76% of organizations with more than 100 employees rely on assessment tools. Not only do pre-employment skills testing tools help corporations select the best-qualified candidates, they also greatly minimize hiring time. But what is skill testing for employment and how does it work? Discover all you need to know about tools for skill testing here, in this article.
What are skills?
Skills, in the context of recruitment and hiring, are the specific aptitudes or abilities required by candidates to successfully carry out the job you are hiring for. They are also referred to as competencies or work skills, which are the things candidates learn to make performing tasks easier. Every role requires a unique set of competencies. If you are hiring for a content writer, for instance, you might expect your candidates to have SEO (search engine optimization) skills and some editorial aptitudes. If you are searching for a software developer, you might be on the hunt for exceptional coding skills and UX design knowledge. Skills can be split into two main categories. On the one hand, there are hard skills. On the other, there are soft skills. Whereas hard skills are role-specific or job-related knowledge and abilities that candidates use to efficiently carry out their role, soft skills are personal qualities that augment workplace performance.
What is skill testing?
But, let’s return to our opening question, which was – what is pre-employment skills testing and what is an online skill test? Pre-employment skills testing is an approach used to screen job applicants. HR personnel use skills testing to discover if their candidates have the necessary skills to carry out the job role they are hiring for.
Online skill testing tools help HR personnel filter candidates who are unqualified or unsuitable for the role. They are usually made up of work-specific questions or assessments that evaluate the candidates you attract.
How does skill testing work?
So, skill testing works by assigning your candidates a particular online skill test (or, in some cases, more than one). The online skill test (or tests) might assess a candidate’s values and culture, their personality and cognitive ability, or their job-specific knowledge and skills to see whether they align with your organization. Online skill tests or platforms analyze a candidate’s skills in an unbiased, objective way.
For example, if you wanted to understand more about a candidate’s soft skills, such as their communication abilities, you could achieve this with an online skill test for communication. Or, if you needed to learn more about a candidate’s hard skills, such as their accounts payable skills for a bookkeeping role, you could gain reliable, objective insights into your candidate’s abilities in this area also with an online skill test.
Benefits of using tools for skill testing
There is a vast number of benefits of using tools for skill testing. Here are the main advantages.
As we have mentioned in the opening paragraph, skill testing reduces the time to hire. Pre-employment skills testing is increasingly helping HR personnel avoid the time-consuming part of recruiting – which is resume screening. Instead of sifting through the hundreds or maybe thousands of resumes they receive, pre-employment skill testing saves time.
Reduce recruitment costs
With a reduced time-to-hire, it’s clear that recruitment costs can also be reduced, which is what online skill tests help you achieve. You can automatically filter unqualified applicants from the hiring process, which speeds up recruitment and lets you save on the costs of sourcing candidates.
Avoid unconscious hiring bias
Another advantage of using pre-employment skills testing is that you can side-step unconscious hiring biases that can hinder the hiring process. Instead of hiring based on a gut feeling, or hiring similar candidates to the employees you currently have, avoiding bias is the ideal approach. This is because both diversity and inclusion in teams are vital, and diverse teams outperform less diverse peers.
Minimize human error
Also, keep in mind that using tools for skill testing reduces human error when evaluating candidates. A manual resume screening approach not only takes longer, but it also isn’t always an efficient approach as the process can lead to errors in candidate evaluation.
Plan for management and training
Despite the concern that workplace personality tests might be discriminatory against the mentally ill, when used the correct way, online skill testing tools can be used to plan for future training, management styles, and team cohesion. The benefit of online skill testing tools in this sense leads to greater employee retention, as knowing more about your candidates’ employees can help you make adjustments to accommodate their working styles.
Augment the interview process
Using a pre-employment skills testing tool at the beginning of the hiring process can enhance the interview process. The results can be used to develop questions that focus on your candidate’s hard skills. You can then give them a typical workplace scenario in the interview and dig deeper into how your candidate would use their hard skills to solve the issue.
Keep staff turnover low
As soon as you are aware of whether your candidates are a good fit, you can make the ideal choice for your organization. As a result, you are more likely to retain candidates whose skills and values are aligned with your organization. All of this can be discovered with online skill testing. You might even avoid losing a C-Level upper management member, which can cost 3 to 5 times their annual wages.
Pre-employment Skills Testing Tools: Simplifying the Hiring Process
The benefits of pre-employment skills testing tools far outweigh the drawbacks. They are transforming recruitment and simplifying the role of HR personnel in organizations everywhere.