Grad DNA app brings disruptive tech to graduate assessment


In a crowded graduate talent market, many recruiters face a challenge. They want to engage with the best candidates available, but are often required to filter through large numbers of applicants in order to find the right ones for their roles.

It will therefore be a relief for them to hear of a piece of technology that will help to deal with this process – as well as making things a lot more straightforward for candidates at the same time.

Grad DNA is a free app that its creators say will offer significant benefits to recruiters and graduates simultaneously. It enables candidates to complete assessments via their mobile devices, which serve the same purpose as traditional assessment centres – after completion, users have a profile that, together with their academic details, outlines their suitability for particular roles.

From a candidate perspective, the app could play a vital part in their first career steps. Completing assessments via the app is far quicker and easier – not to mention less nerve-wracking - than going through the process in the flesh (aptitude tests can take as little as seven minutes, while situational tests can be completed in around 20 minutes), and results in a set of recommendations based on their aptitudes.

For graduate candidates – some of whom might have little work experience, and might be undecided regarding their future careers – it helps to highlight the sectors and roles that directly match their results.

Crucially, the app will also serve up a set of suitable graduate schemes to which they will be able to apply. And since these schemes are recommended based on matching their profile, it means they are embarking on a process that is right for them. It saves time and effort for the candidate – and of course, also for the recruiters.

Stephen Reilly, Grad DNA founder and director, explains that while the app isn’t designed to replace traditional assessment centres, he anticipates it will complement them to the benefit of everybody involved.

“It’s a disruptive piece of technology that we expect will work alongside the types of assessments that already take place,” he says. “The difference is that, when a graduate sees a scheme via the app, they already know they have the aptitude, skills and experience to go through to the final process with that employer.

“So, instead of applying for lots of schemes and going through lots of assessment centres with mixed results, the candidate has already gone through a test process up front so they’ve got the potential to be fast-tracked through to the next stage. And it also means they’ve got a fighting chance of passing any additional tests the employer might throw at them, since they’ve already been benchmarked and aligned using the app.”

An additional benefit for candidates is that they will receive ongoing notifications of schemes that match their profile. The app, like many others, offers push notifications. So, once a user has built their profile, they will receive news of any suitable graduate schemes that have recently been added.

Reilly points out that, as well as easing graduates through the process, there is also a social mobility aspect to the app. “For many users the app will be the first time they’ve gone through something like a psychometric test,” he says. “And it also helps users to explore different employers and sectors they might not have previously considered, based on the aptitudes that are highlighted through their results. It opens up new opportunities and is also transparent – they are given access to their results, which might not be the case in the types of established assessments that currently take place.”

The app is set to launch at the end of April. It has already been tested on-campus and will be marketed to a graduate audience - and the team behind it are also keen to partner with universities and their students to help uncover what Reilly refers to as ‘hidden talent’.

Reilly expects up to 25,000 downloads of the app by August, and is currently partnering with employers. He says: “We are looking for launch partners who want to be part of something new and disruptive, and who want to be put in touch with candidates who have been selected based purely on their aptitudes and abilities.”

Reilly points out that where the app differentiates from existing processes is in its ability to reduce volume. “We might only send 50 or 60 candidates to an organisation that needs hundreds,” he says, “but we know they’re the right candidates and there’s no filtering required by the employer.

“And at the same time, the app is suitable for SMEs who don’t have the resources to sift through hundreds of applications and instead can be confident they’ll only be put in touch with candidates with the right profiles.”

This two-way filtering process is a crucial component of the app. While users’ profiles ensure they are given access to graduate schemes that suit them, employers are able to tap into an appropriate group of candidates without having to deal with the type of volume that usually occurs during a graduate intake.

In addition, Reilly says that as well as advertising ongoing schemes through the app, organisations will also be able to advertise hard-to-fill roles, as well as anything applicable to students and undergraduates after completing their first year, such as internships and placements.

“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting this right, he says. “It’s very much mobile-first, and has been designed to create an environment and a feel that we know suits the users.

“We’re confident we’re the only people doing things in this way and we’re really excited about what we can do within the market.”

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

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Grad DNA app brings disruptive tech to graduate assessment
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