Why Use Skills Assessment Tests in Technical Hiring?

Candidate facing a recruiter as they point to a laptop with skills assessment test results.

Pre-employment technical skills assessment tests have become a popular way for companies to screen out unqualified candidates. Administering tests that measure the skill levels of potential employees help companies save time and money. If candidates are not qualified for the position, they are more likely to get burnt out and leave the company. The stress this puts on other team members creates a domino effect of employees leaving, creating high turnover rates and low productivity. Ensuring the candidate is qualified with a skills assessment test is an essential preventative measure of having to repeat the hiring process for that position. 

What Are Technical Skills Assessment Tests?

Technical skills assessment tests have become popular tools for recruiting teams because of their insights. The extra analytics and insights give recruiters the information necessary to make better decisions with skills-based hiring. 

Technical skills assessment tests work in multiple ways. Commonly, recruiters use resume screening as the first step in determining what skills each candidate possesses. After that, recruiters build questions for take-home tests, face-to-face personality interviews, and live-coding/pair programming evaluations based on real-life scenarios. 

How To Keep it Accurate

The questions and algorithms used to build the assessments can change the accuracy of the tests. When testing for a technical position, it’s crucial to relate the skill assessment test questions to real-life scenarios the candidate may encounter on the job. This will give better accuracy and insight into whether the candidate is a good fit for the position. 

The best way to determine which questions to ask is to interview your company's currently employed team. These are a few questions to ask an employee in the position that will help you navigate writing the assessment:

  1. What is the hardest part of the job for you?
  2. What is an example of a daily routine/task that is a requirement of the position?
  3. What skills do you wish you possessed before taking the position?
  4. Is there any advice you would give yourself if you could redo the interview process for this position?
  5. What kind of person would your team flourish with? (Leader? Follower? Great communicator? Strong technical skills?)  

With the answers to these questions, your recruiting team can make skills-based hiring decisions. 

Skills To Test

When utilizing a skills assessment test, it’s necessary to have a list of skills that are important for the position's success. As recruiters determine that candidates don’t possess specific skills high up on the list, recruiters can deem them unqualified. This makes it easier to weed out candidates. 

Resume screening is important for determining the skills necessary to test. Although resume screening shouldn’t be the cutoff for any candidates, it should provide insight at the start of the assessment process. The issue with resume screening is that it’s very easy to assess resumes with bias. Bias in the hiring process conflicts with successful decisions. Artificial Intelligence resume screening can perform actions more quickly than humans and without bias. The AI will then place the skills information in candidate profiles for recruiters to review. 

Based on the position, the level of technical skills will differentiate. Software engineers need to have more C++ skills than Information Technology professionals. While technical positions require a lot of technical knowledge, it’s also vital to have a plethora of soft skills. Every technical position can benefit from these skills:

  • Communication
  • Attention To Detail
  • Solution-Oriented Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability

Using these skills, recruiters can ask questions to gauge a candidate's personality. 

Examples of questions that assess technical skills:

  1. SQL Server Skills Assessment: What is DBMS? What is RDBMS? What are the differences? Explain thoroughly.
  2. C Coding Skills Assessment: Write a program that accepts a base ten (non-fractional) number at the command line and outputs the binary representation of that number.
  3. JavaScript Coding Skills Assessment: What type of operator is the Question Mark (?) operator in JavaScript?

Why Use a Technical Skills Assessment Test?

Recruiters hand select the block that stands out the most with a red icon of a person.

Basing hiring decisions on experience and education has gone out the window for numerous industries. While experience and education do play a role in a candidate's abilities and talents, as time goes on, companies have noticed that sometimes, candidates with the least experienced can have the best skills and are more fit for the positions. Subsequently, basing hiring decisions on experience and degree status can produce less accurate results than skill-based hiring techniques. 

Technical skills assessments provide more thorough and efficient results than other technical assessments. While programming assessments can be beneficial, without using realistic scenarios to guide the coding challenges, the results may provide unnecessary information that doesn’t help with decisions. 

Scientists have built sophisticated data-driven recruiting techniques and technology specifically for skills-based hiring because it is the best practice in hiring methodology. When using a coding skills assessment test, having an integrated development environment (IDE) that mimics the one used on-the-job can give better insight into the candidate's capabilities to perform with company equipment, providing realistic, reliable results. Utilizing virtual whiteboards for technical skills assessments with live coding can encourage candidates to showcase their thought processes and help recruiters visualize their skills for thought-oriented processes. 

Preparing Recruiters For a Technical Skills Assessment Test

Training recruiters in skills-based hiring assessments saves time and money. Companies that thrive have qualified employees that thoroughly enjoy their job. To prepare for a technical skills assessment test, recruiters need to:

  • Know what skills a candidate should possess to be an ideal candidate
  • Understand how much time is available to get through the candidate pool 
  • Read through each question to ensure they know the answers
  • Keep an open-mind about candidate backgrounds and dispel stereotypes to encourage diversity
  • Research data-driven recruiting techniques to have extra insights and analytics on each candidate
  • Verify each candidate's identity from LinkedIn and GitHub

Each of these is crucial to the success of a technical skills assessment and making skills-based hiring decisions. Interviews are first impressions for both candidates and businesses. A smooth hiring process shows professionalism and sophistication. Qualified candidates who are serious about staying with a company for a long time are more likely to accept the position if the process went smoothly. 

Filtered: Hire The Most Qualified Workers

Skills assessment tests in technical hiring provide the best results for skill-based hiring decisions. Basing hiring decisions on pedigree is not a best practice because it excludes candidates with different backgrounds and, therefore, skill sets necessary for a productive team of technical professionals. When making skills-based hiring decisions with skills assessment tests, utilizing data-driven recruiting techniques and technology can benefit the process by eliminating bias and encouraging unique talents. Filtered has all the features and more necessary for a successful hiring process. 

Filtered is a leader in skills-based hiring. 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.