Today Traitify announced a $12 million Series B raise for its hiring assessment tech. Traitify leverages a scientifically validated assessment (The Big Five) with decades of use in employment and does two important things with it: Makes it an enjoyable experience for candidates and recruiters, and prices it in a way that enables employers to use it across their entire hiring volume, identifying not just the best finalist candidates, but identifying candidates in the pipeline that fail to get recognized by traditional resume and profile reviews or by skills-based matching engines. This can provide a positive impact on candidate diversity, cost, and speed to hire.

Someone once said, “taking an assessment is like going to the dentist. No one likes either experience.” Traitify has made the entire assessment visual, using images and minimal text cues. The resulting experience works as well on a smartphone as it does any other device. Traitify claims to be the world’s fastest assessment, having reduced the experience to just 90 seconds. Could there be better news for candidates? Perhaps that’s found in the results that Traitify delivers to candidates immediately after the assessment. In this job market with record-high unemployment, we expect increased volumes of candidates to have an adverse impact on the candidate experience – because it has in every other economic downturn. Traitify promises to improve candidate and recruiting team experience. Perhaps the most understated aspect of Traitify’s application is the design. The firm is design-forward in its approach to UX, UI, customer experience, and candidate experience. The impact design has on usability, engagement, and adoption is undeniable.

As for the tech, Traitify offers a fully documented and accessible application programming interface (API) opening up the personality data to be used at any stage of the employee experience. It’s being used at scale in high volume recruiting environments with customers like McDonald’s Canada and leveraged by partners like AMS in its new Hourly recruiting automation solution. Traitify itself can sling all of the buzzwords du jour in a demo – RPA, machine learning, artificial intelligence.

More on the assessment market:

The assessment space has been begging to be disrupted for decades.

Most assessments candidates are asked to complete today are delivered as cumbersome on-line versions of their paper-based predecessors, resulting in horrible candidate experience. Regardless of the interface, assessments come with attached stress for the candidate. Employers may ask to assess a candidate’s personality, behaviors, job-related skills, intelligence, critical thinking skills, or work style and more in what is normally a one-way conversation. Few employers share results, perspective gained, or any details on how the information will be used. It can leave the candidate feeling like they’ve provided a high level of transparency to themselves, with very little reciprocation from the potential employer.

In a job market with a high volume of candidates, employers want and need data to help select the candidates to focus on. In a tight labor market, they want the same thing as fast as possible.

Hiring is hard. A bad hiring decision can be one of the most expensive mistakes an employer can make. Much of the hiring decision is based on unstructured data (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, etc.), which can largely be subjective (interview feedback, references, etc.)  In light of this, it’s understandable that data used to support a hiring decision, or predict an employee’s future performance is attractive.

As a result, the use of talent assessment technology to help make better hiring decisions by employers is on the rise with employers of all sizes, and across industries. A study from Aptitude Research confirms the steady increase in employers’ investment in assessments and assessment tech for the last three years.

Great data. Bad experience.

The candidates aren’t the only ones suffering through assessments. HRWins research has repeatedly shown that employers rated their ability to integrate data between recruiting technologies and the overall usability of the tech as two of the biggest challenges. The assessment data that is leveraged for hiring decisions is commonly the equivalent of a “pass/fail” metric added to the ATS profile record along with a PDF attachment of a results summary.  The data acts as more of a “gate” on the track the candidate is on versus a qualitative view of the candidate’s best fit.

A broken model.

Most assessments are sold to employers in some variation of a volume-based pricing model. You pay per assessment, or in “volume subscription bands” of assessments taken. The result here is that most employers implement the assessment later in the hiring process when they are looking at a slate of finalists.  Employers would get more value from using assessments earlier in the process – assessing ALL candidates. This would shed light on many candidates that aren’t making it through a traditional resume or profile screen but are actually great fits for the company. Today these candidates largely end up in an unresponsive “black hole.”

Tech providers that can bring forward assessments at scale providing a beautiful experience for candidates and hiring teams will find a market ready for disruption. In this case, scale takes affordability, usability, and good experience. Maybe that’s Traitify.