Predictive Hiring Software: The Definitive Guide

Published by:
Rebecca Noori
February 17, 2023
min read

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Confidence in finding the best candidate is shrinking. Monster's Future of Work Global Report illustrates that 95% of recruiters were optimistic they'd find the right person for their vacant position in 2020. But this has decreased to 93% in 2021 and 91% in 2022. 

The problem? Vast gaps exist between how candidates present during the selection process compared to their level of skills, professionalism, and productivity once they're actually doing the work. 

Hiring confidence over time (chart)

Onboarding dropouts, high employee turnover, and out-of-their-depth workers are all common results of poor hiring decisions. And SHRM estimates the cost of replacing these bad hires at 50-60% of an employee's annual salary, which quickly eats into your recruitment budget. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

A powerful and cost-efficient way to boost certainty in the recruitment process lies in predictive HR recruitment software. With the help of innovative technology, you’ll accurately predict how a candidate will perform in their role. No crystal ball required.  

What is predictive hiring? 

Predictive hiring is any system, process, or tool that recruiters use to determine future job performance. The goal is to predict skills and behaviour in the job to avoid hiring someone who looks good on paper but lacks the necessary attributes to succeed at your organisation. 

Traditional hiring practices involve recruiters attempting to forecast performance by: 

  • wading through piles of resumes
  • conducting phone interviews
  • asking off-the-cuff questions in an interview setting
  • calling past employers for references. 

These are designed to reveal the candidate's character and potential for success, but many of the steps are riddled with bias. That’s because when recruiters receive a high volume of applications, they make snap decisions to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. 

And all too often, they’ll fall victim to implicit biases to make the decision-making more straightforward. These include:

  • affinity bias: when recruiters favour candidates from similar backgrounds to them
  • confirmation bias: when interviewers fail to ask tough questions because they seek information that confirms the candidate is a great fit
  • perception bias: when recruiters rely on stereotypes to make assumptions about people based on their ethnicity, age, gender, or any other category

Enter predictive hiring software as your solution to reduce bias in the hiring process. The technology analyses quantifiable assessment data, like the scores of a skills aptitude test or answers during a structured interview. 

From here, recruiters can make well-informed decisions about candidate suitability and potential without the risk of bias influencing their judgement. Take this approach for rewards like: 

  • faster time to productivity 
  • better job fit 
  • greater retention rate.

Which predictive hiring assessments are most accurate?

Here’s the stinger: not all predictive hiring models are created equal. 

It's important to get the balance right between testing your job applicants fairly and asking applicants to jump through hoops to prove their worth. 

For example, content marketing and SEO leader Laura Meyer explains why she withdrew from a recent hiring process. She was given a lengthy and complex test assignment after being headhunted by a recruiter and going through several rounds of calls. 

"They wanted a full-blown strategy based on one of their major initiatives in 2023. I was told to use all the distributions but not let that "limit" me and to think outside the box. I had to show what tools and tactics I would use. I was to put this all in a presentation and present my strategy to a panel. I was to prepare for "discussion and healthy debate" following my presentation."

Ultimately, Laura declined to do so because she felt the recruiters were taking advantage, and she was unwilling to give away free consulting. She'd already dedicated several hours to the recruitment process, and the requested assignment was something she would typically "have charged thousands of dollars for in a consultant role or would have taken weeks in a full-time role." 

While the hiring company would undoubtedly have received an excellent flavour of what it would be like to work with this qualified candidate, the negative candidate experience cost them a talented individual. 

So, what should you do instead? Try one of these alternative candidate assessment options to predict future performance without ruffling any feathers. 

Work samples 

A Schmidt-Hunter study analysing 100 years of hiring research found that work samples are the most effective predictor of job performance. 

Work samples simulate real-world job tasks and assess how well candidates would do in small parts of the job. Writing-based or multiple-choice assessments like these are useful. 

Example work sample question

Role-play assignments during a predictive hire interview are another idea. For example, ask candidates to act out a short client call and incorporate their communication and interpersonal skills into your hiring decisions. 

