Identify Your Best Performers With Skills Testing
When hiring, developing, or promoting employees for new positions in your company, resumes and interviews only tell you so much. A person’s education, experience, and references all provide indicators about what a person knows and what they have done. But, the best way to understand one’s abilities and level of proficiency is to conduct skills testing. For recruitment, skills assessments are recommended to be used alongside cognitive and/or behavioural assessments.
WHAT IS A SKILLS ASSESSMENT?
Very simply, a skills assessment is an evaluation of an individual’s ability to perform a specific skill or set of skills. Usually, it’s an evaluation of skills specific to a job or role. Ideally, the assessment captures the level of proficiency for each skill, so you know which participants are new to a skill and which have mastered it.
According to a recent HAYS survey of only 18% of employers conduct an assessment before deciding on what training to offer each employee. A further 36% do so only for select staff.
TYPICAL SKILLS ASSESSMENT EXAMPLES
The skills we need to be able to demonstrate and assess, vary considerably depending on the role, seniority, and the type of company. Some of the most commonly used areas are:
Administration skills – make sure that your prospective hires can demonstrate the basic skills that you need such as typing speed, data entry, and computer literacy
Microsoft Skills – these are our most popular range of skills assessments, they are designed to ensure that the proficiency in tools such as Excel, Word, and Outlook that are claimed on resumes are accurate.
Call Centre and Customer Service – real-life simulations and audio clips assess the customer-centric approach that you want to hire for and are a very quick and effective way to screen candidates
IT and Programming Skills – there are hundreds of IT-specific assessments to ensure that candidates meet your minimum requirements in whatever IT environment or coding languages that you need.
USING SKILLS ASSESSMENTS OUTSIDE OF RECRUITMENT
In today’s rapidly evolving world, employers need to drive skill-building to not only sustain their organisation’s competitive advantage but help employees understand their options to up-skill no matter their age or career stage.
More and more organisations are utilising skills testing to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps within their workforce as well as aid succession planning.
Other reasons organisations come to us to assess their existing workforce include:
A workforce with long tenure: To assess where employees’ skills sit at the present time and gain an understanding of further training required or diversification of skill sets into other areas of the business.
SMEs: Who are looking to effectively shape a team that can operate with lean resources.
Restructure or reform: When organisations restructure, assessments can help identify where they may be heavy in one skill set and lighter in others.
Support hard to fill vacancies: Assess candidate’s potential to fill hard to find job roles with internal candidates that can be best trained and developed, for example in areas such as Cybersecurity.
BENEFITS OF SKILLS ASSESSMENTS
Because skills testing is designed to objectively assess the skills of individuals, there are many benefits to using them.
Reduce Bias: Especially in the hiring process, intrinsic biases can affect our hiring decisions. The more weight given to skills assessments, the less is given to things like age, gender, previous employer, education, address, and other factors that can inadvertently sway a hiring manager.
Personalized Development Plans: Just because someone isn’t fully skilled doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get the job or promotion. A skills assessment is extremely helpful in pinpointing exactly the areas where someone needs to develop skills, making it easier to develop a relevant, personalized learning and development plan.
Measure Progress: Whether monitoring the development of individuals or teams, regular skills assessments can confirm progress – or identify areas where the training and support aren’t enough.
Skills assessments can help keep your employees and teams current, productive, and engaged. If you are looking to build a strong and resilient workforce and would like some more information on skills assessments, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org