Refining Recruitment: Responding to a candidate short market

Posted on 17 Nov

In Perth, Western Australia, we are currently in a job-rich market. Due to growth following the pandemic, an increase in job openings has been experienced. Candidates are in high demand and may receive multiple job offers. Recruiting in a candidate short market requires employers to recruit a little differently.

Whilst shortening recruitment processes makes sense to keep candidates engaged in the process. Understanding a candidate’s culture and role fit is still paramount. Ensuring the process is professional and robust from a candidate’s perspective is also important to accurately represent your company and its brand to the prospective employee.

What can be changed, and what should stay:

It is common news that recruiters are using technology to automate significant components of the recruitment process, particularly those that are routine and high level. This helps recruiters to work quickly in rapidly growing environment.

What shouldn’t change is the human components, building a relationship with prospective employees. Keeping aspects of the recruitment process human-centred builds a candidates’ confidence toward the organisation’s brand, process, and the organisation. Due to the pandemic, people are looking for a human-centric approach. They are looking for a supportive and understanding employee. The best way to communicate this is through human interaction.

A case study for Entry-Level candidates

People Solutions have recently assisted an organisation in re-shaping their recruitment process in the hire of entry-level employees. Whilst we have worked with this organisation for over two years to ensure a scientifically robust recruitment process, due to the recent market growth, this organisation was finding candidates difficult to keep engaged, and recruiters were very time poor with the rapid need to fill roles.

The Previous Process

The process involved a blend of technology and human elements:

Technology (online assessments/processes):

  • Online questionnaire comparing the candidate to the company’s values
  • Mechanical Reasoning
  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Personality assessment
  • Situational judgment FIFO suitability assessment
  • Situational judgement safety assessment

Human components

  • Phone screen
  • Assessment centre


Reviewing the Process

Based on previous feedback from candidates and the hiring organisation, the assessment centres were received favourably. Most candidates preferred the assessment centres to an interview alone. The hiring managers also saw the benefit of the assessment centres. They were able to meet the candidates prior to coming onto the site and match candidates with the most appropriate site based on their attributes and observed behaviour. This was an imperative human-centric component that was working well from a selection and ongoing development perspective.

People Solutions previously conducted a statistical analysis of this organisations’ recruitment process. It was found that the candidates that scored higher on the technical ability assessments (mechanical and spatial reasoning), tended to be higher performers in the role and were observed to perform better on the assessment centre days.

Further, the personality assessment was seen as useful to glean a deeper insight into the candidates’ performance on assessment centre day, as well as being a valid way to understand the candidates’ areas for coaching and development once onboarded.

Completing all of the six online assessments, however, was viewed as excessive for candidates and was creating a drawn-out selection process for the recruitment team. To ensure safety and FIFO suitability were covered elsewhere, People Solutions designed some additional, behavioural questions to be added to the phone screen. Thus, maintaining the human-centric components, whilst reducing some of the technological load for candidates.

From discussions around what was working well (from a candidate and hiring manager experience and predictive validity standpoint), along with what was potentially being measured elsewhere in the process, People Solutions were able to work with the organisation to reduce and refine the selection process for the organisation and their candidates.

The Current Process


  • Mechanical Reasoning
  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Personality profile

Human components

  • Phone screen
  • Assessment centre


This new process has now been running for the past few months, and a consistent calibre of candidates attending the assessment centres has been observed.

Recruiters have provided feedback that the approach is more manageable and keeping candidates warm during the process is easier due to the reduction of time and cognitive load. The human-centric approaches remained as a part of the process, and were perceived even more positively, due to the reduction of technological components prior to the candidates meeting with the organisation.




Maintaining the human-centric areas, although these may take longer than using technology, helps candidates to feel engaged in the process. It sells the candidates an organisational brand of being personable and supportive, which candidates are looking for more and more with prospective employees. When reviewing your recruitment processes, we recommend:

  • Review feedback from both hiring managers and candidates on their preferred aspects of the selection process – where do they see the most value?
  • Conduct statistical analyses to understand the predictive validity of your processes. It’s important that you aren’t blindly removing a piece of the process when this could possess high predictive validity. That is, what’s the link between candidates’ scores in the selection process and their on-the-job performance once employed?
  • Check whether there are double-ups in your process. Whilst it is beneficial to measure job criteria more than once, are there aspects of the selection process that can be amalgamated to reduce time?
  • Maintain a human-centred approach to foster trust, organisational branding, support and ongoing employee commitment.

by Georgia Nedkoff

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