Recruiting employers have a dilemma at the moment.
They want to make sure that the candidate they end up offering their role to is
a good fit and has the necessary skills. To make that judgement, they need
enough information to make a sound decision.
But on the other hand, job seekers have many opportunities
to choose from in this highly candidate led market. Employers won’t want to do
anything that makes the process longer than it needs to be or puts an applicant
off. So, it’s understandable if some of them are wondering whether it would be
better to remove skills testing from the selection process. But this could turn
out to be a real own goal.
It’s always been important to make sure the
candidate experience is as positive as possible. A badly designed test, or one
that doesn’t seem to be connected to the role in question, is likely to be off-putting
no matter whether the recruitment market is candidate or employer-led. Skills
testing has always needed to be carefully thought through to make sure it’s
relevant for the role and makes a valuable contribution to the process. If
recruiting employers are choosing appropriate tests that provide valuable
insights into job-relevant skills and thinking through the timing of them
within the process, there’s a really strong case for continuing to include them.
Five ways that skills testing is beneficial to your
1. It’s an opportunity for engagement
A carefully chosen skills test that’s used at the
most appropriate point in the recruitment process has the potential to improve
the candidate experience. It’s important to engage job seekers straight
away once they’ve submitted their application. One option is to use the skills
test as soon as the application’s received, to begin building that two-way
engagement quickly. That’s especially useful if you aren’t in a position to
start interviewing immediately.
Or depending on your process, it could be more effective
to introduce the testing after the first-stage interview has been completed.
That way you’ll build up engagement through conversation first. And then you
can maintain momentum by following up with the skills testing.
2. It creates an increased sense of
Candidates need to understand why skills testing is
being used and how the information those tests provide relates to the role. If
they’re clear about the reasons why they’re being asked to complete the tests,
and how the data will be used to make recruitment decisions, it helps to show
that you’re committed to a fair process. Skills testing is an objective way to
assess abilities in a specific area, and they give every candidate the same opportunity
to demonstrate their skills.
3. The information is a benchmark for
The information that skills testing provides is
important for understanding what a candidate’s capable of in terms of the role
you’re recruiting for. But its value can go beyond that. It can also form the
basis of a future development plan for the individual as well as feed into
business planning processes around future flexibility. It provides a helpful
baseline for upskilling, which is vital for expanding capability, improving
efficiency and performance, and building a happy, satisfied team.
4. Skills testing can speed the
You might be concerned that having a skills test
stage in the recruitment process will slow things down, but it can have the
opposite effect, particularly if you’re hiring at scale. If you need to find a
large number of people to fill roles, skills testing can be a quick and
effective pre-screening tool that helps you quickly identify suitable candidates
and create a shortlist, rather than having to wade through a large number of
interviews early on.
5. Skills testing helps you find the
right people for your company
While employers are feeling the pressure when it
comes to filling vacancies at the moment, it’s simply not worth skimping on
stages in the recruitment process. Because longer term, it might end up
creating more problems. Skills testing is designed to provide valuable data
that helps make sure the people you recruit have the right skills for the
position. Not using tests could mean you’re losing a valuable source of
information about candidates – and that could backfire and lead to a costly
mistake with a poor hiring decision.
You can find out more about
skills testing here - and even try out the tests yourself to
understand more about what’s involved and the kind of insights they can offer.