A strong research and development team fuels business growth significantly. Research and development is an ongoing business process that helps businesses maintain the competitive edge by bringing innovation into the product and service offerings of the company. Research and development department focuses on bringing new technologies and techniques into product production or service offerings. Hiring for these departments requires holistic evaluation of candidate skills and personality fit into the company’s culture. A research and development assessment test enables comprehensive evaluation of skills, competencies, and behavioral traits of candidates.
Importance of Research and Development Function
The research and development (R&D) department can be considered as a think tank for the business that is responsible for analysis, research, and development of various processes, products, and services that enable businesses to gain the competitive edge. It is a continuous process that is responsible for bringing innovation, new technologies, and new business techniques into the company.
The R&D department plays a crucial role in process improvement and refinement, and in product development and innovation. Companies can achieve future growth and maintain their relevance in the market with significant contributions from the R&D department. This department focuses on investigation and testing on new products/services and improving current designs. The key functions of the research and development department are listed below:
* New product research and development: Introduction of a new product to the market must be backed with solid data insights into its viability. The research and development team needs to conduct a careful and detailed study to support the new product launch. The research should address points like need for the product, consumer expectations, and market competition. Details on the specifications of the product, projected production costs, and time for production should be considered in the research and development stage. Ensuring that the product design meets guidelines and statutory requirements is also part of the R & D phase.
* Update of existing products: Evaluation of existing products to ensure that they stay relevant in the market is also part of the R & D function. Need for product upgrades or changes is determined by the research and development department. Quality control of the products and services also comes under the radar of R&D functions.
* Process Innovation and Development: The R&D department is also involved in process innovation and improvement. They focus more on improving and innovating on the means of the process rather than the end result.
Roles in Research and Development Department
There are several roles in the research and development department to carry out the functions listed above. Some of the key roles in the research and development department are:
Research Analyst: Research, analysis and collection of information and use it to solve a problem and improve business processes are job responsibilities of a research analyst. The data gathered by the research analyst is presented to the leadership team for review and further action. Strong analytical and reasoning skills, data modelling and mathematical skills, problem solving ability, attention to detail, and presentation skills are a must for research analysts.
Research and Development Engineer: The design and testing of product concepts and redesign of existing products is the responsibility of a R&D engineer. Conducting market research, product evaluation, creating design projects and specification sheets, testing prototypes, and presenting product ideas to marketing and business management are some of the tasks that R&D engineers perform. Advanced analytical and mathematical skills, marketing and design knowledge, strong cognitive abilities, and communication skills are a must for a R&D engineer.
Qualitative Researcher: Qualitative researchers perform research and analysis for various studies and surveys. They are required to propose meaningful project ideas and source adequate human and financial capital for research in various areas relevant to the business or academic concepts. Excellent communication skills, strong logical and analytical reasoning abilities, attention to detail, and knowledge of statistical models are some of the skills that a qualitative researcher must have.
Research and Development Manager: R&D managers are responsible for research, planning, and implementing new programs, processes and protocols within the organization. They oversee the entire development cycle of new products and processes. Leadership and management skills, communication and presentation skills, budgeting ability, intuitive thinking, and creativity are some of the skills that R&D managers must possess.
Research Specialist: A research specialist is in charge of designing, executing, and interpreting research projects and performing complex lab and data collection techniques. Computer literacy, strong knowledge of research principles, concepts, and practices, knowledge of scientific lab techniques, excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills, attention to detail, and strong logical and analytical skills are a must have for a research specialist.
Skill Evaluation for R&D Roles
Hiring for research and development requires thorough evaluation of various skills and capabilities of the candidates. A good research and development assessment test must not focus only on job related skills, but also on behavioral and other skills that reveal how well the candidate will fit in the work culture. Online research and development skills assessment tests are easy and comprehensive evaluation methods for hiring the right candidate for various R&D roles.
SkillRobo is an online pre-employment assessment test software that provides role-based assessment tests for skills across industries. The skill library can be fully customized for the role and skill for which the candidate is being hired. Research and development skills assessment test from SkillRobo can be used for evaluating skills for roles like research specialist, R&D manager, research analyst, and R&D engineer.
The research and development department makes critical contributions to growth and innovation in a business. Research and analysis of latest market and competitor trends, evaluation of current products and business processes, and review of product viability/relevance are some of the important aspects of research and development. Making hiring decisions based on online aptitude tests for R&D helps businesses recruit the best fit for the role. Online research and development skills assessment tests can be administered from anywhere at any time by simply sharing the test link through email to the candidate. Instantaneous test results are provided by the R&D online assessment test from SkillRobo.
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