Hiring new employees can be tedious for any business, both large and small. Resumes and interviews can only tell you a small portion of what you want to know. Although a candidate’s education, experience, and references are good indicators, the best way to understand their abilities and proficiency level is through a skill assessment. Many companies have made skills testing an important part of their hiring process in order to get the best talent and skilled personnel in their team.
Skill assessment evaluates the candidate’s ability to perform a specific skill or set of skills, usually those particular to a job or role for which the company is hiring. The proficiency markers of a skill level include basic, limited, intermediate, advanced, and expert. The assessment is generally done through skills testing software, which helps capture the proficiency level for each skill. Thus, assisting the recruiting team in knowing which participants have mastered a skill and which ones are new to it. The assessment can be conducted in person or online. It may be in the form of a test, questionnaire, simulation, or observation.
The hiring team can conduct standardized and objective reviews in order to compare the results of all the assessments reliably. Many organizations also use skills management systems for creating and delivering custom online skills assessments as per the job role.
Most skills assessment tests do not focus on how employees have learned what they know but measure what they can do. Some are rich in experience, while others are strong in education. So teh skill assessments can be used to identify what should be given more weightage in a particular situation. The assessment tests are used for many hiring and employee development programs, including:
- Career development: for evaluating the performance of current employees in order to confirm if they are strengthening the essential skills as they build experience.
- Recruiting: to narrow down the list of candidates who have an interview or are going to interview, or to decide between the finalist candidates if it is an open position.
- The rapid adoption of new skills: Skills are constantly evolving, and skills assessments can be conducted as a quick test to determine whether an employee has mastered new skills.
- Learning and development: skill assessment provides a simple and objective checkpoint to ensure that training is effective as the employees progress along the learning path.
- Upskilling and reskilling: The tests can also be used by employers who encourage their current employees to learn entirely new skill sets for addressing a talent gap.
The results help the hiring team to understand the skills of an individual and group by identifying the areas where they require training. The employee skill matrix is a grid that draws necessary job skills to the proficiencies of current employees who need them. This mapping clarifies which candidates have mastered the targeted skills and which have not. If one or two applicants lag, you can work with them individually to provide them with the training and support they need. If a whole team needs to advance, you may opt for group classes or projects. You can also save the results of the assessment tests in your skills management system for accessing the employee skill matrix reports. This will provide you with the visibility you need to ensure that your teams are making progress.
Why Go For Skill Assessment?
- Reduces bias: Intrinsic biases can affect the hiring process. Hence, skills assessments should be given more weight as it directs the hiring manager to focus less on other aspects like gender, age, education, address, previous employer, etc.
- Consistency: Skills assessments give the hiring team human proficiency reports without an objective scale agreement. On a 3-point scale, one candidate may report that their skills are mostly ‘3’, while another may report ‘2’, even after having the same proficiency levels. So skill assessment makes the assignment easier.
- Personalized development plans: The reason for someone not to get a job or promotion should not be that the person is not fully skilled. Skill assessment can identify the areas where the person needs to develop their skills. This will make it easier to create a relevant and personalized development plan.
- Employee engagement: Most employees look for companies where they can learn and grow professionally. One of the great ways to do this is conducting skills assessments to keep them engaged and allow them to develop new skill sets that will help them better their professional scenario. Remember that skill assessments are about employee growth, keeping them engaged, and supporting and recognizing their progress.
- Measure progress: Monitoring the development of individuals and teams through regular skill assessments can help you measure their progress and identify where they need training and support.
The Bottom Line
Skill assessments are your best option to build a strong and resilient workforce. Many platforms can help you support your skill assessment initiatives so that you create a productive and engaged team.