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Why skills assessments should come before the resume review process


Wading through resumes is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the hiring process. It’s a necessary evil to find the perfect candidate. But what if there was a way you could cut 300 resumes down to just 20? And not just any 20, but 20 resumes from candidates who you know have the skills for the role. Wouldn’t that make the resume review process more efficient!

The benefits of conducting a skills assessment before the resume review process

Skills assessments can help you do just that. Online skills assessments are used to evaluate the practical skills and soft skills of a job candidate. In this post, we explore in detail the value of leading the hiring process with a skills assessment. Let’s jump in. 

Identify white lies and candidate blind spots

30% of people admit to telling a lie on their resume. Whether it’s claims of impressive technical skills or overselling a “likable personality,” many candidates fudge the truth to try to score an interview. 

Truth embellishment aside, people aren’t always an objective judge of their own skills and character. The concept of the Johari Window highlights that many of us have “blind spots”—aspects of the self that other people see, but we are blind to. Additionally, there are also elements of our personality that both we and other people can be unaware of and are waiting to be discovered. 

Whether it’s traits that are hidden from a person’s view to traits or skills yet to be revealed, skills assessment tests can help provide a more accurate picture of a candidate than a resume alone. Beginning with a skills assessment test can ensure you get the most realistic picture of a prospective candidate, whether they have the skills you need, and if they’ll be a good fit with your company’s culture

Objectively assess candidate skill level

As explored above, many candidates lie or embellish the truth in their resumes. This makes it difficult to accurately compare the potential of each candidate—especially if you have several near-identical resumes in front of you. Online skills assessments offer a standardized, scientific, and rigorous evaluation method to reduce the risk of making a mishire. 

Reduce the impact of hiring bias

Unconscious bias has plagued the hiring process for decades. Many companies are striving for a more diverse and inclusive workforce. However, many decisions are intuitive and often impacted by unconscious biases – something many people are unaware of and struggle to account for.

Hiring managers, and companies as a whole, have an obligation to ensure that their workforce is diverse and inclusive. Companies perform better when their workfare is reflective of greater diversity. Unconscious biases in hiring practices lead many companies to miss out on hiring the best talent for the job. 

Skills assessments take the unconscious focus off of race, age, gender, sexuality, disability, personality, education, and other traits that may lead to bias or unconscious discrimination. They put the focus on more objective criteria – reducing room for biased hiring and discrimination. 

Reduce time to hire

It’s easy to spend many hours wading through resumes to find the right candidate, skills assessments dramatically reduce the time it takes to assess multiple candidates’ capabilities. Only those with the right level of skill and aptitude will be approved. This makes them the ideal choice if you are hiring in high volumes. Using assessment tests to narrow down your selection of resumes is an ideal way to reduce the time it takes to fill a position in your office. 

Decrease in turnover 

Research shows that it takes 45 days on average to fill a new position. One of the biggest benefits of a skills assessment is that it can reduce turnover for your company. Bad hires can be expensive. The Catalyst reports, “In the United States, the total cost of voluntary turnover was $617 billion in 2018.” 

Skills assessments help you verify a candidate’s skills and talents and make sure they are the right person for the job—before you make the hire. They can also help ensure that candidate’s personalities are a good match for your organization, reducing the likelihood of employees voluntarily terminating their roles. 

Tackle skills gaps

Skills gaps are a common issue that hiring managers run into during the hiring process. Kristina Martic reports,“ 75% of HR professionals who reported difficulty recruiting in the past 12 months say there are skills gaps in job candidates.”  

Skills assessments can help companies find the best match when it comes to finding the right candidate for the job. Skills assessments automatically grade and distinguish the candidates with the right skills. 

Addressing skills gaps with skills assessments can also help highlight promising candidates who may also require additional training once they’ve been offered employment with your company. 

Skills assessments won’t deter the best candidates

Many recruiters worry that if they have an assessment at the beginning of the hiring process, many of the most qualified candidates will be put off and refuse to take it. But in our experience, most candidates who are serious about a role are willing to take an assessment. On the other hand, you will likely find that you receive much less resume spam from candidates who weren’t willing to take the time to read the job description (let alone take an assessment).

You may worry that some candidates will have reservations about the time it takes to go through multiple tests. However, many candidates understand that skills assessments are now a common part of the hiring process and also help them see if the company is a good fit for them—not just whether they are a good fit for the company. Further, with a platform like TestGorilla, your assessment can be as short as ten minutes (even shorter if you create your own custom questions).

Another concern some hiring teams have is that some candidates may feel that the hiring manager and company are expecting investment from them without showing that they value them. That’s why it’s a great idea to personalize all correspondence and thank a candidate for taking the time to undertake skills assessments. To further personalize their experience and show how much you value them, it can be a good idea to include a brief introductory video in the assessment in which you introduce yourself and thank them for taking your assessment.  

Have more time to engage with top talent

The hiring process can be lengthy and disappointing – with high turnover rates, and the hiring process weighted down by unconscious biases, skills gaps, and deceptive resumes. 

Skills assessments, like the ones provided at TestGorilla, can help tackle these issues, providing an accurate, scientific approach to weighing a candidate’s technical skills and soft skills. Using skills assessments before you dive into reviewing resumes can ensure you are only engaging with top-tier candidates so that you have more time for qualified candidates.


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