Skills Assessment Tests

Definitions, pros and cons, how to find the best assessment tools, and a top 10 list.

Skills Assessment Tests

August 31st, 2020

Skills (or talent) assessment tests are used to measure the abilities and skills of job candidates and employees. These tests assess technical and soft skills required to successfully perform the required work.

Pros and Cons of Skills Assessment Tests:

Pros

Cons

A broad range of quality, objective testing tools that are strictly job-related are available online.

Each test only measures one aspect of a job's criteria and must be a valid test for that particular job or they are useless.

Online tests are more objective than other forms of assessment because answers are auto-evaluated, meaning there is no bias involved.

These tests can't capture the uniqueness of individuals and so should be used in conjunction with other pre-employment assessment tools to get a well-rounded view of candidates.

The tests' reporting allows a quantifiable view of the overall strengths and weaknesses of candidates to guide an employer's hiring decisions.

These tests can be discriminatory towards minority candidates. For example, physical strength assessment tests could screen out female candidates.

Online testing is more cost effective than paying for in-person testing infrastructure and reimbursing candidates for travel expenses.

Some tests may invite untruthful answers due to the social desirability bias, where people present themselves in the best light.

Online testing tools are easy to use.

Administering various tests to candidates can slow down your hiring process.

The employer can save time and effort by using these tests to narrow the candidate pool before inviting candidates to interviews.

Some tests can have ambiguous questions and answers, leading to unreliable results.

Using online testing tools means that the same test can be administered to all candidates, giving everyone the same opportunities to succeed.

Why should a company use skills assessment tests?

Skills assessment tests are reliable, objective, affordable, and provide valuable insight into candidates' skills. They help employers to eliminate candidates who are underqualified for a position, despite what their resumes say. These tests help employers to verify candidates' claims and identify candidates who may be better suited to a different position. Employers can also use these tests to identify employees who are ready for promotion or who should be moved to a different role.

With skills assessment tests, employers may be able to identify areas in which the company is successful or struggling. With this information, employers can give extra training and nurture and develop employees to help them reach their own goals. Employers can also use the information from these tests to compare the talent within the organization against industry and geographical benchmarks.

As they are used to evaluate both potential and current employees, skills assessment tests allow employers to make informed, data-backed decisions about recruitment, training, and promotions.

Types of Skills Assessment Tests:

There are many types and categories of talent or skills assessment tests, including:

  • Hard skills assessment tests.
  • Soft skills assessment tests.
  • Work sample or job knowledge tests.
  • Cognitive ability tests.
  • Personality tests.
  • Psychometric tests.
  • Integrity assessments.
  • Situational judgment tests.
  • Interviews.

How to Choose the Right Skills Assessment Tool:

1. Determine your goals.

Determine what you want to accomplish with your skills assessment test. Do you want to evaluate candidates or current employees? Are you looking to hire someone with a specific skill set? Are you looking for skills gaps in your current workforce? How many people do you need to evaluate?

2. Define which skills you want to evaluate.

Some tests evaluate both technical and soft skills but some specialize in evaluating specific skills. Outline what kind of skills you need to assess: soft skills or technical skills.

3. Outline the characteristics of your ideal assessment tool.

Consider what characteristics you are looking for from the testing company and logistics of the tests. For example, ask yourself if you want the tests to be scientifically validated. Do you want to be able to customize the questions? Do you want the assessment tool to be integrated with your ATS? Is there 24/7 customer support?

4. Research the market.

Research the market for your ideal skills assessment tool. Browse testing companies' websites and compare them against each other.

Best Online Assessment Tools:

Our Rank

Online Assessment Tool

Starting Price

Skills Tested

1.

eSkill

$850.00 /package of 25 results.

Technical skills for a variety of industries.

2.

Interview Mocha

$150.00 /mo.

Wide range of technical skills focused on IT, coding, and Next-Gen, as well as soft skills.

3.

Codility

Quote only.

Coding and tech skills.

4.

Mettl

Quote only.

Psychometrics, aptitude, coding, and industry-specific technical skills.

5.

HackerRank

$299.00 /user license /mo.

Technical skills for coding, data science, and development.

6.

pymetrics

Quote only.

Soft skills, including focus, decision-making, and risk tolerance.

7.

DevSkiller

$249.00 /user license /mo.

Coding skills and programming languages.

8.

Harver

Quote only.

Soft skills, including cognitive ability, personality, cultural fit, situational judgment, multitasking, and typing.

9.

Vervoe

$79.00 /mo.

Technical, soft, and job-specific skills.

10.

The Predictive Index

Quote only.

Soft and job-specific skills for potential candidates and existing employees.

FAQs:

What is on a skills assessment test?

Skills assessment tests measure and evaluate the skills needed to successfully perform a job and, as such, focus on measuring technical and soft skills.

How do you assess skills?

When assessing whether a candidate or employee has the necessary skills to effectively perform their job, an employer should assess both technical and soft skills through simulations, real-life examples, and online testing tools. The employer should also focus on testing job-specific skills in order to get a reliable idea of the candidate's ability.

What are employers looking for in assessment tests?

Employers use assessment tests to look for a candidate who will be the best possible match for the company's hiring specifications.

How long does a skills assessment test take?

The amount of time taken to complete a skills assessment test depends on a number of factors, including how many tests are administered, the number of questions the employer chooses to include, and the time allotted by the employer to complete the test.

What types of tests are most useful in the selection process?

There is no right answer for which skills assessment tests are most useful, as it depends on the employer's needs and the job requirements. Skills assessment tests can be broadly classified into five types:

  • Aptitude tests.
  • Personality tests.
  • Interest tests.
  • Achievement tests.
  • Situational tests.

What is a basic office skills test?

A basic office skills test is usually typing. Other office skills tests may include proofreading, data entry, and transcription. A great online tool for typing assessment tests is Harver.

What is a pre-employment skills assessment test?

Skills assessment tests, or pre-employment tests, are used to determine the truth of the abilities and skills candidates state in their resumes.

What is skill testing in an interview?

An interview can be used as an assessment tool to determine whether candidates have told the truth on their resumes. Used in the right way, interviews are flexible tools that can be used to evaluate hard and soft skills.