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How to Create a Skill Assessment Test for Hiring

Skill Assessment Test

According to a Career Builder survey, a bad hire costs nearly $15,000 on an average!

Sounds like a hefty figure, doesn’t it? Well, it is!

Let’s face it- hiring the best talent is one of the most complex tasks. It takes a lot of time, energy, and effort. Also, bad hiring can lead to real cost increases in terms of:

  • The training invested in the individual, and 
  • The length of time they worked at the organization

Hiring right is hard, but there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

And, if you’re willing to make better hiring decisions, online skill assessment tests are the way to go. 

In this guide, we will look at how skill assessment tests can prove to be highly fruitful in making the hiring process more effective and efficient. 

We’ll start with the basics and touch down on other crucial aspects, including the benefits, types, processes, and more. 

What Are Skill Assessment Tests?

Well, to define skill assessment in simple terms, “it is a method of testing that helps in assessing an individual’s set of skills that are required for a particular job role.”

Skill assessment tests offer a set of questions that test the level of required skills and competencies possessed by a candidate for a particular job role. Online skill assessment tests work quite well for-

  • Standard Hiring Process
  • Telephonic Hiring Process
  • Skype Hiring Process
  • Campus Recruitments

What Are Skill Assessment Tests

Skill assessment tests reveal information about candidates’ skills, personalities, cognitive abilities, and workplace values. The results of the employment skills assessment tests define how likely the candidate is suitable for that job role.

And, with the availability of online assessment software, it is now quite convenient for recruiters to create and share online skill assessment tests with their candidates in no time. And, a lot of companies are doing it too. Hop on to the next section to learn why. 

Why Do Companies Prefer Using Skill Assessment Tests?

Paper-based tests are now obsolete and require many hours spent manually grading papers. Online skill assessments are easy to create, easy to share, and give instant results.

Businesses that use online assessment software are 36% more likely to be satisfied with their new hire and less likely to make a $15,000 hiring mistake.

Most modern companies prefer using online test maker software to test the skills of their existing employees and conducting a pre-hire assessment. 

Skill assessment tests created with a test generator give more accurate results compared to a paper-based test.

Skill Assessment Tests

Read our detailed guide to using Online Assessment Tools that talks about different types of assessments, how to use assessment tools, and more.

Are the Different Types of Skill Assessment Tests?

Following are the five most commonly used types of assessments that recruiters use to assess and hire candidates: 

  • Hard Skills Assessment

Hard skills assessments are used to measure candidates’ skills required for a particular job role. For instance, typing skills, software development, MS-office skills, shorthand, etc.

Hard skills assessments give a fair result of the candidates’ proficiency in completing redundant tasks.

Hard Skills Assessment

  • Soft Skills Assessment

For employees to fit in and get along with other employees, they need to have certain soft skills. 

For instance, skills like time management, networking, teamwork, conflict resolution, etc., help measure how a person will thrive in the workplace and within the team. 

Soft Skills Assessment

  • Psychometric Test 

Psychometric tests are used to assess a person’s personality traits, aptitude, and intelligence. They help in matching a person’s abilities to a particular job role. When hiring on a large scale, psychometric tests can help filter out the best candidates with psychological evaluations. 

  • Personality Test

Personality tests assess specific aspects of a candidate’s personality and traits that are required to perform a particular job role. For instance, a highly organized person would be a great fit for a role that requires managing a team with many people.

Personality Test

  • Cognitive Ability Test

Cognitive ability tests assess a person’s ability to perform in certain situations. They are a set of scenario-based questions that test how a person would handle a situation using their cognitive skills like logical reasoning, perception, mobility, etc. 

It doesn’t matter which type of assessment is used; they always yield strategic results and several other benefits that you can learn about in our next section. 

Cognitive Ability Test

Major Benefits of Using Skill Assessment Tests for Hiring

One of the major benefits of using online skill assessment tests is that they rule out the possibility of personal bias from hiring, which enables better decision-making. And, it also gives your candidates a fair shot to prove themselves beyond their resume with a standard test. 

Here are some other significant benefits that you can realize by using the online assessment software to create a free online skill assessment test- 

  • Reduce the Time Spent on Unnecessary Elements

Use templates to create assessments, automate grading, download reports, and share results via email.

  • Increase in on-the-Job Performance

Predict high performers using customized reports.

