Talent assessment is a crucial component of a company’s hiring strategy. If you’re a hiring manager or director, you need to plan out and implement a solid strategy facilitated by the right talent assessment tools to hire the best talent in line with your company’s needs.
This article will look into the different talent assessment methods and tools you can use and some of the best options.
How do talent assessment tools improve quality of hire?
The right talent assessment tools and methods enable you to accurately evaluate your candidates’ preparedness for a specific position by assessing their hard and soft skills, potential, and knowledge.
Resumes and diplomas aren’t a good indicator of a candidate's future job performance, as they cannot give you precise insights into someone’s personality, cognitive abilities, behavior, and attitude. They also don't assess whether a candidate would be a good fit for your company culture.
So we have to look to other tools that will give us the hiring insights we need to choose the best candidates for our job vacancies. By using the right tools to more effectively gauge how productive an employee will be in a role, your quality of hire will increase dramatically.
What talent assessment tools are available?
There's a wide range of talent assessment tools, methods and strategies you can use to evaluate your candidates’ competences with a high level of precision.
These tools and methods are diverse; selecting the right one depends on your recruitment needs. However, most of the available options allow hiring teams to conduct talent assessments online or offline based on the specific job, your requirements, and the method or tool you’ve selected. In most instances, an online talent assessment tool will allow you to move forward with the hiring process more quickly and efficiently than an in-person assessment.
Work samples require you to ask your candidates to complete a sample for you. They are relatively resource-intensive, as you need to request samples, manage the files or links, have someone from your company check them afterward, and collect feedback. On the upside, they give you a good idea of the candidate’s skills for specific work tasks.
Ensure you’re transparent when asking for work samples and that your company won’t use them afterward. Otherwise, you’re simply asking for free work, which might harm your employer’s brand image. Explain to candidates why you’re asking for samples and give them enough information about your hiring process and requirements.
After checking all samples, keep all candidates informed on the outcome, even the disqualified ones. After all, they invested time and effort to prepare a sample, so you should do the same and let them know whether they were selected.
Work samples are ideal for creative positions, such as copywriters or graphic designers, for example.
Job simulations are typically used during the final stages of the hiring process, most commonly during the interview. When you’re doing a job simulation, you’re asking the applicant to pretend they’re in a specific work situation and evaluating how they approach and solve the problem at hand. To accurately assess their skills during a job simulation, you might need the help of their future manager or team lead, as they know the details of the position’s requirements.
You can use an online talent assessment tool for a job simulation. For example, in a one-way video, you could ask the candidate to demonstrate how they’d handle a difficult negotiation with a business partner by giving them the pre-defined parameters of the negotiation. You could also ask someone who you’re interviewing for a sales rep position to prepare a short pitch for a product or service they’d be selling.
In a job trial, you’re actually asking your candidates to do a trial shift or a few hours of work. They can be paid or unpaid, but you need to be clear about the compensation (or lack thereof) from the beginning of the hiring process.
Job trials are a great way to get a clear idea of the candidate’s skills. But they require a significant investment from your side, as you’ll need to follow around the candidate (offline or online) and define clear criteria on what success looks like. If you decide to do job trials, do them only with your best candidates, and make sure they’re not too disruptive to the team's work.
Design the trial in a way that would allow you to test your candidate’s skills in a few diverse situations and not just for a single type of task.
One-way video interview software
Asynchronous video interviews have been around for a while, and they've gained popularity as a talent assessment tool since the beginning of the pandemic.
One-way video interviews help you save time and optimize the interview process while also giving you important insights into candidates’ thinking, behavior, communication skills, and preparedness for the job. They’re also less stressful for candidates and require less effort from your side to administer and coordinate.
You can use TestGorilla's custom video response questions to make one-way video interviews tailored to the specific needs of your recruitment process. You only have to write or record your questions once and then send a link to your candidates. Then, you can replay their answers as often as needed, make detailed notes, or send them to other team members.
For example, if you’re looking to hire a marketing manager, you could test your candidates’ proficiency with different marketing platforms, concepts, and tools via a one-way video interview where they answer a specific set of questions.
Online skills assessments
Online skills assessments are one of the best talent assessment tools available. They enable you to evaluate the skills of your candidates and compare them so that you can identify which candidates to interview.
And, by quantifying the skills of each applicant, they provide your hiring team with objective data to use in the hiring process. This reduces the impact of unconscious bias so you can make unbiased hires that promote diversity and inclusiveness at your company.
