Skills Assessment Tests vs Other Assessments
Different organizations use different assessment methods so that the employers or the hiring managers will receive an overarching understanding of the capabilities of the candidates or the employees. Some common methods for assessing applicants or employees are:
- Resume screening
- One-on-one interviews
- Reference checks
- Job simulation exercise
- Skill assessment tests
Among these skills assessments, the skills assessment tests are the only method of evaluation that is conducted in a much more systematic and standardized format, often conducted using a pre-employment assessment tool. Skillrobo, a pre-employment assessment tool, is one platform where employers can conduct skills assessment tests for employment and job applicants. The tool can streamline the complete process starting from resume screening to the final selection of the candidates.
How Does Skill Testing Work?
When the assessment test questions are specifically developed for the role and are closely aligned with the needs of the role, the job skills assessments are designed to get 360-degree access to the skillset of the candidates and employees.
A skill assessment test has several advantages over the other traditional assessment types. These offer a fixed ranking list of the candidates with accurate scores they have scored. The tests do not provide any space for any bias and encourage a more objective analysis. They can effectively define, measure, and evaluate a candidate’s or an employee’s performance.
Research has found that certain areas can be reached that a general method of testing cannot reveal. Some of these areas are as follows:
- It can define the human elements that are a prerequisite to the job.
- In predicting these human elements, certain questions can be set and compiled.
- It makes further rounds in the hiring process data-oriented.
- It allows recruiters to evaluate the success rate of the hiring process and ensure that the best results are achieved.
The ultimate aim of implementing a skill test for jobs is to help recruiters move away from the traditional ways of conducting the hiring process, which is often a time-consuming and monotonous process. Proper preparation and the right set of questions can lead to a successful hire for the role.
How Employers Choose Skills Assessment Tests?
Several factors have to be considered before hiring assessments are implemented to.
There is a systematic guideline for recruiters or employees to build, choose the right test, and conduct the skills assessment test. These guidelines are as follows:
Step 1: Define the Goals
Define the skills and knowledge base that the organization is looking for in the candidate. Defining these is important as the hire will impact the business outcome. The organization also has to determine whether this is to test the existing employees or to hire new employees. These goals have to be fixed in the initial stage itself. Therefore, aligning the organizational goals with the hiring goals is ideal and this can be achieved by clearly defining it.
Step 2: Decide on the Skills
Once the goals are set, the skills and talents regarding the job role have to be fixed. Only then the right assessment tests can be conducted for the hiring process as certain tests solely focus on a specific skill or ability.
Step 3: Determine the Assessment Tests
Build an assessment with different combinations of tests to accurately measure the skill set that was defined earlier. Decide what should be evaluated, like, soft skills, technical skills, and behavioral abilities.
Step 4: Evaluate the Conducted Process
Review, analyze, and evaluate the conducted hiring process to determine the success rate of the conducted assessment. This will help in locating the areas of improvement.
Best Practices in Conducting a Skill Test
A well-planned and structured employment skills test can be generated with some best practices to follow. These tips for setting up a skills test can enhance the experience of the candidates as well as the employers. Some of the best practices are as follows:
- It is always ideal to have a minimum of eight to ten questions that will cover the different areas of skills required for the job role.
- It is better to start with text-based questions rather than with immersive questions or video-based questions.
- It is recommended to have an “immersive” question method where the candidates are put in a different environment or are given a certain type of situation-based question where they are asked to react to it. This will bring out the behavioral aspects of the candidates.
- To ease the pressure on the candidates, it is ideal to start with the least difficult questions and then gradually move on to the difficult ones. This will improve the candidate’s experience.
- Avoid or minimize the use of timers to account for technical issues that can happen. This is to offer the candidates the best chance of success.
Why do Companies Use Skills Assessment Tests?
A skill assessment test completely transforms the experience of both the applicants and the employers. A structured assessment method adds a lot of value to the hiring process with the focus solely being on finding the right candidate. Apart from managing the hiring process, these evaluation tests can be also leveraged for the appraisal of the employees. These tests could identify employees who would be fit for another role or promotion. Here are the different scenarios where a company can use a job skills assessment test:
- It helps to gain a better understanding of the capabilities of the existing employees and how they can be developed for achieving organizational goals.
