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HR behind the times when it comes to technology for assessment


19 September 2019: New research demonstrates that candidates are more tech-savvy than HR gives them credit for when it comes to taking online assessments for recruitment.

In a market where the best candidates apply for multiple jobs, and receive offers from several organisations, the difference between a good candidate experience and a bad one can be the deciding factor in the choice of employer. New research from PSI Talent Management shows what HR professionals think candidates want when it comes to technology used for assessment, and highlights how this differs from candidates’ actual preferences regarding devices, social media and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

PSI Talent Management conducted research with nearly 300 demographically representative candidates who had recently completed an assessment process, and 186 HR professionals who were responsible for recruitment decisions in their organisations. The research highlighted significant differences in opinion.


  • 58% of candidates are comfortable or very comfortable using games consoles, compared to 36% of HR professionals thinking that candidates would be comfortable.
  • 45% of candidates are comfortable or very comfortable using VR headsets, compared to 31% of HR professionals thinking that candidates would be comfortable.

“There is still a wariness around VR headsets and game consoles for online assessments with 20% and 25% of candidates respectively saying they would find it uncomfortable or very uncomfortable to complete an online assessment using these tools. However, far more candidates would be very comfortable. As with all emerging technology, if it enhances the candidate experience and aligns to the company’s brand, then HR should not discount it,” says Tom Parker, Research Consultant at PSI Talent Management.


  • Only 2.8% of candidates are very uncomfortable with AI taking a role in assessment.
  • Just 30% of HR believe that candidates are comfortable or very comfortable with AI.

“HR’s view of candidates’ feelings towards AI is a lot more negative than the views of candidates themselves. While there could be debate about how exactly AI is used in recruitment, these results show that HR may be electing not to include AI methods under the mistaken belief that candidates would react negatively,” adds Tom.

When asked how comfortable candidates would feel about a recruiter viewing the following social media profiles during the application process:

  • 81% of candidates are comfortable or very comfortable with HR checking Instagram, just 33% of HR professionals believe them to be.
  • 56% of candidates are comfortable or very comfortable with HR checking Facebook, versus just 32% of HR professionals.
  • 84% of candidates are comfortable or very comfortable with HR checking Twitter, versus just 26% of HR professionals.
  • 73% of candidates are comfortable or very comfortable with HR checking LinkedIn, 68% of HR professionals believe them to be.

It’s clear that candidates are far more comfortable with organisations viewing their social media profiles than HR believe them to be, especially more personal accounts such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly, the research also found that only 55% of HR professionals had actually accessed candidates’ profiles during the application process.

“HR does reflect candidates’ views on technology where devices have been established for several years, such as smartphones and laptops. However, there is a strong disconnect with less established technology such as VR, games consoles and AI,” says Ali Shalfrooshan, Head of International Assessment at PSI Talent Management.

“This research shows that HR teams need to constantly review their approach to technology and maintain a dialogue with candidates. HR professionals must ensure their views are aligned with those of candidates when it comes to comfort levels with new and emerging technology. Ultimately HR want to provide the best experience for their candidates, with technology providing the key to achieving these goals. The better HR understands the perspectives of candidates, the more likely they will be able to deliver the optimal candidate experience to attract, assess and retain their future talent”.


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About PSI Talent Management
PSI Talent Management is where people meet potential. PSI helps organisations attract, recruit, develop and retain talent, globally. Bringing together insightful assessment and inspirational development, PSI blends the best emerging technology with leading content and consulting expertise.

Working in partnership with organisations, PSI’s science-based solutions create lasting and sustainable change. Highly engaging programmes draw on a comprehensive suite of leading diagnostics and robust tools including personality (16pf©), emotional intelligence (EIP3), leadership climate (LCI), situational judgement tests (Dilemmas Series™), virtual assessment centres (VirtualAC™), and competency-based interviewing (CBI-Smart™).

PSI Talent Management has offices across the EMEA, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, and an extensive global partner network. It is a division of PSI Services LLC. With a 70-year track record, PSI delivers 15 million assessments annually in over 50 languages and runs programmes in 160 countries for the world’s leading organisations. PSI Services LLC is headquartered in California, USA.