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Employment assessments are tools designed to help employers identify candidates who have the skills and abilities needed for specific jobs.When building a company's culture, the people you hire at the beginning will define the success or failure of the organization.
These early hires set the tone for what the company will grow into. They do this by investing their own personal capital into their respective roles. Defining the network, structure, speed of growth, and vitality of the company.
There is a variety of hiring assessment tools available, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing is to choose an assessment that will be valid and reliable for the specific job you are hiring for.
Common assessment tools for recruitment and selection measures:
Cognitive ability tests measure a range of mental abilities, including memory, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Personality tests measure an individual's personality traits, such as extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
Skills tests measure an individual's proficiency in specific areas, such as computer programming or data entry.
Work samples are simulations of the actual work tasks that will be performed on the job.
Aptitude tests measure an individual's potential to learn new skills or knowledge.
Interest inventories measure an individual's interests, such as the type of work they would find most enjoyable or the kind of environment they would prefer to work in.
Assessment tests for hiring can be used in a variety of ways, including:
- To identify potential candidates for open positions
- To help assess whether a candidate is a good fit for a particular job
- To provide feedback to candidates about their strengths and weaknesses
- To help identify the development needs of employees
As you're considering what assessment tools to include in your tech stack, it's important to keep a few things in mind:
- Make sure the assessment is valid for the job you're hiring for.
- Make sure the assessment is reliable, meaning that it produces consistent results.
- Make sure the assessment is fair and unbiased.
- Be aware of the potential for adverse impact. Adverse impact is when a selection practice disproportionately excludes a protected group.
If you draw a timeline of your hiring process, place keystones like pillars at each step. What are the necessary skills a candidate must show proficiency in each step to continue to the next?
This turns your interview process into an objective candidate funnel.
For example, we recommend a 6-step hiring process and have outlined each step in, "How to Hire Great Software Engineers."
But here are the highlights:
As you think about each step, what are the most important skills a candidate must have to continue through the process?
Assessment tests for hiring are an important part of the process, but they are just one piece of the puzzle. There is no substitute for a well-designed hiring process that includes multiple steps and multiple assessment tools.
Interview intelligence can help you build an effective hiring process powered by AI. Many of the things we covered above are included in Pillar's library of assessment tests and interview questions, as well as the ability to create custom templates that fit your specific hiring needs.
If you go back to the 6-step hiring process, what skills are required for a candidate to make it to the phone screen?
These are usually listed on a resume or LinkedIn profile and can be identified at a glance.
Recruiters and hiring managers often like to see a candidate's personality profile either before or directly following the first interview.
This can help give some context to the interviewee's responses and behavior.
There are a few different types of personality assessments that are commonly used in recruitment, including:
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Big Five Personality Test
There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but these 5 are some of the best recruitment assessment tools available.
The next thing to assess is a candidate's technical skills.This is usually done through some combination of skills testing, work samples, and aptitude tests.
Second to culture fit technical skills are the most objective way of defining whether a candidate is a good fit for a particular job.A few examples of technical assessment tools include:
- Coding tests
- Data entry tests
- Microsoft Office Suite tests
- Sales skills tests
- Customer service skills tests
For this article, we'll stay with the theme of hiring for software engineering roles and will need to assess a candidate's coding ability and portfolio.
The best way to do this is through a coding test.
A few popular options include:
These are all great tools, but our personal favorite is CodeSignal.
We like CodeSignal because it's the only tool that can accurately match a candidate's skill level to a job opening.
The platform includes a library of challenges, called Certify, that are aligned with specific job requirements.
This means that candidates only see relevant challenges and the results are more accurate.
If you're on a tight budget, you can even access free versions of many of these tools and graduate to paid versions as your needs grow.G2 has a list of 43 free technical recruitment assessment tools you can use starting.
The third and final type of assessment to consider is the work sample.
A work sample is a piece of the actual work that will be done on the job.
This could be anything from a design test to a sales pitch to a code review.
The point is to give candidates a taste of what the job will be like and see how they perform under pressure.
Some work samples can be given as part of the interview process, but others may need to be completed before an interview is scheduled.It just depends on the nature of the work sample and the role you're hiring for.
A few examples of work samples include:
- Design test
- Sales pitch
- Code review
- Customer service simulation
- Data analysis exercise
These are just a few ideas - the possibilities are endless.
The important thing is to make sure the work sample is representative of the actual work that will be done on the job.
Tools to assess skills and competencies can be divided into two main categories:
Skills tests are usually multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank questions that assess a candidate's knowledge of a particular subject matter.
Work samples, on the other hand, are pieces of actual work that the candidate will be expected to complete as part of the job.
Both skills tests and work samples have their place in the recruitment process, but we recommend using a combination of both.
This will give you the most accurate picture of a candidate's skills and abilities.
When it comes to skills testing, there are a few different approaches you can take.
You can either utilize skill assessment methods that cover a wide range of topics, or you can give a specific test that focuses on one particular area.
The approach you take will depend on the role you're hiring for.
If you're hiring for a position that requires a very specific set of skills, then it makes sense to give a test that assesses those skills.
On the other hand, if you're hiring for a generalist position, then a more comprehensive approach may be best.
Skills assessment tools' most useful function in the hiring process is clarity.
When done correctly, skill assessments can help to identify areas where a candidate may need more development or training.
They can also help to confirm that a candidate has the skills and abilities necessary to excel in the role.
In addition, skills assessment tools can be used to benchmark candidates against each other.
This can be helpful when making decisions about which candidates to move forward with in the hiring process.
Some additional basic skills assessment tools that you may want to consider include:
- Kenexa Prove It!
Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT)
- Carson Dellosa Publishing's Skills Assessment
So far we've discussed various assessment tools that can be used when hiring employees.
These tools are great when used to assess skills, knowledge, abilities, and work samples. Each type of assessment has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to choose the right tool for the job.
Ultimately, the goal is to find the best candidate for the position.
Pillar's interview intelligence software helps you to assess candidates more effectively by giving you access to a powerful suite of tools powered by AI.
Creating an effective, efficient, and equitable hiring process isn't easy, but with Pillar, you can assess candidates objectively and make better hiring decisions.Schedule a demo to see how, today.