- These can be implemented to find the weak points such as inefficient human labor or insufficient skill set in the organization. The reports generated can be used to identify the areas of improvement and departments that require more training.
- It enables the organization to carry out a comparative analysis of the skills and talents within the organization to that of the industrial standards.
- A skills assessment test will gather all the data regarding the candidate’s performance that is required for the role.
Apart from achieving the organizational vision, the employees themselves can have a clear idea of their capabilities and make data-oriented decisions regarding their professional growth. Therefore, overall growth can be achieved by conducting such an assessment test.
Moreover, if there is a huge candidate pool, screening can be difficult with conventional methods. This is where the skill assessment test can reduce the burden of carrying out the task. More accuracy is achieved with the hire made hence adding value to the organization. Career skills assessment provides an opportunity for the candidates to prove more than just through resumes or interviews.
Benefits of Skill Assessment Test
A skill test offers so much more than an easy hiring process. Here are some of the key benefits of conducting a skills assessment test for hiring and employee assessment.
Skill assessment tests are generally conducted online. A software tool like Skillrobo can be employed to achieve this successfully. An online skills assessment has better predictability than a traditional hiring process. They perfectly filter out the right talent from the bunch that is based on the performance only.
Improved Hiring Experience
Both candidates and the employers are given a better experience through the hiring process. In a traditional setting, recruiters or interviewers often tend to feel burdened with a huge number of candidates and can drag the process to a longer period.
Help Tackle the Skills Gap
Significant research reveals that by 2030, there will be a loss of $8.5 trillion due to scarcity of talent and skill gaps in the United States. This problem can be removed by leveraging a skills assessment test and sufficiently bridging those gaps in the skills. Not only the candidates that are hired but also the existing employees.
Right Match Enhances Productivity
Skills assessment tests have the potential to make the most accurate selection for the job role. Hence, the chosen candidate develops the value of the team they are added to and further improves the organization’s productivity.
Non-Reliability of Resume Screening
Resume screening is not a reliable method for the following three reasons. First, it has been estimated in different studies that candidates tend to lie on their resumes about their credentials and qualifications. Second, resumes only provide an overview of the candidate’s experience. There is no qualitative or quantitative insight into the performing capabilities of the candidates. The final reason is that there is a possibility of recruiters choosing candidates based on their background or demographics rather than focusing on their talent. In a study conducted by Leadership IQ, 46% of new hires fail within the first 18 months of employment. Hence, there is a huge waste of resources, especially time.
The skill assessment test can remove bias and offer a platform for an objective evaluation of the candidates. In online skills assessment tests, the metrics are fixed, so that all the candidates are marked using the same scale. Therefore, there is no room for any form of bias from the employer’s side.
Conducting a skill assessment test online is considerably more feasible than physically conducting a filtering round. Installing a skills assessment tool allows organizations to conduct online mode and does not require assembling the candidates at a common platform. The link to the test can be shared through email, and candidates can complete it in the given time.
Since the skill assessment can be conducted online, the test can be taken at any time by the candidates. The hiring managers do not have to manually shortlist candidates anymore. The skills assessment test achieves this instantly generating a report on the performance of each candidate and releasing a rank list. Due to this, the number of candidates shortlisted for the interview will be drastically reduced and more time will be saved in the overall recruiting process.
Improve Employee Performance
As skill assessment tests are used for employee assessment, there is a good source to understand and determine the performance of the workforce in the organization. Employees are reported on their performance and areas of improvement helping them to make the required improvements for professional growth. This gives a performance boost to them as well as the organization.
Keeps Track of Progress
With an online setup, the progress of each candidate can be tracked by the recruiter with ease. The recruiter will also be notified once all the candidates have completed the test as well.
Types of Skills Assessment Tests
Ideally, a complete skills assessment test is a combination of different types of evaluation methods. Being primarily administered before the final hiring, these give great and deep insights into the abilities of the candidates and their cultural fit as well. Here are some of the most used skills assessment tests.
