5th August 2016
Recruitment tests, including pre-employment skills assessments and aptitude tests, help to ensure that the person you’re hiring has the required knowledge and ability.
Skills assessment tests act as a screening method, much like an applicant’s CV. They are not intended to be the only determining factor, but can help you to remove from your shortlist any applicants that do not seem suitable. They should be used alongside other tools and methods.
Here are a few things to remember:
- As well as general skills tests, your recruitment process should include at least one specialist assessment that is more specific to the requirements of the role.
- You can create your own skills assessment tests. There are also many available to purchase, or download free of charge. If you can’t find one that meets your needs, you can buy customised tests.
- The person that is being tested may be able to complete their test online, or send their responses via email. This is convenient, as assessments do not need to take up valuable interview time. However, assessments done outside of your business premises are at risk of being affected by external influences. You cannot stop someone from doing research and finding answers elsewhere, unless you are watching over them.
- Skills assessments are typically used during the hiring process, but have a value that extends far beyond it. Assessing existing employees can help you to identify areas where further support or training might be required.
Types of skills assessments
You can assess a wide range of job-related skills. Some of the most popular skills assessments include:
- Data entry
- Microsoft Office
- Telephone communications
- Verbal reasoning
Skills assessments and psychometric tests
Psychometric tests are commonly used as part of the recruitment process. These are not exactly the same as skills assessments.
With psychometric tests, there are no incorrect answers. The results of these tests help to describe the type of person that an applicant is, not what skills they have. Sometimes, those in charge of recruitment will use psychometric testing to decide whether or not an applicant is suitable for a role. For example, it could be argued that a quiet and emotional individual is not suited to a demanding sales job.
In other cases, the results of these tests are used to determine how easily an applicant would fit within a team, or with overall company culture, which can be just as important as being suitable for the work that the role entails.
Psychometric tests provide a way of objectively evaluating a person’s values, their motivations and their priorities. They can also help to determine someone’s working style.
Skills assessments and aptitude tests cover the more practical aspects, from someone’s ability to follow instructions to their knowledge of the software that they’ll be using.
Tests are not essential as part of any recruitment process, but it is sensible to use both skills assessments and psychometric tests if you are intending to use any at all. Do not rely on just one type of test.
By providing a selection of tests, you can build a broader picture of the applicant and potentially narrow down your pool of potential interviewees.
Tests can help you to find out more about an applicant’s personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as those directly related to the work that they’ll be doing if they’re hired.