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What Skills Assessments Should Be Used in Hiring

There’s some controversy surrounding skills assessments—should you conduct them, or not? Skills assessments can gauge both hard or soft skills for a candidate, whether they’re measuring your personality or your math skills. Some companies swear by them and others say they take science just a step too far during the candidate interview process. How can a skills assessment test help your business and which tests should you use?

How are Skills Assessments Used?

Skills assessments can be used in a number of ways:

  • To understand employee goals and motivations.
  • To identify strengths and weaknesses in hard skills to quantify what training is needed.
  • To create a metric for candidate skills that help organizations better compare applicants.

No matter how you use these tests, there are several types on the market that you can choose from. Typically, they are divided into categories:

  • Hard skills assessments seek to measure specific skills, such as typing, math, or perhaps computer programming.
  • Work sample tests require the employee to perform a test based on the kinds of tasks they’ll conduct when they’re actually on the job. For example, a salesperson could be asked to come in and make a presentation or pitch to a client. A marketing person could provide a writing or design sample. In hospitality, you could ask a server if they would go take an order from a customer.
  • Cognitive or behavioral testing looks to evaluate a person’s verbal or reasoning skills. These are often multiple-choice questions that follow a story-like problem that the candidate must solve.
  • Personality assessments seek to determine how the person learns or if they’re curious, aggressive, extroverted, a good closer, organized, or any one of several personality traits.

When you think about it, the interview itself is a kind of assessment to measure both hard and soft abilities. They’re a great way to assess both the soft and hard skills of a candidate and can be used with testing, as well. There are two different types of interviews:

  • Structured interviews typically ask each candidate the same sets of questions in exactly the same way to create a very uniform application process. Many times, these interviews are also scored, where each candidate is given a numeric value based upon their answers to the questions asked. Behavioral questions are often used to determine the candidate’s past behavior as a way to predict their future performance.
  • Unstructured interviews are the exact opposite of a structured approach. Instead of asking specific questions, this interview seeks to build a bond and rapport between the interviewer and the candidate. Even though you may assume an unstructured interview may sound like it’s disorganized or the interviewer is “winging it,” these interviews are just the opposite. An unstructured interview is still meticulous and organized; the goal is just different.

Gecko Hospitality specializes in the candidate interview as part of our expertise in sourcing and hiring the best talent. Talk with our team today to see how we can help your business.

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