Employment testing is growing in popularity as recruiters are inundated with more and more hiring choice. Glassdoor suggests that the average job opening receives 250+ resumes, and recruiters and HR managers need an efficient way to sort through candidates to highlight and hire the best ones. Employment testing is a tool that can help by highlighting desirable skills and traits in ways that a simple interview cannot.
Employment testing will always have limitations, especially in terms of judging the long-term behavior of an employee but it can help you to learn more about candidates in a relatively short amount of time. While there are numerous assessments and tests available, the following three include some of the most important.
Skills tests check for hard and soft skills, looking for job-relevant skills such as typing, ability to use a machine, or ability to use different types of code. These tests can consider job knowledge, hard skills, or soft skills such as attention to detail and diligence, which will help you to better determine what an individual can or cannot do.
Skills tests allow you to root out candidates who may be qualified but who cannot take on a role right away, those who might be up playing their skills, or who might not have the conceptual knowledge to fit into a specific role. Skills tests take time to evaluate and to set up properly, so they are best applied during late-stage hiring, when you have a very small candidate pool. Asking individuals to complete a test, assignment, data check or other form of employment testing will then allow you to compare the actual capabilities of your candidates, so you can make a better choice.
Competencies often include a range of soft skills and behaviors that contribute to success in a job role. Using this type of employee assessment means having existing job profiles and a competency framework in place, with which to measure how candidates score and why. Competency assessment is often integrated into formal interviewing in the form of structured interviews, where individuals are given a series of structured questions designed to gauge response, behavior, communication, stress management, and so on.
Competency assessments can also integrate into assignments and complete tests, where candidates are asked to give input in less stressful environments, or in environments where they may have fewer prepared answers. This type of testing is important because it tells you how individuals are likely to react, whether they are likely to be good at learning, whether they are self-motivated, good leaders, or any other desirable trait.
Hiring for culture is important, not just for culture-fit but also for growing organizational culture by expanding on it. Culture testing can take the form of emotional intelligence tests, cognitive ability tests, or behavior tests, but often incorporates work assignments, especially in an office or actual work area. These tests are designed to check behavior, how an individual responds to different situations, the individual’s ability to fit in or contribute to a team, and so on.
Culture testing allows you to choose candidates who complement your existing culture while hopefully bringing in something new, challenging existing dynamic, or improving something. Good culture often involves aspects of communication, willingness and desire to learn, and passion, and these are very easy to see in employment testing.
Employment testing can help you to make better hiring decisions by giving recruiters more information on candidates and their behavior. While they aren’t foolproof, good testing expands on the interview, checking for desirable and undesirable traits, so that you can make a better hire and a better investment for your organization.