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A Comprehensive Guide to Skill Assessments

A Comprehensive Guide to Skill Assessments
A Comprehensive Guide to Skill Assessments

With so many applicants on the market, creating an engaging and personable candidate experience is more vital than ever. However, you must strike a balance between this and selecting the finest talent for your position.

In today's employment market, job skill tests can provide recruiters a market edge. Candidates who are hired based on their abilities rather than their history are more likely to remain longer and perform comparatively better.

If you’re ready to apply job skill tests to your hiring strategy, read on; we’ll walk you through the process. 

What Is a Skills Assessment Test?

A skills test is a type of assessment that is intended to give an objective, verified assessment of a candidate's ability to carry out duties outlined in the job description. These examinations evaluate the technical and soft skills needed to do the job adeptly.

Employers frequently utilize skills assessment exams to measure the talents and capabilities of existing workers and job seekers. These tests are used to determine whether or not a person possesses the abilities required to execute diverse and critical parts of a profession. Though they can be administered to both prospects and current workers, skills evaluation exams are most commonly used during the recruiting process. Businesses consider them helpful for weeding out candidates before bringing them in for an interview session.

A skills exam often offers a number of questionnaire items in a variety of forms to determine how applicants execute on-the-job activities. A good skills exam contains questions that can be answered by someone who is already doing the job and measures important performance metrics properly. In addition, questions should be customized to the requirements of an available post. Numerous skills exams involve holistic activities, such as programming challenges or work simulations, to simulate what a candidate might do in a real-world situation.

Proven psychometric tests are used in other forms of job-readiness assessments to discover in-demand soft qualities such as ambition, emotional stability, perseverance, and interpersonal skills. A personality test differs from a skills exam in that it forecasts how a person would act in a certain situation rather than their capability to perform.

While skills tests focus on task-related talents such as scripting, writing, and sales, some pre-employment examinations also include intangible abilities such as collaboration and management. According to a Wall Street Journal study of CEOs, these traits are sought after by leaders at over 900 firms.

Despite this, 89% of those polled indicated they had a very or somewhat difficult time finding employees with the required characteristics. A skills test can readily reveal a candidate's actual talent when standard recruiting approaches fail.

Generally, skills assessments can be quite useful in predicting career success. A skills test, more than CVs or job interviews, may determine a new hire's actual ability to stay with the firm over the long haul.

Why Do Companies Use Skill Assessment Tests?

Employers utilize skill assessment tests to find candidates who will be the greatest fit for the company's recruiting requirements.

Employers benefit greatly from skill evaluation exams. They can, for example, provide useful information into the recruiting process by weeding out prospective hopefuls who may be underqualified for a position despite their Job application claiming otherwise.

Apart from validating applicants' statements, it can also reveal employees who might be better suited for a different position or advancement.

Companies utilize skills assessment exams in a variety of ways, including:

1. To get a deeper understanding of workers and to develop them in ways that enhance their long-term objectives and aspirations;

2. To determine whether sections of the organization are thriving or failing and to provide insights on which areas or departments may demand more coaching;

3. To draw a comparison of the group's skills and competencies to market or regional norms.

Skill testing works best when the questions are tailored to the position and required skill that will be recruiting the new hire. Combine multiple sorts of questions in a skills exam to gain a 360-degree perspective of how an applicant would perform in various circumstances.

A skills exam may be set up in multiple methods. Developing a comprehensive aptitude test, on the other hand, necessitates some planning on the part of the recruiting manager and team.

According to Deloitte's research, the following is a typical procedure for adopting and implementing skill-testing questions:

1. Identify the human components required to complete the task.

2. Collate a set of questions that will be used to assess and evaluate these human characteristics.

3. Use the information obtained from the skills assessments to help with the next phase of the screening.

4. After you've hired someone, review the recruiting assessment's effectiveness to make sure the questions yielded the best results.

Finally, a skills evaluation may assist recruiters in moving away from the CV and allowing applicants to demonstrate that they are genuine. Developing the proper set of questions ought to be a joint effort between the recruitment team. 

Skill assessment tests, irrespective of their aim, offer businesses the information they need to make educated decisions regarding personnel selection, promotions, and development.

Job skill tests are dependable, impartial, and cost-effective, and they provide important information about a candidate's abilities. They assist companies in weeding out individuals who, despite their credentials, are underqualified for a post. These exams assist companies in verifying candidates' statements and identifying those who may be better suited for another position. Businesses can use these exams to attract talent who are ready for advancement or who should be transferred to a new position.

Employers may be able to discover areas where their firm is succeeding or failing using skills evaluation exams. They can then use this information to provide further coaching and nurture and develop people in order to assist them in achieving their own objectives. Employers may also utilize the data from these exams to compare their employees' abilities to industry and regional standards.

Skills assessment exams help companies to make educated, data-backed choices regarding recruiting, training, and promotions since they are used to analyze both prospective and present employees.

How to Use Skill Tests During Hiring

Organizations should use simulations, real-life examples, and online testing tools to measure both technical and soft skills when determining if a person or employee has the essential abilities to execute their task properly.