  • Cut in Cost & Time per Hire

Screen candidates anytime with remote proctoring.

  • Hire Employees That Excel

Make accurate judgments with test analytics.

  • Reveal Test Results Instantly

Automate the grading process and display instant feedback for all answers.

  • Decrease the Possibility of a Bad Hire

Eliminate unqualified applicants in the initial screening using the assessment results.

But, the big question remains- Can you find better candidates with skill assessment tests? 

If you hired candidates without testing them with a skill assessment test, who’s to say they’re not the best candidate? Also, who’s to say the candidate you hire, after testing, is, in fact, the best one?

There are so many aspects to these questions. But, what matters is- Skill assessment tests are a fantastic way to learn more about your candidates.

It lets you in on their applied skills, communication skills, aptitude, or anything you wish to know. It helps you in profiling. You can put more confidence in your employees if you hire them with the help of a skill assessment test.

It’s not as if skipping a skill assessment test will have you make a wrong decision, but you’ll know a lot less about the candidate which can impact your hiring decision.

How Do Employers Benefit from Skill Assessment Tests

Employers Benefit from Skill Assessment Tests

Without a doubt, a skill assessment test can help you achieve the right balance between the applicants and the job that you are hiring for.  Let’s look at how a skill assessment test majorly benefits employers while hiring a new employee.

  • Test Candidate’s Claims

Research by Inc. revealed that 85% of job applicants lie on their resumes. These lies can include anything – from the skills listed to the diplomas secured. 

This is why a skill assessment test is the right tool to measure if the candidates possess the skills they mentioned on their resumes. These days, online assessment tools have settings to prevent cheating, so you can rest assured that they aren’t lying on the assessments as well!

  • Save Time

It happens so frequently that a candidate appears for an interview, and it is found later that they are not as technically adept as the role requires. All the time spent in lining up the candidate to the actual interview being taken goes to waste!

Using a skill assessment test in the early stages of the hiring process can help you quickly filter out unqualified candidates without spending more time on them.

This way, you can rest assured that only those candidates who have the right skills for the job role progress further through the selection stages. This, in turn, helps the recruiters focus their time only on the best candidates. For example, psychometric tests, cognitive tests, tests to check emotional intelligence, or sample job tasks tests can be conducted beforehand to know better.

  • Improve Efficiency

When you create a skill assessment test, it not only helps you pick the right candidate but also reinvents the recruitment process. A traditional recruitment process would have the following stages where you:

  • Call the candidates
  • Hand them a paper-based test
  • Grade their tests
  • Call the candidates again to discuss the results
  • Conduct a personal interview

Since most of the online assessments can be created and shared online via email, graded automatically, detailed reports can be downloaded; you can simply cut stages 1-4, and based on the results, may or may not conduct a personal interview.

What’s more, a detailed report will help you filter the highest-performing candidates.

  • Hire Employees That Excel

The skills that one job requires may differ from the skills required for another job. So, there is no standard format of how skill assessment tests should be drafted. 

But there are a few abilities required for every job role like time-management, learning-ability, decision making, and cognitive thinking.

A skill assessment test made using the right tool can help you screen candidates for all of these abilities and more to help you select the right fit. For this, you can create:

  • Timed tests
  • Assessments that have interactive scenarios requiring complex decision-making
  • Mix and match question sets to judge specific skills, and more.
  • Remove Personal Bias

Since a skill assessment test helps you make judgments with robust test analytics, the possibility of personal bias is eliminated to a great extent. The results that a skill assessment test provides are accurate and evidence-based. It is an actual analysis of candidates’ skills and knowledge. 

Unlike resumes and interviews, a skill assessment test provides a more objective evaluation of a candidate’s skills. Many skill test creators offer detailed test reports and robust analytics to offer tangible insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates, which can come in handy while accepting or rejecting them.

Now you’ve landed here because you want to avoid this risk, so let’s quickly learn about the easy steps for creating the perfect skill assessment test.

How to Create a Skill Assessment Test

We’re now going to walk you through the creation of an example skill assessment test. There are two ways you can go about it. You can either: 

  1. Choose a template from the assessment library
  2. Create from scratch by choosing questions from the question library

Let’s first learn the easy way. i.e., choosing a template

1- Pick a Ready Assessment

Picking a ready-to-use skill assessment test and sharing it with your candidates is the easiest way to launch a skill assessment test. 

