November 9th 2021
By: Marie-Christine Drouin

Talent Assessment: How to Modernize Your Approach to Hire the Best?

In these exceptional times, where the healthcare crisis, which is not entirely behind us, has put a strain on human resources in many areas and highlighted, more than ever, the critical shortage of labour, organizations must distinguish themselves to attract talent and continue to operate, or even survive, in some cases.

Workforce Shortages: Some Statistics

Few days go by without news reports on the issues surrounding labour shortages, and this is true for almost all organizations. According to Statistics Canada, there were 553,500 job vacancies nationwide in the first quarter of 2021, 7.9% more than the same period last year and 9.4% more than the first quarter of 2019. The vacancy rate was 3.6 percent in the first three months of this year, the highest rate since comparable data began to be published in 2015 (La Presse, 2021).

It All Begins With the Candidate Experience!

This pressure on the job market inevitably leads to strong competition between organizations and a fierce war for talent. To attract talent, many employers seek to distinguish themselves from others, whether through their own employer brand, well-defined organizational values or generous working conditions that emphasize flexibility and quality of life.

However, well before the “employee experience” comes the “candidate experience”, an essential preliminary step that must not be neglected. This step involves, among other things, the way in which candidates are recruited and evaluated. This stage is often the first contact (and sometimes the last) for candidates with the organization. Not only must the approach to candidates be human and personalized, as much as possible, but it must also be sufficiently modern to attract potential candidates, including younger ones

In this context, a strong trend accelerated by the pandemic is the virtualization of assessments.

Virtual Assessment Centers

Gone are the days of paper and pencil tests in a room requiring travel, even for mass assessments. The time has come for remote talent assessments, both for interviews and online psychometric tests! The pandemic has highlighted the accessibility of various technological applications that do not require special computer expertise. In addition, various security and monitoring mechanisms can be deployed to ensure the integrity of the assessments.

Virtual Interviews

While not excluding in-person interviews, which can provide benefits in some cases, virtual interviews have won over many organizations and candidates during the pandemic. Ease of access, less or no travel, reduced stress on the part of candidates, faster process and greater diversity among candidates are among the benefits of virtual interviews (Les Affaires, 2021).

Some organizations even use pre-recorded interviews. This effective approach allows candidates to record a video of their responses to interview questions using a cell phone, computer, or tablet. They are then submitted online for a specialist to view and evaluate (VidCruiter, 2021).

Online Tests

Many psychometric tests with proven validity and fidelity are now conducted online, on recognized and highly secure platforms. In order to explore the multiple facets of individuals and maximize the prediction of job performance, multi-source assessment is still recommended. Thus, the measurement of constructs as different as cognitive ability, knowledge and interpersonal skills at work can be ensured, in addition to a targeted structured interview.

Adaptive Tests (MyRHline, 2021)

These include adaptive cognitive tests, which measure candidates’ cognitive abilities in just a few minutes. This approach saves a lot of time, provides a higher level of accuracy and adjusts to the candidate’s ability by adapting the questions in real time according to their answers.

Immersive Interactive Simulations

Innovative technologies such as virtual reality have great potential in the hiring process. They help to evaluate the different skills of each candidate in virtual simulations (Leprohon, 2020). To this end, some companies, such as Accenture, specialize in creating several VR (virtual reality) to evaluate behaviour, teamwork, and logical reasoning. The essence of VR simulations is to gain insight into a candidate’s character traits, such as confidence, curiosity, and teamwork in real-life situations. Assessing leadership skills, decision-making, and contextual behaviour are paramount to successful recruitment (Leprohon, 2020).

Gamified Assessments

Game-based gamified assessments, which are becoming more common, incorporate game elements into psychometric tests and can be used alongside the testing solutions presented above to provide an engaging experience for candidates (GF Job Assessment Experts, 2021).

Virtual Feedback 

Among the best practices for the candidate experience is the importance of recognizing the candidate’s investment in the assessment process. Among the situations that negatively impact the candidate experience is the lack of feedback (Revue RH, 2018). This step should be viewed not as an additional administrative task, but as a sign of respect and consideration for them and an investment in the organization’s image and reputation.


At a time when the labour shortage is critical and widespread, organizations must recognize the importance of investing in not only the employee experience but also the candidate experience. The first is difficult, if not impossible, to consider without the second. And that candidate experience includes a modern and rigorous approach to hiring the best people, who are also the next generation and the future of organizations.

Marie-Christine Drouin, M.Ps.

Organisational psychologist and Leader in talent assessment


GF Job Assessment Experts (2021). What are gamified and game-based psychometric assessments ? Retrieved October 29, 2021 from:

La Presse (2021). Le nombre de postes vacances toujours en hausse. Récupéré le 29 octobre 2021 de :

Leprohon, O. (2020). Comment les simulations VR peuvent-elles aider à évaluer les candidats ? Récupéré le 29 octobre 2021 de :

Les Affaires (2021). Entrevue à distance ou en personne, laquelle choisir ? Récupéré le 29 octobre 2021 de :

MyRHline (2021). Évaluez les capacités d’adaptation et d’apprentissage avec les tests de raisonnement adaptatifs. Récupéré le 29 octobre 2021 de :

Revue RH (2018). L’expérience candidat : quelques concepts essentiels. Récupéré le 29 octobre 2021 de :

Vidcruiter (2021). Entrevues vidéo préenregistrées. Récupéré le 29 octobre 2021 de :