In order to gain a coherent picture of the candidate's competence, the employer should additionally focus on assessing job-specific skills. When it comes to adding a talent evaluation to your recruiting process, timing is important.

According to Harvard Business Review, skills tests should be administered early in the recruiting process. Many service organizations, such as shops, contact centers, and security services, can decrease expenses and make better employees by utilizing brief, web-based exams as the initial screening step. Such assessments effectively screen out the least-suitable candidates, leaving a limited, stronger pool to proceed through the process's more expensive customized aspects.

Instead of screening people out, skill assessments could be used to filter them in. Many recruiters confront the problem of being unable to properly assess each candidate's abilities due to a large number of applicants. By scoring findings fast and eliminating subconscious biases from the mix, smart algorithms and AI technologies may boost candidate assessments.

Vervoe's algorithm uses a multi-layered technique to score candidates. Rather than being screened out if they don't meet specific criteria, candidates are evaluated depending on how well they performed. The best contenders quickly ascend to the top, but no one is left out of the following round's consideration. Skill tests, when utilized early in the recruiting process, can help choose a more varied pool of candidates to move on to the next stage.

What Are the Types of Skill Assessment Tests?

Depending on the role for which you are hiring, there are a variety of methods to put up a skills exam. Companies use skills evaluations to hire for a variety of professions, including administrative assistants, finance and accounting, and contact center representatives, to name a few.

The most frequent types of pre-employment exams include Excel skill tests, coding skill tests, typing skill tests, and other computer skill tests. Some businesses concentrate on task-related inquiries, such as "Create a Powerpoint Slide with a video integrated into the presentation." Questions might be hyper-specific to test a particular ability, such as coding, or broad to test the basic success criteria at a certain level.

Some organizations choose to concentrate on confirming the abilities that will enable an applicant to flourish beyond the current position. This method is more akin to a pre-employment screening, with questions aimed at determining if an applicant can advance up the ranks, adapt to a demanding work environment, or react under duress.

"You have an old customer on the phone who is having difficulties comprehending your instructions while a coworker is also attempting to transfer a call from a previous customer, and you have a follow-up call scheduled in 5 minutes. In this circumstance, how would you manage and prioritize?" was one of the questions in one call center rep test.

Multiple-choice, open-ended, and pre-recorded video replies are all good ways to evaluate if a candidate has what it takes to accomplish a good job.

As previously said, skills assessment exams are used for a variety of purposes, although they are most commonly used prior to employment. The following are some of the several types of evaluation tests that are utilized throughout the recruiting process:

1. Hard Skill Assessment Tests

These exams are intended to assess a person's abilities in a certain field, such as programming, arithmetic, or typing. The results of hard skills testing reveal useful information about a candidate's ability to do normally practiced job tasks.

2. Soft Skill Assessment Tests

The way a person interacts with others is referred to as soft skills. Employers can measure soft skills by characterizing how individuals communicate, their listening style, and their degree of empathy.

3. Work Sample Tests or Job Knowledge Tests

Work sample exams, sometimes known as "realistic job previews," are meant to mimic specific activities that workers are expected to do in their employment, such as situational judgment tests, case study presentations, and technical coding examinations. Because of how closely they resemble the real responsibilities linked to employment, the findings of these evaluations effectively identify an individual's actual work performance.

4. Psychometric Tests

Both cognitive capacity and mental agility are assessed using psychometric exams. Various exams assess certain abilities. Personality questionnaires, aptitude tests, numerical reasoning, critical thinking tests are just a few examples of types of psychometric tests. 

5. Cognitive Ability Test

Despite work sample exams, which examine candidates' abilities in anticipated, everyday settings, cognitive ability tests analyze candidates' abilities in more unusual scenarios. They do so by assessing an individual's capacity to think abstractly while using numerical and verbal reasoning abilities. Game-based examinations are now widely utilized to test cognitive abilities.

The structure is more user-friendly for candidates, and the process is usually considerably quicker than standard cognitive abilities exams.

6. Personality Tests

Personality tests evaluate certain parts of a candidate's personality, which may be highly useful when selecting someone for a position that necessitates a specific manner. A very outgoing individual, for example, would be an excellent match for a profession that requires a lot of user interactions, such as sales.

7. Integrity Assessments

An integrity exam is a sort of personality test used to determine whether or not a candidate is honest, reliable, and loyal. Theft, aggression, disruption, disciplinary measures, and tardiness are all examples of unproductive actions connected with a lack of credibility.

8. Situational Judgment Tests

SJTs (situational judgment tests) are now a standard element of the hiring process. They let companies examine the appropriateness of huge groups of applicants in respect of both motivation and core knowledge by posing multiple-choice questions and settings to them.

9. The Interview

Interviews, when done correctly, maybe a wonderful method to evaluate a candidate's hard and soft abilities. Interviews are versatile and are frequently used as a stand-alone or addition to other evaluation methods. An interview may be divided into two types: formal and informal.