- Hard Skills Assessment
- Work Sample Test
- Cognitive Ability Test
- Personality Test
- The Interview
- Combination Approach
Hard Skills Assessment
Hard skills assessment focuses on the skills of the candidates in the specific area of experience such as marketing, sales, software development, etc. These skills are essential to understanding the abilities with respect to their expertise in a particular field. Evaluating these skills will provide insights into the efficiency of the candidate or the employee.
Work Sample Test
A work sample test is also known as a “realistic job preview”. In this type of test, the candidates are given a sample test based on their expertise. This is to determine their skills and abilities in the role that they will be fulfilling. Some ways this can be achieved is through conducting situational judgment tests, case study presentations, etc. The results obtained can accurately foreshadow the performance of the candidate in the organization.
Cognitive Ability Test
Contrary to the work sample test, cognitive ability tests look to uncover the performance of the candidates in unexpected scenarios. The areas focused on in this type of test are numerical, verbal reasoning, memory, problem-solving, etc. Today, even game-based assessments are also used to measure cognitive ability. This method is much faster than any traditional method.
Personality tests measure and analyze the candidates’ personalities. This will enable the employers to understand a candidate’s behavior in an unprecedented situation. A candidate’s morale and ideals can be comprehended and the employers can determine whether the candidate will be the right choice for the organizational culture. Moreover, for the role of a salesperson, an extroverted personality might be the right choice, and to test this, a personality test can do the needful.
Interviews are one of the most commonly used assessment methods in the hiring process. Both hard and soft skills can be easily assessed. These are more flexible and are often the most preferred method after shortlisting the candidates. As it is mostly conducted one-on-one a lot of time has to be invested for each candidate and hence only a certain number of candidates will be selected for this round. The interview can be put into two categories.
- Just as the name suggests, structured interviews have a defined framework to it. It entails predetermined questions and evaluation criteria. Hence, it is considered to be one of the most unbiased, uniform, and objective assessment tests. Structured interviews often examine the behavioral aspects as well, which will help predict the candidate’s future performance.
- Unlike structured interviews, an unstructured interview lacks a predetermined question set or evaluation criteria. This type of interview focuses more on building and nurturing a relationship with the candidates. An interesting fact is that these interviews are often recorded so that interviewers do not have to evaluate on the spot and focus on the ongoing conversation. They can evaluate the conversation at a later time.
A combination approach is the most ideal way to conduct the hiring process. In this approach, the hiring manager will combine different types and methods of testing that would give a comprehensive insight into the abilities of the candidates.
Integrity assessment majorly focuses on the reliability of the candidates. Factors like ethical composure and integrity of the candidates are analyzed using these tests. This can also figure out the behavioral aspects of the candidates when they encounter any specific situation. Some of the questions that are asked in an integrity test are as follows:
- Are your values the same inside and outside of the working environment?
- If your coworker gives you a task that violates the organization’s policy what will you do?
- Is it ethical to publish your work samples on your website?
Validity of Skills Testing
The validity of skill testing is often a concern and is questionable. For some people, it can seem like a violation or intrusion of personal characteristics. So, conducting an online professional skills assessment can be a problem. Therefore, it is necessary to look at what validity means in the first place.
Types of Validity:
There are four types of validity to look for in a test – face validity, content validity, construct validity, and predictive/external validity.
Face validity is the most basic form of validity. This type of validity seeks validation on whether the test looks like it is assessing what it claims to measure. For example, if a candidate is being hired for a programming role, a set of coding questions would have more face validity than an arithmetic skill or a comprehension test.
Content validity focuses on testing whether the assessment test covers the full range of skills and abilities required for the role. Content validity is one of the most important validity scales that need to be measured. This will ensure the authenticity of the test making it more reliable.
Construct validity rightfully answers the question of a test being validated or holds psychometric validity. This type of validity checks if the test accurately evaluates the theory-based construct that it claims to assess.
The predictive validity checks whether the assessment test actually can predict the performance of the candidates while they perform the actual job. Hence, the question is, if a candidate scores well on the test, does that ensure the candidate will perform exemplary on the job?