Numerical assessments 

Numerical testing assesses numerical computation, estimation, reasoning, and data interpretation skills. These effectively test practical skills in the workplace, allowing you to create candidate shortlists of the highest performers. 

Cognitive assessments

Cognitive ability tests are more effective at predicting job performance than interviews, resumes, education, or even knowledge of the role. They measure numerical, problem-solving, language, abstract skills, and attention to detail—all helpful in finding successful candidates for your roles.  

Structured interviews 

Turn your interviews into a data-backed assessment machine using real-life predictive tasks that your job applicants would encounter in the role. Adding structure to your interviews allows you to objectively rank your candidates by score to make quantifiable and consistent hiring decisions. You'll standardise this part of your hiring strategy by asking candidates the same questions and using a set scoring system to evaluate them. 

Predictive validity of assessment methods (chart)

10 Best predictive hiring software solutions on the market 

Which predictive hiring tools should you use in your recruitment efforts? Check out these ten solutions to find the best-fit candidates for your organisation. 

1. Applied 

Applied is the perfect all-in-one applicant tracking system for your recruitment tech stack. Based on behavioural science, our bias-free solution allows the most talented candidates to emerge. 

Applied platform

We take a skills-based approach to hiring, embracing diversity to ensure recruiters hire the most suitable candidates rather than those armed with decorative resumes. Built-in features include: 

  • Mapped cognitive testing: candidates answer 18 multiple-choice questions in 30 minutes to test mathematical skills, data interpreting, analytical thinking, and error spotting. These are ideal for predicting future performance in consulting or finance roles. 
  • Numerical skills testing: candidates answer 20 multiple-choice questions in 30 minutes, covering numerical computation, estimation, reasoning, and data interpretation. 
  • Work samples: evaluate role-play, simulations, or written responses using a scoring rubric to make the process fair. 
  • Structured interviews: our fair, scientific, and fun approach gives candidates a chance to showcase their skills while gaining an accurate understanding of what the job entails. 

The verdict: We built Applied to evaluate candidates using the fairest and most predictive techniques in the recruitment field. Our platform is based on science, ensuring organisations hire the most qualified and skilled candidates. 

Unlike other recruitment software providers who rely on generic cognitive tests, Applied's assessments are tailored to specific job requirements. Our approach tests candidates on particular aspects and competencies associated with that role, accurately predicting their future job performance if hired.

2. Sapia

Sapia incorporates an AI-based smart chat into the initial screening process. The Smart Interviewer analyses the responses, crunches the numbers, and provides personalised insights about each candidate. Simply post a link to Sapia in your job board ad to get started. 


Additional benefits of this asynchronous recruitment style include never having to schedule a

job interview and significant cost-savings, as you can screen high volumes of candidates without your recruitment team lifting a finger.  

The verdict: 

Sapia is a fun screening tool that candidates enjoy because it takes the jitters out of the interview process. The platform integrates with several ATS and HR tech systems and provides a transcript of every candidate interview. But without any work samples, it won’t provide a holistic picture of what it’s like to work with a candidate. 

3. Skeeled 

Skeeled using pre-employment tests to mitigate unconscious bias during candidate selection. It uses three main assessment styles. Brain covers cognitive testing; Shape’s personality test is based on the "Big Five" theoretical model to forecast workplace behaviour, and Drive digs into potential employee engagement, motivation, and leadership styles. 


The verdict: 

Skeeled does many things right to be an inclusive employer and create a diverse talent pool of active and passive candidates. However, its three main assessment tools don’t appear to include work samples which are so integral to the predictive model. 

4. Thomas 

Thomas uses a body of predictive hiring technologies to pinpoint successful hires. These include psychometric, personality assessments, and aptitude testing. Instead of relying on guesswork, Thomas works with a body of data and smart algorithms to spotlight the perfect candidates for hire. 


The verdict: 

Although Thomas offers robust testing, it lacks structured interviews or work samples that would provide a clearer picture of how a candidate will fare in-seat. 