Structured or formal interviews ask the same, planned questions in the same order for all candidates, ensuring a consistent interview procedure. This preserves impartiality, lowers biases, and generates comparable results that might be beneficial when a company is attempting to employ only on merit. Behavioral interviewing techniques are frequently used in this sort of interview. This is a method of predicting future results, views, and actions by looking at a person's prior conduct.


An informal or unstructured interview, often known as a non-directive interview, is the total opposite of a structured interview. This style of the interview focuses on developing a relationship and chemistry between the applicant and their interviewer rather than asking predefined and rehearsed questions.

In reality, this sort of interview is frequently taped so that the responses may be reviewed afterward, enabling the interviewer to focus entirely on the conversation. An unstructured interview is nonetheless organized and rigorous, despite its deceptive moniker.

10. Combination Approach

Rather than using just one evaluation exam, many businesses opt to mix many. This leads to more complete findings, removing the flaws of utilizing only one evaluation. However, this method requires more time from the applicant.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Skill Assessment Tests?

A skill test's advantages aren't restricted to applicant experience. Recruiters may utilize pre-employment exams to help them hire diversified, high-performing teams with greater speed and accuracy. In comparison to resume screens or traditional interviews, skills tests are a stronger predictor of performance. Screening resumes are ineffective for three reasons. First, research shows that candidates frequently mislead on their CVs. It's possible that the individual you believe you're employing doesn't have the credentials you think they do.

Second, resumes only give a broad overview of a candidate's qualifications and professional experience. These items do not provide qualitative insight into the real ability to perform.

The third concern is that recruiters prioritize prospects based on history and demographics rather than talent, which is compounded by inherent recruitment biases. Perhaps this explains why new recruits fail so frequently. According to one study, 46% of new employees "fail" during the first 18 months of employment.

Skill tests may help remove some prejudice from the interview process, provide hiring managers with a new measure to evaluate, and result in better, long-term employees.

There's plenty of data to show they're more effective than other standard hiring approaches used prior.

Other pros are: 

  • On the internet, you may get a wide selection of high-quality, impartial job-related testing instruments.
  • Since responses are auto-evaluated, there is no subjectivity in online exams. They are more objective than traditional types of evaluation.
  • The reports from the exams provide a quantitative perspective of a candidate's overall strengths and shortcomings, which may help an employer make recruiting selections.
  • Paying for in-person testing infrastructure and reimbursing applicants for travel fees is more expensive than using online testing.
  • Utilizing online testing tools is simple.
  • By employing these exams to reduce the candidate pool before bringing prospects to interviews, the employer may save time and effort.
  • Using online testing technologies allows the same exam to be given to all candidates, ensuring that everyone has the same chance of succeeding.

With benefits, though, will always come to the negatives. Here are the disadvantages or cons of having job skills tests. 

  • Each exam only assesses one component of a profession's requirements, and it must be a legitimate test for that position, or it will be meaningless.
  • Because these tests can't capture an individual's individuality, they should be used in tandem with other pre-employment screening techniques to provide a complete picture of an applicant.
  • Minority candidates may face discrimination as a result of these exams. Physical strength assessments, for example, might exclude female candidates.
  • Due to the social desirability bias, where individuals show themselves in a favorable light, some exams may induce factually inaccurate responses.
  • Having candidates take a variety of exams might drag down the recruiting process.
  • Some exams include unclear questions and answers, which might lead to untrustworthy findings.

How to Select the Right Skill Assessment Tool

1. Determine Your Goals

Decide what you want to get out of your skills evaluation test. First, establish what you need to accomplish before selecting the appropriate exam for your business. Do you wish to assess potential workers or present employees? Are you searching for someone who possesses a certain set of skills? Do you want to find out whether there are any skills shortages in your existing workforce? How many individuals will you be evaluating? These questions will serve as a guide for your decision-making.

2. Decide the Abilities You'd Like to Assess 

Some exams assess both technical and soft abilities, while others focus on a single skill. Define the types of talents you'll be evaluating: soft skills or technical skills. Though some exams examine both, others focus on examining single abilities.

3. Select Qualities

Make a list of the qualities you want your ideal evaluation tool to have. Next, select what services the testing business should provide. Examine the qualities you're searching for in a testing firm as well as the trial logistics. Consider whether you want the tests to be scientifically validated, for example. Do you want to be able to tailor the questions to your preferences? Do you want the evaluation tool to work with your existing Applicant Tracking System? Is customer service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

4. Examine the Market

Research the market. Examine the websites of testing providers and compare them to one another. After deciding on your goals, the abilities you want to evaluate, and the qualities you want the exam to have, you may start looking for the perfect skill assessment test on the market. There are several skill assessment tools out there on the market. Some of the best ones are eSkill, Codility, HackerRank, Vervoe, and DevSkiller. 

You Can't Go Wrong With Lanteria

In conclusion, talent testing is all about determining whether or not a person can do or knows something. It's about ensuring that they'll be able to stick with your organization for the long haul. Pre-employment tests differ somewhat in that they concentrate on anticipating how a candidate will act in certain circumstances rather than what they can achieve.

Recruiters can gain a more accurate representation of a candidate's abilities by using Lanteria to integrate questions from skills testing and pre-employment exams to ensure they are getting only the best talent.



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