In this economy, there is a chance that you will have more than 20 top candidates, yet you do not want to interview that many. Using written evaluations or other tests can reduce the number of top candidates called for interviews. For example, police officers have to pass a physical test and a written test before they are called for an interview.
Written tests can include facts and figures about candidates’ background, such as number of years of experience in specific tasks related to the position. For example, for a Human Resource Director, you may want to know if they have experience with benefit administration, labor relations, recruitment, performance management, pension administration. Once you have gathered general facts about a person’s background, you can proceed to essay questions related to their field of study. For example, for a Police Chief, you may want to know how they handled implementing community policing programs in their past community, or how they handled promotions or discipline in the past. I have found that using these types of written documents separates the best of the best candidates and the ones you want to interview.