into their natural work style, motivators, and needs. PI is not only ‘just’ an assessment tool. It provides cohesive team-building insights along with an employee engagement survey tool. Here’s why it’s worth considering:

Proven track record: The Predictive Index is backed by over 65 years of science and has a history of success in helping organizations make more informed hiring decisions and improve employee performance. It is one of the only assessment tools on the market that an Industrial and Organizational Psychologist scientifically validates for hiring purposes.

Customization: It can be tailored to specific job roles within your startup, ensuring you evaluate candidates based on the skills and traits that matter most for each position.

Integration: The Predictive Index can seamlessly integrate into your existing recruitment process or ATS, making it a convenient tool for startups.

Insightful reporting: The assessment provides clear, actionable reports that can guide your interview questions and help you make data-driven hiring decisions.

Cost and candidate experience: The Predictive Index assessment tool is an annual subscription with unlimited assessments. You can administer as many assessments as needed for candidates and current team members. The behavioral assessment is two questions and takes approximately eight minutes to complete.

Click here to complete the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment for FREE and receive a copy of your results.


The decision to include assessments in your startup’s hiring process should be based on your specific needs, resources, and goals. While assessments like the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment can provide valuable insights into candidate behavior and performance, carefully weigh the pros and cons.

Remember that no single assessment tool can replace a holistic evaluation process that includes interviews, reference checks, and consideration of cultural fit. Assessments should be just one component of your overall strategy to identify the best talent for your startup.

When used thoughtfully, assessments can be valuable in building a high-performing team that drives your startup toward success.

This blog was written by Courtney Joy.

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