5. Zappyhire 

Zappyhire offers a Machine Learning engine that produces insights based on your existing data to predict recruitment patterns and more accurately plan your current hiring strategy. Intelligent parsing, AI assessments, and a recruiting chatbot make up the rest of Zappyhire's features. 


The verdict: 

Zappyhire's focus on past hiring data may not be the most inclusive if your previous recruitment decisions haven't tapped into a diverse pool of candidates. Hiring trends will inevitably assess the performance of your current employees in an attempt to recreate the same success. This risks discluding equal or higher-skilled candidates from underrepresented backgrounds. 

6. Launch Pad 

LaunchPad uses predictive analytics to identify high-potential candidates from video interviews. It then combines the power of machine learning with human decision-making as a balanced approach to finding hidden gems for your role. The tool offers an engaging candidate journey with fast progression to the next stage in the interview process.


The verdict: 

LaunchPad is a clever screening tool for the first stage of your applications. But it doesn't offer in-depth numerical or cognitive testing to deliver key insights about on-the-job capabilities. 

7. NEOGOV Insight 

Insight is an applicant tracking system that forms part of NEOGOV's Recruit module—specifically targeting the public sector. Insight auto scores and ranks candidates based on tests, interviews, and screening protocols to find high-quality, best-fit candidates. 


The verdict: 

We like NEOGOV's Diversity Health feature that measures the diversity of your candidate pool, allowing you to adjust your recruitment strategies if you lack a breadth of minorities. Although this is a reactive rather than a proactive feature, paying attention here is important for public sector organizations who want to hire ideal candidates from a wealth of backgrounds. 

8. Arytic

Arytic is another platform powered by artificial intelligence—it aims to align your internal teams by finding the right type of candidate to join the ranks. Candidates can build their own Arytic smart card instead of using traditional resumes to highlight their most relevant application information. This includes certifications, videos, and personality tests. 


The verdict:

Arytic collects various data points and compares them to previous hires to forecast what your candidates could achieve in their roles. There are better approaches than this if you want to combine diversity with performance success. 

9. Harver 

This predictive hiring solution offers a variety of assessment tools, including soft skills, knowledge skills, cognitive and behavioural testing. It also provides asynchronous video interviews where candidates respond to question prompts and record their answers. Hirers will use a consistent rating scale to standardise the evaluation process and minimise bias. 


The verdict: 

Like Applied, Harver offers a full range of skills assessments, work samples, and standardised interviews. However, Harver reviews on G2's software comparison platform highlight video quality issues and technical challenges with setting up a simple aptitude test. 

10. Modern Hire 

Modern Hire uses analytics in recruitment and Virtual Job Tryout assessments to identify perfect candidates for your role. 

Modern Hire

The platform consists of three main areas: Screen, Assess, and Interview. Screen uses text-based recruitment to quickly locate the most suitable candidates to advance to the next stage. Assess measures job-relevant competencies, while Interview's digital hiring leverages automated interview scoring to evaluate candidate answers.

The verdict: 

Modern Hire is another example of a software that appears to offer it all. But some customers have experienced abundant technical problems that decrease UX for both prospective employees and recruiters. The same G2 reviews highlight issues with customer service.

Match the best predictive hiring software with your talent acquisition strategy

Quality predictive hiring software is an invaluable tool for leveraging analytics to make better, faster hiring decisions. Each platform has unique features to suit different strategies, so it’s important to choose the one that best aligns with your goals. 

Choose Applied for zero trade-off between diversity hiring and predictive validity. Our science-backed blend of assessments and fair scoring system provides access to a rich pool of talented applicants from a variety of backgrounds. This ensures you only select high-calibre candidates who will excel in your roles. 

Our customers receive the following results when they use Applied: 

  • 4x increase in ethnic diversity of candidates 
  • 3x as many suitable candidates for roles 
  • 66% reduction in time spent hiring 
  • 93% retention rate after a year 

Applied’s recruitment software eliminates any hint of prejudice from the hiring process to help organisations acquire highly-skilled talent from the job market and accurately predict future performance. Ready to check out our transformative recruitment tool? Book a demo today.