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11 min read

Skills Testing Unveiled: Industry-Specific Insights for Optimal Hiring

The talent market today is quite competitive, both in terms of candidate skill and experience. As such, during recruitment, you could find yourself at a crossroads once it’s time to make hiring decisions. Thankfully, with skills testing, you don’t have to face those hiring decisions without adequate candidate data to back you up.

Skills testing offers you the platform to assess and compare candidates based on skill, knowledge, and experience in a role. And it gets even better because skills tests are becoming more sophisticated and efficient by the day. To this end, this article will discuss skill assessment, describing various ways to apply them based on your industry and standards.

The unique skills landscape in hiring

One major flaw in most recruitment strategies is that companies focus only on experience. This hiring metric — although common — is becoming less relevant and lacks the effectiveness you need to hire top-notch talent. Not to mention, the thought of scanning resumes and doing background checks demands time and resources, which you can use for more strategic endeavors.

With skills tests, you unlock hiring possibilities without spending as much effort. This hiring practice lets you observe candidates apply their skills and knowledge of a role. At the end of the skills test, you can compare your candidates according to various hiring metrics that are important to your role and organization. For example, you can measure the quality of their applications and compare their professional skills and work samples.

The concept of skills testing, although not as old as resume scanning, brings more insight to the table. And with more companies switching to the smarter recruitment strategy, there’s only more proof that skills testing is ideal for hiring.

Amongst its benefits is the freedom to multitask. Since skill testing platforms utilize AI to automate applications, you can focus on other things demanding your attention.

According to a 2016 Robert Half survey, six in ten candidates say the most frustrating part of recruitment is the waiting time. This wait time often exists because employers are busy screening resumes and running background checks to ensure they’re making the right choice. And at the end of the day, they might not be.

Luckily, with skills tests and online assessment platforms like Vervoe, you don’t have to worry about losing potential talent due to long wait times. With how fast these screening processes are, you’d be able to spot and hire the best candidates in record time.

Crafting tailored assessments: Startup culture vs. corporate environment

Startups and corporate establishments have their similarities. However, you can’t overlook their differences, especially when it comes to crafting tailored assessments. Let’s go over the key differentiating features to note when crafting skill tests for your business.

Startup culture

Flexible schedules, fresh ideas, and open communication characterize startup culture. At first sight, this is a conducive environment that acts as a magnet for refined talent. However, you’d find that startups find it much more difficult to discover skilled candidates or new talent for their teams.

Startups are new companies that comprise just a few employees who act more as a team than an enterprise. Because they’re so new, even the slightest inconsistency in talent can take a toll on the company’s success. To overcome startup hiring challenges, companies must prioritize some factors, including the ones below:

  • Company culture: At the beginning phases of any company, it must prioritize developing and sustaining its culture. Thus, when crafting tailored skill assessments, you must include culture assessments to assess how they fit with your company culture.
  • Collaboration: Startups thrive on teamwork. So the last thing you need is a new employee who doesn’t know how to work with your already-existing team. This is why recruitment software for startups often add collaboration tests to their skill assessment plans.
  • Communication: Due to the size of a startup, it requires constant but effective communication between all members of the organization. As such, it’s always best to test your candidates for adequate communication skills before offering them a spot in your company.

Corporate environment

The corporate environment is vastly different from that of a startup. In this case, the company has a more developed structure and, as such, might not need to treat their recruitment as delicately as the startups. However, even with established enterprises, there’s a need to treat the recruitment process with a degree of care.

With that said, corporate establishments also need to consider a few factors when crafting their skill assessments. Here are some of these factors:

  • Candidate’s skill and experience: Although corporate organizations already have developed structures, they must maintain this standard by hiring only skilled candidates. Because of this, enterprise recruitment software focuses more on the candidates’ skills and experience in the role.
  • Role specificity: In corporate settings, there’s no such thing as a “generic role.” Every role has its functions, including those who work under supervisors and team leads. As such, it’s only expected that these organizations include role-specific tests in their assessments. This makes sure the candidate meets expectations and existing company standards.
  • Diversity and inclusion: Corporate organizations mostly have specific standards that attract people who might have similar backgrounds and characteristics. Now, while these standards ensure that the company has quality hires, there’s also the risk of reduced diversity. In this scenario, new hires would have similar backgrounds, skill sets, and even personalities.

These similarities, in turn, can restrict creativity among employees and limit workplace culture development. Thus, corporate organizations should consider making their standards flexible enough to accommodate people with different histories, backgrounds, skills, and personalities. 

Common denominators: Skills every industry seeks

Skills testing unveiled: industry-specific insights for optimal hiring 1

No matter the industry, some skills are necessary for the business to run smoothly. From communication skills to problem-solving and organizational skills, they ensure the company achieves its goals. So, without further ado, let’s discuss some skills that every company seeks during recruitment:

1. Communication skills

Effective communication is the foundation of all business processes. From making decisions to performing duties, there’s always a need for workplace communication. These skills could come in handy even in simple situations like asking for clarity or making a suggestion.

Communication skills enable members of an organization to listen during conversations and air their opinions properly. This skill makes it possible to disseminate information needed for daily business runs. Hence, it is a core skill required in all industries.

2. Problem-solving skills

Employees with problem-solving skills will actively work towards company goals by thinking outside the box to find solutions. These skills enable them to tackle workplace hurdles with a calm mind and still maintain productivity and professionalism.

With problem-solving skills, members of an organization can understand the root of a problem, analyze it, and come up with a solution. In the workplace, this skill makes employees approach tasks with a result-oriented attitude and implement their solutions effectively.

