Online Skill Assessment Test: Hiring Ideal Technical Candidates

Candidates sitting on a bench taking an online skill assessment test that is designed to showcase the jobs specific requirements.

There is no single template for the perfect online skill assessment test. But with a few best practices in mind, interviewers and team leaders can create a technical test that focuses on finding the right person with the right skill for the job—while simultaneously creating a positive candidate experience and speeding up the hiring process.

Why Do Companies Use Online Skills Assessment Tests?

The technical hiring process typically goes through several application stages, meetings, and initial interviews before the candidate is given technical challenges to solve. No matter how well (or poorly) a candidate does up to this point, their performance on a predetermined test will be the turning point of the hiring process. Therefore, technical interviewers must prepare the right test to identify the right person for the position. Here are a couple of guidelines to get started.

How To Hire The Best Candidates With an Online Skill Assessment Test

Technical interviewers must begin by picking the right challenges. This selection process would depend on the position level for which applicants apply. Technical tests should be:

  1. Designed to showcase candidates' thought processes 

A good online skill assessment test clearly demonstrates the candidate’s problem-solving approach. While scoring rubrics help in objective assessment, they can’t always quantify a creative approach. Look for signs of creativity and experience, such as documentation, small code functions, and speed of deployment, among others. Better yet, ask for best practices from your team to use as a benchmark in the hiring process.

Utilizing digital tools and environments that support creativity and innovation can help interviewers select the best candidates. Virtual whiteboards can help candidates visualize their thought processes with diagrams. Recorded answers in take-home tests can showcase candidates' communication skills while allowing them to expand upon their answers freely without a cap on characters. 

Interviewers can follow up with a post-test interview to let candidates explain their methodology and check their communication skills. Team leaders can also gain insight into candidates’ thought processes by observing them solve challenges in real time or on recorded video. 

  1. Designed to fit the job role with real-world challenges 

An online skill assessment test should be aligned with the role. The test should mimic real-world challenges and ideally give candidates a taste of what they would do daily. If you are hiring for a front-end position, ask candidates to build a clone website or a web application. If you're hiring for a data science role, challenge candidates to analyze and visualize data sets. Or task them with building a sentiment analysis system using survey responses, online reviews, and other sources. Whatever test you pick, make sure it closely resembles projects related to the nature of your company's business operations. 

Challenges focused on general, theoretical questions rarely test candidates’ job-specific skills. It’s best to provide challenges that require tools and environments one would typically encounter on the job. Team leaders and interviewers must set up an online skill assessment test platform where candidates can take the challenge. Interviewers can also consider using dedicated skill assessment platforms to test candidates where specific tools and environments can be provided. 

Remember, general challenges give a general idea of candidates’ capabilities. Specific challenges that use real-world environments give interviewers a specific idea of how a candidate would do in the position. 

  1. Designed to be short and interesting 

Even top-level candidates can get frustrated with unnecessary long tests. Time is a critical component in technical hiring as challenges require applicants to invest hours in completing a test. The clock is ticking for applicants searching for a job and employers looking to fill a critical position. 

Therefore, an online skill assessment test is best kept short and efficient. This strategy keeps candidates engaged and enables interviewers to narrow down the field and secure top talent quickly. 

  1. Designed to be challenging but passable 

Tests are enjoyable when sufficiently challenging but still passable. If they are too basic, talented applicants may feel the test is demeaning. On the other hand, impossibly difficult tests can hinder good candidates who otherwise fit the role perfectly. To keep tests in the Goldilocks zone—not too hard, not too easy, but just right—team leaders need to make sure that they correspond to the level of the position.

  1. Designed to be valid and repeatable 

Finally, an online skill assessment test must produce valid and legitimate results. Interviewers must exercise vigilance against fraud and cheating. This step guards the company against wrong hires and protects authentic candidates taking the test. 

These assessments must also encourage unique backgrounds and talents to produce valid results. Closing off the candidate pool based on pedigree or bias can decrease diversity and negatively affect your company's productivity.  

Tests should also be repeatable and streamlined into a fluid technical hiring flow, enabling objective comparison of candidates’ output and speeding up time-to-fill.

Filtered: Hire The Right Candidates With Skill-Based Technology

Overall, an online skill assessment test is best when following these best practices, but it’s difficult to create the perfect online skill assessment test on a whim. Luckily, skill-based data-driven recruiting technology, like Filtered, can help fulfill these practices quicker and provide more insight into candidates with artificial intelligence. Filtered aligns the interview experience with the technical role you’re hiring for. Choose the right online skill assessment test from our range of coding challenges covering full-stack, SQL, data science, DevOps, and more. Our technical tests support 30+ languages and are designed to cover multiple skill levels within major engineering disciplines. Lastly, Filtered is equipped with robust fraud detection so that you can hire technical talent anywhere in the world with confidence.

Filtered is a leader in skill-based, data-driven recruiting technology. Our end-to-end technical hiring platform enables you to spend time reviewing only the most qualified candidates, putting skills and aptitude at the forefront of your decisions. We’ll help you automate hiring while applying objective, data-driven techniques to consistently and confidently select the right candidates. To get started, contact our team today or register for a FREE demo