Finding hidden gems in an applicant pool year after year


The University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry prides itself on graduating not only well-rounded students, but dentists who are committed to serving their community. While strong academic skills are important in achieving this goal, the school noticed that some applicants who looked good on paper were missing the mark in interpersonal skills. With co-op placements that get students on the clinic floor as early as their third year, Detroit Mercy Dental needed a way to efficiently assess applicants' soft skills — helping them select their best-fit applicants as well as identify qualified candidates who might be hiding behind low test scores.



Identifying more candidates with top skills

“We knew we needed more data points beyond just the cognitive variables in order to make better admissions decisions,” shared Dr. Steven Chang, the Director of Admissions at Detroit Mercy Dental

As important as the GPA and other academic qualifications are, Detroit Mercy Dental found they weren't getting a full picture of the potential in their applicant pool. With over 2000 applicants each cycle, they needed a way to process a large number of submissions without sacrificing their limited team resources.

“We don’t want to miss good candidates who may not show up as well on paper. With Kira, we’ve found that there are so many candidates who didn’t have the greatest cognitive score on their application, but when we look at their Kira scores and their interview scores, they’re exceeding expectations."

- Dr. Steven Chang, Director of Admissions at Detroit Mercy Dental.


A twofold approach for optimal success

With Kira’s Asynchronous Assessment, Detroit Mercy Dental is getting a more holistic view of the potential in their applicant pool.

Inviting around 85% of all applicants to complete an assessment in Kira, Detroit Mercy Dental has been able to increase the number of qualified applicants they enroll each year while streamlining their overall admissions process and reducing reviewer fatigue.

Kira's structured review and bias-mitigating features such as inter-rater reliability metrics and test-blind scoring, help Detroit Mercy Dental maintain consistency across applicants. With these safeguards in place for the asynchronous assessment, reviewers are able to interact more freely with their applicants when it comes time for their in-person interviews.


Finding the diamonds in the rough

“Since 2016, Kira Talent has been helping us identify applicants who will succeed in both the classroom and the clinic.” shared Dr. Chang.

Although early on there was concern that the addition of the Asynchronous Assessment might deter applicants, Detroit Mercy Dental has actually seen an increase in applicants, less than 1% of whom fail to complete their Kira assessment.

Saving countless hours of reviewer time while reinforcing the equity in their admissions process helps Detroit produce some of the brightest graduates in dentistry across the country.

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