3. Leadership skills

According to the Global Leadership Forecast of 2021, only 48% of companies affirm that they have strong leadership. This confirms the need for employers to reinforce their employees’ leadership abilities, starting from the team leads to regular employees.

With leadership skills, employees are bold enough to share their ideas on a topic or make little but crucial decisions. Plus, leadership skills also affect how well the candidates would interact with others. Candidates with strong leadership skills are active listeners and can solve problems where necessary.

4. Collaboration skills

Fundamentally, employees form the framework of any organization. However, they can’t work on their own. At one point, each employee must work with another or in a team. To this effect, companies focus on candidates with great collaboration and interpersonal skills, which allow them to work on a team.

Good collaboration skills enable employees to work together to solve an issue, share ideas, and provide working solutions. As such, companies look out for collaboration skills during skill-based hiring.

5. Creative and critical thinking

Today, organizations seek to solve various world problems using fresh ideas and perspectives. This is where creative and critical thinking comes into play. With this skill, candidates can find creative yet effective solutions to various problems.

In essence, creative and critical thinking enables them to think outside the box and solve an issue, but it doesn’t just stop there. A candidate with critical thinking skills and a creative mind would think up unique ideas and make insightful suggestions. Even better, they’d perform tasks with a different flair than other employees, causing them to stand out.

Success stories: Industry-adapted skills testing in action

Skills testing is a practice that comes in handy in both low and high-volume hiring. Here are a few examples of companies in various industries that adapted skills testing and how it played out:

1. Walmart

According to David Castro, a talent acquisition lead at Walmart, skills testing with Vervoe helped them cut down hiring time by half. One of the major problems Walmart faced with recruitment was receiving too many resumes and not enough proof of skill. So, the hiring team wasted time screening resumes only to see little results.

Fortunately, with skills testing, Walmart was able to streamline its hiring process and improve candidate experience. With Vervoe, it’s been able to hire candidates based on fair testing metrics that allow recruiters to measure, compare, and hire the best candidates.

2. Dentsu

Dentsu International, a leading name among marketing and advertising agencies, uses skill-based hiring to find the right skilled candidates. This enterprise uses Vervoe, an AI-powered skills testing platform, to give candidates a realistic but simplified screening experience.

With skill testing, Dentsu has significantly reduced its hiring bias while maintaining effective recruitment.

3. Prosper Insurance

For Prosper Insurance, a US-headquartered insurance company, skills testing offered an opportunity to strengthen its hiring efficiency and boost employee retention. This was especially vital because it sought to hire motivated employees who actually had the skillset to match their resumes.

By harnessing the benefits of skills tests, Prosper Insurance has optimized its recruitment, establishing data-driven recruitment systems that pilot hiring decisions. Ultimately, these tests have helped foster employee motivation and talent, which, in turn, bolster the company’s growth.

4. Foresight

Foresight, a full-service mental health organization, uses skills testing to hire candidates with an adequate technical understanding of their various roles. This helped the organization save time with onboarding and training new employees for their jobs. Thus, skills testing helped ensure the candidates could offer quality services without needing extra effort from the recruiters.

5. Ridestore

For a retail company like Ridestore, when it comes to hiring, there’s a need for efficient recruitment at scale. Since the organization thrives off skilled labor, it must have a simplified but reliable hiring strategy. 

With skills testing, it achieved this goal. Ridestore applies online skills testing to automate its recruitment and ensure its company culture shines through in its assessments.

Skills testing unveiled: industry-specific insights for optimal hiring 2

Navigating Challenges: Industries with Distinctive Hiring Needs

Hiring in some industries requires special considerations, which can be tricky to navigate. To this effect, we’ll highlight some industries with distinctive hiring needs and how skills tests can help:

  • Sales and marketing: In this industry, skills like communication, empathy, and interpersonal interaction are important for business success. As a result, while hiring, it’s vital to assess these skills alongside candidates’ technical capacities. Companies can combine communication and interpersonal skills tests with role-specific tests when evaluating candidates.
  • Technology: With the wide candidate pool in the technological industry, finding the ideal candidate for a role can be difficult. This is because there’s a growing demand for talent, and tech companies leave no stone unturned when sourcing employees. So, to streamline your hiring, you can use pre-employment tests to filter through candidates and find those who actually have the skills they claim.
  • Healthcare: The healthcare industry has a need for skilled labor as well as critical thinkers. In truth, healthcare recruitment can be challenging because there are so many metrics to grade and not enough means to do so. However, with skills testing, these institutions can measure as many skills as they require, from communication to learning and listening skills.

With skills testing, choosing the right platform is crucial to tackling hiring hurdles. As such, it’s always best to select a platform with up-to-date features for evaluating and shortlisting candidates. For example, you can rely on a pre-employment testing platform like Vervoe.Equipped with features that help save resources while ensuring optimal hire quality, Vervoe can help make your recruitment goals a reality. Simply create a free account on our platform to begin your journey to optimized hiring.

Raji Oluwaniyi

Raji Oluwaniyi

Raji Oluwaniyi is a seasoned Technical Content Writer at Vervoe with a rich background of over five years in the intersection of HR technology, consumer data protection, and SaaS. He has garnered significant recognition and has worked with industry stalwarts like TestGorilla, Brightlio, MakeUseOf, and Careerkarma. Oluwaniyi has a continuous drive to evolve and keep himself up to trend with the latest technology trends and best practices in writing. Beyond his professional pursuits, he is a genuine soccer fan and profoundly values his quality time with his close friends.

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