Here are some pointers to consider regarding validity:
- A test that portrays what a candidate will be doing in the job is considered “validated”.
- Personality tests and soft skills are still considered to be risky even when they are validated.
- Two reasons that make skill testing an effective and valid process, are positive candidate experience and unbiased valuation. This is why the skill assessment test is considered valid.
How Common is Skill Assessment Testing?
Job assessment tests have been in practice for decades now, but only in the last few years, there has been an increase in the implementation of basic skill assessment test software that makes the process simple yet effective. A study conducted by the Talent Board on candidate experience revealed that 82% of business organizations leverage some form of skills assessment test tools.
Parameters to look for in a Skills Assessment Test Tool
It is essential to look for the following basic yet important parameters in a skills assessment test tool that will allow the recruiters to have a seamless hiring process.
- A comprehensive platform for conducting and evaluating the test
- A platform that promises the easy administration of the tests
- A software where candidates can be easily inhibited and assessed
- A tool that allows online remote proctoring
- An online tool that offers an error-free testing process
- A platform that encourages automated report generation
Ways to Effectively Choose Skills Assessment Tests
Some important points to consider when hiring managers choose what types of skills assessment tests to include-
- Determine the organizational and job goals
- Decide on the skills that need to be measured
- Look into the characteristics of their assessment tests
- Conduct deep research on the market and hiring process
- Understand the skills criteria set by the organization
Raise the Standard of Skills Assessment Test with Skillrobo
Creating a technical skills assessment test can be a tedious task, hence, taking assistance from an assessment tool is a smart choice. Skillrobo is a platform that offers a wide range of online skills assessment tests that help organizations add value to the hiring process. It is specifically designed to aid recruiters in filtering high-quality candidates efficiently in less time.
Why should hiring managers opt for Skillrobo? The ultimate goal of the software is rooted in offering a seamless process that empowers and promises to give a prospering experience to both the hiring manager and the participating candidates.
Based on the job roles, the recruiters can create assessment tests including areas of expertise they wish to evaluate. The platform also offers in-built tests for a spectrum of skills and talents. As a user-friendly platform, Skillrobo enables users to create assessment tests based on job roles effortlessly allowing users to create new tests or use the 100+ test templates that are customizable for efficiently carrying out the process. The platform can be effectively used across any industry.
Some features that stand out are:
- Customizable built-in Tests
- Wide range of skill tests across different industries
- Instant analytical reports and results
- Seamless integration with other applications
- Interactive, engaging, user-friendly
- Simple and easy communication with candidates
Artificial intelligence and SaaS solutions have become a replacement for most of the human-developed skills and have reduced their lifespans. Therefore, there is a necessity to upskill and improve the efficiency of the employees. This enables the employees to acquire long-term employment, job security, and professional growth. Additionally, onboarding skilled candidates is also crucial to maintaining the high value of the workforce as well. The skill assessment test that Skillrobo offers is efficient enough to determine the core strengths and weaknesses of the workforce. Sign up and explore more on the features and other benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a skill assessment test?
Skills assessment test is an approach to evaluating the skills and abilities of the employees or applicants for a job role in an organization. More than the knowledge or what the candidate knows, it majorly focuses on how well they can perform and fulfill the various tasks and responsibilities of the role.
- What are the alternatives to skills assessment tests?
There are many alternatives to skills assessment tests. If the employers are not satisfied or clear with the assessments that have been conducted, they can opt for job simulation, writing samples, on-the-spot presentations, problem sets, etc. are good alternatives that can give insights into the different capabilities of the candidates.
- Why do organizations opt for skills assessment tests?
The primary aim is to measure the skills and talent of the candidates or the employees in a streamlined and efficient fashion, with zero limitations. These tests help organizations find the right candidate for the job role and who can improve the productivity of the team.
- Can skills assessment tests be used for existing employees?
Skill assessment tests can be used only for hiring new employees, but they can be also used for evaluating the current employees as well. This helps in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the employees. Proper training and appraisal can be given to the employees based on the report.