The assessment library makes it super easy to create any type of online skill assessment, whether technical skill assessment, computer skill assessment, marketing potential assessment, sales skill assessment, or a performance skill assessment. There are over 100 professionally designed skill assessment tests. 

Take a look at the steps you need to take to choose an assessment from the assessment library:

Step-1: On your quiz interface, click on ‘Create a Quiz.

create a quiz

Step-2: On the templates page, locate the Assessment Library to explore ready-to-use-skill assessments.

Assessment Library

Step-3: Explore all the assessment categories and click on the View button to choose your template. 

choose your template

Step-4: Click on “Use this assessment” to use it as it is or edit it to suit your requirement, and you’re good to go. 

Use this assessment

2- Build an Assessment from Scratch

While picking a template is an easy way to launch an assessment, creating one from scratch is getting to be creative. 

Step-1: Get Started

On your quiz dashboard, click on +Create a Quiz.

Create a Quiz

Then, click on Create Scored Quiz. 

Create Scored Quiz

Then, click on +Create from Scratch. 

Create from Scratch

Step-2: Add Questions

On your quiz interface, click on +New Question to start adding questions. 

Add Questions

Like you can see in the image above, you can choose from more than 10 question types

You can also import questions from any other assessment you’ve created or even a spreadsheet by clicking on the Import Questions button located at the bottom.

10 question types

 10 question types

Or, simply pick questions from the question bank that has more than 100,000+ ready-to-use questions and add them to your assessment. To do so, just type your topic in the search bar and then select the questions you want to add to your assessment from the list that appears. 

Here’s an example: 

Suppose you’re building a marketing skills assessment, then you only need to type “marketing skills” in the search bar. The search will yield a list of questions related to marketing skills assessment. 

From this list, you can select the questions you want to add to your assessment. 

 select the questions

Similarly, you can add more questions. 

Step-3: Automate Scoring

After you’ve added questions to your assessment, assign scores to their correct answers and automate the grading process. 

Automated grading will help you save a lot of time and effort that you’d otherwise spend in grading each question manually. 

To assign scores, locate Popular Settings on the left side of your quiz interface. 

Open the drop-down menu and assign scores to your questions. 

Automate Scoring

Step-4: Take Measures to Prevent Cheating

The next step is very important. We understand how difficult it is to physically oversee each participant and prevent cheating. 

You have to configure smart security settings that’ll help you prevent cheating. For this, you can:

  • Randomize questions so that everyone gets questions in a new order every time. 
  • Shuffle answer options.
  • Pool questions at random – so each person gets a different set.
  • Protect your assessment with a password to avoid unauthorized access.
  • Disable tab switching to stop candidates from looking for answers elsewhere.

Step-5: Design the Look & Feel

The last step in creating assessments is to design the look and feel of your assessments.

Choose a theme for your assessment from the Popular Themes menu located on the left side of your interface. 

Design the Look & Feel

Since you’re creating this assessment for hiring candidates for a job role in your organization, you must also add your logo to the assessment. Adding a logo will give your assessments a touch of your branding. 

After taking all the steps, click on the Preview button to see how your assessment will look to the candidates.

Go back to the editing window if you need to make any changes, or click on the Save button to save the assessment and share it with your candidates via email. 

The best part about online assessments is – all the reports are AI-generated. Reports make reviewing individual and group performances easier, such as the number of attempts taken, total time spent to complete the assessment, number of right or wrong answers, and more. 

You can view the reports anytime, anywhere, and even download these reports in CSV/Excel formats or share via email.

Check out the video on How to Create An Assessment Online for further details.

So that was a roundup of all the steps you need to take to build an online skill assessment test. In the next section, we’ve shared some tips that will help you to nail the perfect skill assessment tests. Let’s give it a quick read. 

10 Tips to Create the Perfect Skill Assessment Tests

Create the Perfect Skill Assessment Tests

Skill assessment tests can assist you in achieving the right balance between the applicant and the job you are hiring for. 

Matching the right applicant to the right job increases employee satisfaction, improves productivity, and reduces employee turnover, which can be costly for any company.

Here are ten secret tips for creating great employee skill assessment tests.

