Regarding the Covid times, the tendency to work remotely has become a trend. Freelance and remote work made HR departments in the organizations be skeptical about the candidates’ CVs, especially incompatibility of skills pointed in CVs and their real availability. Anything can be written, but it is hard to check. Consequently, nowadays, companies mostly apply automated systems to look through the candidates’ abilities.
What is the trend?
Personalization and automatization are sneaking to many spheres including recruiting. Algorithms can reject the wrong candidates, participate in phone interviews and match the work opportunities with the right candidates. From the future perspective all the recruiting will be done by algorithms.
Regarding the statistics, 72% of the organizations are accepting the fact that very soon the hiring processes will be automated. LinkedIn says that around 70% of recruiters consider “remote HR” to be arising standard and they get new technologies for choosing candidates remotely.
What is considered by skill testing?
It is an assessment which gives a logical and proven evaluation of the candidates’ skills and proves that the person to be hired will be able to perform the duties which are indicated in the job list. Questions of different types are included in the test to evaluate how the candidates will cope with the future tasks at work.
A skill test usually has questions which can be answered only by people who are doing that job and also can measure key performance metrics. Questions match with the responsibilities considered for an open position. Also, tests may include immersive experience, so candidates can face real-life challenges at work.
There are also job-readiness evaluations which are aimed at assessing soft skills, like emotional intelligence, critical and divergent mindset, motivation, resilience. Such tests are extremely important as they show how the candidate will behave in various situations.
Skills tests mainly cover task-oriented abilities. Some pre-employment assessments are oriented to identify leadership skills and teamwork. Due to research conducted by a Wall Street Journal, these skills are highly demanded by executives.
Moreover, it has been found that 89% of surveyed people said it is sophisticated to find employees with the necessary skills. Most of the time, skills tests can easily point out the candidate’s potential.
Due to everyday practice, many organizations address the hiring centers. It reduces the time for searching for the appropriate candidates. It is more efficient to sort out the best candidates using the special programs than to search for them manually. It is a cost-effective method.
Skills tests may predict on-the-job success. Test indicates the good potential of the candidate and if the candidate is able to go along with the company.
How does the skill-testing work?
The test will be highly effective if asked questions are appropriate to the role and needs of the team. In practice, the test includes different types of questions which will give the understanding of how the candidate behaves himself/herself in different situations which might occur at work. Making up a good test requires initial foresight from the hiring manager and team.
Tests usually have a similar structure and include :
- ‘Human elements’ are needed to fulfill the job.
- Questions that can forecast those human elements.
- Information from the assessments can be applied to the following round of the screening process.
- Evaluation of the whole process to make sure that questions resulted in the best outcome.
Skills assessment lets the HR department understand that candidates are the suitable choice and the best deal.
Nowadays many startups are following that trend, for example, the Deutch startup TestGorilla has raised a round in the amount of $10M to develop a platform for candidates’ skills testing. The team made up tests for many “digital” occupations: developers, marketers, sellers. The company should subscribe to the service and it can test all the incoming candidates and then select the best ones.
There are several startups that have been created for simplifying the recruiting process.
Sever Potok is a Russian based project for automatization of the interviewing process and candidates’ screening. There has been significant growth at vetted marketplaces. Vetted marketplace is a marketplace under closer management and moderation, unlike an open marketplace (ebay). For example, Arnbnb is an open marketplace.
Frontier is a next-generation hiring platform that provides interviews with professional candidates.
Turing is a platform for a search of low-paid developers in developing countries (mainly in India) and recommending them with higher salaries to the USA. Recently the platform has raised $32M.
Fiverr Business is a platform that helps different organizations to find the right candidates. The assistant is appointed who will match the appropriate freelancers to certain tasks and will control if a task is accomplished in time and will calculate all the costs.
HackerRank is a platform for programming skills evaluation. By the programming challenges, lots of developers were attracted to the platform. This platform is a good way to choose the right people.
The Predictive Index is a platform that highlights the candidate’s soft skills and also can be used to onboard candidates based on the results.
eSkill is a platform that has the assessment tests for every job position and as well can test the skills starting from email etiquette to financial analysis.
The Athena Quotient is a platform that uses tests and gives detailed reports as soon as the candidate finishes it.
Trafity helps to understand the best skills of the candidate which lead him/her to success.
How to make up the skill test in the right way?
The certain tools can be applied only by implementing them to the companies’ activity. Pre-employment assessment in the company requires some steps to structure questions in the right way.
Some best cases were reviewed and tips were highlighted.
- Skills test should include a minimum of 6 questions, 8-10 questions is the best practice.
- Some questions should have text answers and not be in the format of video or immersive questions.
- It is necessary to include questions with the immersive style, where candidates can edit presentations and other material.
- To take the candidate through the whole hiring process, it is better to start with simple questions and move to more complex ones.
- Not to put restrictions on time and instead, give the candidate the chance of success.
Video responses should not be limited. The possibilities of technical issues should be counted. The interview should not be less than 5 minutes.
Vervoe is a platform that helps to select questions from a library with assessment tools. Everyone can create tools based on the company’s necessities. There is the Expert Assessment Library that offers questions and trials made up by experts for the special fields.
Companies should be aware of how to use skills tests while recruiting. Timing plays a great role when the company is going to add a skill assessment to the hiring process.
Regarding the research conducted by Harvard Business Review, skills tests should be the first stage in the recruiting process. As their study has shown, many service companies can lower down expenses and improve the whole recruitment process by implementing short, web-based tests as the first screening step. Such tests sort out the candidates with the worst skills, and leave the best suitable applicants to go further. However, the great number of candidates makes it impossible to take into account each person’s ability. Artificial Intelligence tools can facilitate the process by scoring results faster and escape human biases.
For example, Vervoe’s algorithm applies a multi-layered approach. Candidates are evaluated based on how well they performed. The candidates with the best results are leveled up to the top, however, everyone can be promoted to the next level.
What is better? Skill test or interviewing?
Interviews need constant renewal. Recruiters have been asking the same questions for years. Moreover, candidates become very nervous before the interview, and because of that, they can make a mistake that will have negative results.
Lots of recruiters are searching for the same insights from a group interview or a case study that they would get from a skills test or case studies. However, neither the interview nor the case studies can not give valuable information. Case studies include the abstract questions and do not give any chance to see how a candidate will approach duties pointed in the job description.
Group interviews usually bring much better results as it gives clear insight into a candidate’s teamwork, leadership, and communication. There has been a tendency noticed, extroverts try to dominate. It might be hard to see each candidate as an individual while trying to make a conclusion about the group at once.
Skill testing shows the candidates’ skills for doing something or knowing something. This shows if a candidate can go with a company or not. There is a pre-employment assessment that helps to understand how the candidate will behave under certain circumstances.
Recruiters will be able to understand the whole picture about the candidate’s skills better if they combine pre-employment assessment and skill tests.In some years, CVs and interviews will be replaced by the skills tests. Thanks to that, HR departments will not be overloaded and the organization will perform better.