Best Candidate Testing and Assessment Strategies for 2022

Job knowledge tests, cognitive ability tests, work samples and simulations, accomplishment records/digital portfolios, and interviews are among the best candidate testing and assessment strategies with the highest validity. These tests provide strong predictors of overall job performance across various industries. More importantly, they inform recruiters of candidates' potential in highly complex jobs or those with strict training requirements. 

Here’s an in-depth look at why these are some of the best candidate testing and assessment strategies for recruiters, managers, or anyone responsible for hiring advanced technical talent. 

The Best Candidate Testing and Assessment Strategies for Technical Recruiting 

#1: Job Knowledge Test

Testing candidates in domain-specific knowledge is a tried and true method to see if someone is a proper fit for the job. It immediately clarifies a candidate's technical and professional expertise at the assessment time. 

Job knowledge tests are typically easy and simple to administer online to individuals and groups. Tests can be customized to assess specific areas directly related to job performance.  

This type of candidate testing and assessment tool is best used in highly technical industries such as:

For example, a front-end developer can list extensive experience on their resume and answer general questions. But the actual depth of their experience can only be measured by building a complex object such as a website sign-up form. Only then can necessary job knowledge such as data parsing and error handling be validated. 

One thing to note is that while a job knowledge test assesses a candidate’s expertise in a specific area, it does not necessarily predict whether someone can complete additional training. It’s best to complement a job knowledge test with other candidate testing and assessment tools, such as a cognitive ability test.

#2: Cognitive Ability Test

Cognitive ability tests are one of the most effective tools for predicting job performance across industries. Unlike job knowledge tests which focus on specific areas, cognitive ability tests examine a person's capability to tackle problems, internalize and apply knowledge, come up with creative solutions, and do other mental tasks. Because they measure general intelligence, cognitive ability tests are a good indicator of someone’s success in different jobs. 

Cognitive ability tests can be administered both on paper and online. Advanced hiring platforms can set up a video recording of candidates’ responses so interviewers can closely follow their problem-solving methodology. This process also allows HR/recruiters to revisit certain sections for review and feedback. 

Cognitive ability tests are: 

  • Useful for predicting performance and a training outcome
  • Typically inexpensive and widely available
  • Reliable and well-standardized 
  • Administered off-the-shelf 

#3: Work Samples and Simulations

This assessment tool ranks with job knowledge tests for high validity both in terms of current expertise and performance in job-specific tasks. Work samples provide recruiters with a concrete output for measuring desired job competencies. Simulations mirror the actual work environment and allow recruiters to observe candidates' hands-on performance in selected scenarios. 

Work samples and simulations are a great fit with highly technical industries, including technology, engineering, and manufacturing. Simulations, in particular, work well with advanced technological fields such as data science, development and operations (DevOps), and software development. However, they can be time-consuming and costly to set up from scratch due to the mimicry of work environments. This test is typically used for individual rather than group assessment. 

#4: Accomplishment Records and Digital Portfolio

A thorough background check and a candidate's accomplishment records and digital portfolio remain among the best candidate testing and assessment tools for recruiters and hiring managers. This tool’s approach is rooted in the principle of behavior consistency which uses a candidate's performance in the past as an indicator of future behavior. Recruiters collect and verify information related to job competencies and requirements. 

Accomplishment records and digital portfolios are great for minimizing credential fraud or distortion of work experiences. These tools are sometimes used for applicant screening aside from assessment purposes. 

#5: Interviews

The interview process (in-person or virtual) is one of the most popular candidate testing and assessment methods. Interview questions can be tailored to certain` competencies, behavioral scenarios, or particular situations. This tool can be critical for jobs with specific and technical requirements. It’s important to note that a recruiter or interviewer’s skills are essential for effective candidate testing and assessment. 

Most interviews are time-consuming as they can only be administered to individuals. However, they are typically low-cost, especially if conducted virtually and can be used to assess both entry-level applicants and candidates for promotion. 

Advanced hiring platforms elevate interviews to assess culture fit and confidence. Certain behavior cues can be picked up and analyzed to give interviewers more insights. Video recording also enables HR/recruiters to review candidate responses more objectively at their leisure. 

These candidate testing and assessment tools are best suited for highly-specific and complex job recruiting. They are also helpful in predicting job performance and trainability. Recruiters and human resources personnel can rely on these tests' high content- and criterion-related validity to help them identify the right candidate.  

Leverage Skill-Based Hiring for Your Technical Recruiting Needs

Filtered offers the best candidate testing and assessment tools for highly technical and emerging technology industries. Its end-to-end hiring platform solves the above challenges, including thoroughly assessing a candidate’s ability, time, and cost-efficiency. Filtered enables live video and technical interviewing to provide more insight than an in-person meeting. The platform also boasts best-in-class simulation environments for code, front-end, SQL, data science, and DevOps challenges so you can observe candidates' expertise and performance in job-specific scenarios. 

Additionally, Filtered is ready for integration with existing applicant tracking system platforms that other hiring services may not support. Compared to others, only Filtered supports integration with Beeline, SAP Fieldglass, and Zapier ATS platforms.

Filtered is a leader in skill-based, data-driven recruiting technology. We help you focus on skills, spend time reviewing the most qualified candidates, and streamline workflows. We’ll help you humanize hiring while also applying data-driven techniques to select the right candidates. To get started, contact our team today or register for a FREE demo.