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Best Advice on Skill Testing Candidates

Skill testing

Skill-testing candidates for your business roles is essential for ensuring that you get people who can keep your enterprise moving forwards. But finding such talent quickly is challenging. Often the search costs spiral out of control, your HR department becomes overwhelmed, and your margins decline. 

In this post, we take a look at some of the best advice out there for skill testing candidates. 

Use A Questionnaire Platform

The unemployment rate is currently a little higher than usual, which means that many people are looking for a dwindling supply of jobs. For employers, this should be good news: more candidates equal more selection. But, in practice, it clogs up the HR workflows and extends the time it takes to fill a position. 

Questionnaire platforms, however, offer an attractive solution. One of our members, for instance, is using Snag, which recently acquired People Matter. The platform has a questionnaire that takes roughly 8 minutes to complete and screens out about 40 percent of candidates who are not the right fit.

Thus, enterprises that use the platform know that they are much more likely to find suitable matches filtering through the latter stages of the interview process. 

Remove Skills Testing From The Initial Application

The initial application is mainly a tool for assessing whether a person is capable of doing a job. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that candidates are interested in showing up for the rest of the interview process. 

For instance, one member reported that they were cutting down on skills tests in the initial phases of their applications because of the number of people who weren’t showing up to subsequent application stages. The firm in question realized the skills tests didn’t indicate if people would be present for interviews. 

The moral of the story is this: skills tests don’t guarantee engagement. If you notice that people aren’t showing up when you ask them to, you might need to include evaluations later on when you’re sure that candidates are genuinely interested in applying for the role. 

Use Immersive Questions

While text-based answers are okay, immersive questions or tasks provide you with the most information about a candidate’s skills. For instance, asking about how to use spreadsheets in the abstract is different from getting people to complete Excel tasks for real. 

If you can, minimize the use of timers and formal assessment criteria. Evaluate whether candidates have the correct ideas and pay attention to their thought processes. This type of analysis can often provide you with more information about what they will actually be like on the job instead of their ability to follow a set formula. 

Choose Tasks That Are Similar To Those The Worker Will Perform On The Job

Many businesses consider skills testing superior to traditional hiring practices because it provides real insight into what a person will be like in the role. For that reason, first should choose tests that mimic what the person will do on the job. Try to avoid evaluating candidates on irrelevant characteristics. 

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