Today’s topic

Time to focus on the candidate experience

In a recent newspaper article, job seekers talk about their negative experiences with tests. Irrelevant, misguided, and hard to interpret are some of their judgments. Similar testimonies were voiced in another recent article. Clearly, candidates are often left wondering about the whole meaning of tests.

“This shows that the test industry has failed to explain the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of tests to candidates”, says Malcolm Burenstam Linder, CEO at Alva Labs.


Hiring used to be all about making the organization say yes to the candidate. Today, it is just as much about getting the candidate to say yes to the organization. This means that a great candidate experience is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s a must-have.

There certainly are unscientific tests out there, like candidates in the article bring up. This isa big problem of its own. But the issue with candidate experience applies to serious test vendors as well. If the candidate doesn’t understand the purpose of the test, it will not help that it is scientific.

At Alva, we firmly believe that today’s candidates deserve – and demand – much better.

At Alva, we believe it is time for a change. The criticism from candidates is a clear sign that the test industry needs to step up. Any job seeker who spends time and effort taking tests deserves a clear rationale and useful feedback. Below are some of our own core principles when it comes to candidate experience:

  1. Clarity and transparency
    Always provide a clear rationale for why tests are being used, and what evidence you have that your tests are relevant and objective. AtAlva, candidates and recruiters also get the exact same result reports from the tests– there is no secrecy around the results.
  2. Time well spent
    Expecting candidates to take hours out of their schedule to do tests is outdated. This might be warranted in some special cases, but it can no longer be the default. Shorter tests are easier to plan for and also make it easier to stay focused.
  3. Giving back control
    The candidate needs to feel comfortable with how data is handled. This is why candidates at Alva own their own data, and choose which organizations they want to share it with.

The criticism from candidates should be taken as a call to action. Now is the time to build tomorrow’s talent-centric test experience.

Recently, a debate about tests has sparked in the media. Job seekers speak of tests that they find irrelevant, time-consuming, and hard to understand. According to Alva, the call to action is clear: the test industry needs to focus more on candidate experience.