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Crosschq Data Labs: Can Pre-Hire Candidate Assessments Predict Post-Hire Performance?

At Crosschq, our Data Lab is constantly examining different facets of the talent intelligence process. We consistently find correlations between hiring practices and quality of hire that deliver insights into how companies can better their recruitment funnel and create a path to success when it comes to identifying new talent and onboarding new hires.


One interesting area we’ve been looking into lately focuses on the pre-hire process. How your business handles checking out potential hires before arriving at a final selection can significantly impact your quality of hire and how long you are able to retain the employee.


There are a lot of pre-hire tests and assessments you can do to improve the quality of your new hires. Each assessment alone has limited capability for enlightening you about a new employee’s future. However, together they can help give you a clearer picture of candidate quality and offer some level of predictability when it comes to their suitability for and longevity at your organization.


Let’s take a look at some of the insights our Crosschq Data Lab has collected, and see why you shouldn't skip pre-hire processes.


Oh, the interview! This is the one thing most companies insist on when it comes to pre-hire checklists, but how accurate are they, really? It depends on who is doing the interview, above all, surprise: most people interviewing don’t have enough experience to make accurate judgment calls.


Interviews are often expected to provide the best assessment of a candidate when it comes to potential future performance. However, our lab has discovered a disturbing fact: interview predictive accuracy only comes with experience.


Of those who have given interviews, 80% only did one interview over their tenure. While the more interviews they give, the more predictive they are, an interviewer actually has to give a whopping 25 interviews before their score is predictive in post-hire performance


Does that mean you shouldn't do interviews? Not at all. Just balance interview scores with scores from other pre-hire assessments. To save time, also consider having employees do remote, self-driven interviews, where they submit answers to questions via email or a short recorded video. 

[See 10 Good Questions To Ask in a Screening Interview To Learn Surprising Things]


Reference checks

Companies can quickly start to hate doing reference checks because of how expensive they are to perform and how long they take to complete. However, reference checks can give you invaluable information about potential candidates. You can build a holistic picture with multiple references weighing in from all around the candidate, from employers to mentors to coworkers.



Crosschq 360 shortens the time to complete reference checks by up to 85%. It allows you to remove unconscious bias from the process by stripping reference check questions down to apples-to-apples comparison of candidates based on skills and suitability for the role. 


Our lab has noted that the best indicators of future job performance come from past coworkers: if they grade a former colleague harshly, that’s a red flag. Comparing self-reference scores with scores from peers and managers can help you identify soft skill proficiency.


Again, don’t make reference checks the only thing you do - but definitely don’t skip this step! You can leverage digital reference checkings to improve accuracy, allow you to do more checks per candidate, and get responses back quickly in a hiring climate where top talent will often accept another offer instead of waiting around for you to complete pre-hire processes.


There are multiple assessments you can have candidates complete as part of the pre-hire process. Note that these should be reserved for your shortlist of candidates who have shown strong indicators they are hanging in in hopes of landing the role: too many demands on candidate time too early in the process can make them walk away. Too long of a hiring stage can lead to a 16% or higher reduction in candidate offer acceptance.

Cognitive personality assessments

These are designed to reveal if a candidate has the desired personality your company wants. Be aware that a great personality alone doesn’t make a great work ethic or serve as an adequate predictor of quality of hire. Our lab has noticed that it is possible for candidates to score highly on desired attributes but not turn out to be high performers.

Problem-solvers tests

With these types of tests, we’ve seen that the higher the score, the lower the likelihood that a candidate will actually turn out to be a good performer. Analytical skill isn’t directly correlated with work ethic, which is a critical part of work performance. It also isn’t correlated directly with team-working capabilities, which are also important to productivity and affect quality of hire.

Deductive reasoning tests

These are general ability tests that cover numerical, inductive, and deductive reasoning. We’ve found that deductive reasoning tests are the most effective pre-hire assessment, with a higher correlation to post-hire performance.

Pre-hire assessments and tests are excellent supplements to your pre-hire checklist, giving you more information with which to build a complete profile of your top candidates. When combined with an even-handed interviewing process from a practiced, experienced interviewer and a robust reference checking workflow, these tools can all help you improve quality of hire and retention across the board. 

Post-hire performance evaluations

Performance evaluations can give you insights into your employees after they are onboarded and throughout their first year of employment and beyond. Employees who churn quickly or fail to meet performance expectations can be examined for patterns that speak to your pre-hire process.


Our Crosschq Data Lab found that two-thirds of employees who didn't meet employee performance goals also didn’t meet culture fit expectations, making an interesting connection between the two. When there is a culture mismatch, it can apparently affect performance.


This can be due to an employee being uncomfortable in the workplace, not understanding how to work well with others on the team, or even downright friction between employees. Insights as to where culture and performance intersect can be better understood with the use of Crosschq Analytics, as part of your post-hire survey and Quality of Hire evaluations.



Bottom line: Pre-hire and post-hire assessments and analyses are key to your talent intelligence process. By using tools to streamline these processes and using multiple options to build a comprehensive profile of your best candidates, you can improve quality of hire and performance as well as set your employees up for long-term retention.

For more information on how Crosschq can help you achieve these goals, request a free demo today.

Chris Drake

by Chris Drake

Crosschq, Head of Data

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