With a thought-out set of skill assessment tests, you can precisely evaluate your applicants' strengths and weaknesses and estimate their potential for development based on their cognitive skills. To accurately evaluate someone’s capacities and future performance potential, you need to look into the big picture and not concentrate only on one or two hard skills.
TestGorilla gives you the possibility to easily administer skills tests, either by using the ones you can find in our test library or creating your own. You can also add open questions or ask your candidates to submit a work sample.
From the existing skill assessments, you have plenty of options to test for:
- Cognitive abilities (e.g., mechanical reasoning, reading comprehension, or problem-solving skills)
- Personality & culture (e.g., a culture fit assessment—or, as we prefer to say around here, a culture add assessment—or the Big 5 (OCEAN) personality test)
- Role-specific skills (e.g., programming and software skills like cybersecurity, social media management, or AWS)
- Situational judgment, (e.g., business judgment, business ethics and compliance, or leadership and people management)
- Language proficiency (e.g., Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Mandarin)
You shouldn’t overwhelm applicants with an excessive number of tests from the start, though, or make your hiring process overly complicated, or else you risk losing your best candidates.
Instead, select one or two core skills for the position and test for those first. Afterward, you could administer an additional test or two to understand better the candidate’s personality, experience, or proficiency with specific topics.
What are the advantages of using talent assessment tools at your company?
Having the right stack of talent assessment tools helps you improve your hiring process significantly and make better hires consistently.
In addition to that, if you track employee performance afterward, you can measure and track each talent assessment method and tool's impact on your hiring process and to what extent they help you predict future performance to optimize recruitment further.
Talent assessment tools help you:
Reduce the time-to-hire
By optimizing your talent assessment and hiring strategy, you’re reducing the time you need to hire a prospective employee significantly. If you’re using skills assessment tools to streamline the hiring process, you’re able to screen applications in a fraction of the time you’d otherwise need.
This allows you to move on to the next steps much quicker and invest time and efforts to interview only a select few candidates. Also, if your hiring process is too long, you risk losing your best applicants to your competitors.
As you know, interviews are very resource-intensive: you need to prepare for each one, form a hiring team, make sure you’re all on the same page, and actually spend 30 minutes to an hour interviewing each candidate.
However, talent assessment tools allow you to pre-screen prospective employees effectively and only interview with the best ones. After all, you shouldn’t be spending time interviewing a candidate who’s not qualified or doesn’t meet your company’s requirements.
Predict future performance accurately
Of course, you cannot predict future performance with absolute accuracy, even with highly sophisticated, AI-driven talent assessment tools: you’re still working with people. However, you can get accurate insights into someone’s current strengths, their potential, and the skills they could develop in the future, and, as a result, their future performance.
If you’re relying on your intuition, you’re basically making biased hires, and you have no way to predict future performance. Talent assessment tools help you be much more accurate and give you specific metrics to work with, which allow you to compare candidates.
Most companies aren’t measuring the quality of their hires (only 23% are, according to SHRM), but with the right talent and employee assessment tools, you can also do that.
Make data-driven, unbiased hiring decisions
Talent assessment tools help you eliminate hiring bias by allowing you to concentrate on candidates’ skills, knowledge, and expertise, rather than on their diplomas, resume, origin, or other factors—which are, let’s face it, irrelevant to their actual performance and capacities.
This way, you can hire for skills and talent, and eliminate noise. With the right employee assessment tools, you get to create a diverse, inclusive workplace, and your company can benefit from your employees’ unique points of view, perspectives, competences and cultural background.
Even if you’re highly self-aware, some of your biases are unconscious and almost impossible to spot. This is normal: it’s related to your brain’s unique capacity to spot patterns and trends in an unpredictable world and create ‘cognitive shortcuts’ (i.e., bias). To eliminate them, you need to look at the hard data of your candidates’ skills and how they compare to each other.
Use the right talent assessment tools to make better hires
Talent assessment tools can help you make better hires while reducing the time-to-hire and making your recruitment process less resource-intensive. You can use them for many different positions, including key roles at your company: with the right set of talent assessment tools, you can measure performance and predict future success for most jobs.
You can evaluate not only applicants’ hard skills, but also their behavior, attitude, and working style, to make sure you can find the perfect match for the role you’re looking to fill. In addition to that, skill and talent assessment tests help you make your hiring process clear and transparent for everyone, both for your hiring team and for prospective employees and reduce bias.