  • Test for Skills You Care About

The available standard tests make assumptions about what skills are important for various positions, but these assumptions may not match the skills you care about. When building skill assessments, take some time to write down the most important skills to you and then test specifically for those skills.

  • Match the Tests to the Positions

Avoid using the same skill tests for every position in your company. You will learn much more valuable information if you narrow the focus of your assessments. For example, if you’re hiring for a coder profile, you might wanna include questions that only test a candidate’s knowledge of coding algorithms and not basic grammatical skills. 

  • Keep Tests Short

Rather than writing one long test for each position, write short tests to examine individual skills. Then you can mix and match them depending on the job you are hiring for.

  • Make Sure You Are Testing the Right Things

By the “right things,” we mean making sure that the test you give is a good indicator of the actual skills of interest. This is called test validity, and if you are writing your test, it is worth taking some time to learn more about this important issue.

  • Ask Practical Questions

Since your goal is to find out what the job applicants can do, not just what they know, use as many practice questions as possible. Some skills—like math and proofreading—can be tested directly. For others, construct case studies and use scenario-based questions, and ask applicants what they would do in various situations.

  • Test Soft Skills as Well

Don’t forget about the soft skills. Problem-solving, critical thinking, communication—are all essential for many positions.

  • Don’t Make It Too Difficult

Keeping assessments simple and easy is especially important if you are hiring for lower-level positions. Your test should certainly assess basic knowledge and skills relevant to the field, but don’t expect applicants to know everything (or approach all of the scenarios in the same way that you would) straight away. 

In addition, give them the resources they would have access to on the job. For example, if the test assesses their writing ability, let them have access to the Internet or a dictionary to check word spelling.

Do you care if they know how to spell a word or just that they get it right in the end? They would be able to look up words on the job, so there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to on the test.

  • Don’t Try to Be Tricky

The test should be a straightforward assessment, so stay away from trick questions. Your goal is to see what the applicants can do, not fluster them or put them in an uncomfortable situation.

  • Keep Legal Requirements in Mind

Employee skill assessment tests are subject to the same rules and regulations as all other hiring processes. There are certain types of questions you can’t ask, and the tests can’t be discriminatory in any way. Before you use your test, have someone review it from a legal perspective.

  • Use an Online Assessment Creator

Finally, once you have your questions ready to go, use an online assessment creator to create the employee skill assessment.

By putting it online, you can easily distribute it to applicants, reuse and remix test questions as necessary, and take advantage of various online test maker software features, including automatic scoring.

How to Select the Right Skill Assessment Tool

Choosing the wrong test generator can cost you lots of money and time. The question is – how to know which test generator is good for your needs?

So, based on the tips shared above, here is a checklist that you can use to select the right one among the various skill assessment tools:

  1. The first thing to look for is the ‘ease of use.’ A good online assessment software shouldn’t require any download or installation, and creating and sharing assessments should be quick & easy. 
  2. A good tool comes with professionally designed templates that make the process of creating assessments ten times easier. 
  3. The next feature is non-negotiable for trainers, teachers, and recruiters. Good assessment software supports automated grading and scoring. Imagine how much time that would save!
  4. White-labeling is another important feature that you can use to brand your assessments with your logo and themes. 
  5. The tool you are subscribing to must allow you to prevent cheating on your assessments. A good tool allows you to randomize questions, shuffle answer options, and disable tab switching so learners can’t cheat. 
  6. Also, see if it provides concrete security configurations like setting a time limit on assessments to ensure compliance and protecting your assessments with a password. Enabling password protection ensures that only those who have unique login credentials can access your assessments.
  7. While all this is important, make sure to also check if you are getting AI-generated reports and stats that let you track assessment progress. If you can download the reports to review later, it’s even better!
  8. Lastly, online assessments make the most sense when they can be accessed anytime and from anywhere. So, look for a tool that lets you build mobile-responsive assessments.

Watch: How to Choose the Best Assessment Software

With this, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about hiring with online skill assessment tests. But, we’re also going to suggest a tool for you to build assessments with, which is the ProProfs online assessment software

Because, of course, we know your time is precious, and you don’t want to spend it searching for the perfect software. 

Hire the Right Way With ProProfs

It fits all the requirements of the right assessment tool, especially the ones mentioned in the checklist shared above. 

Hire the Right Way With ProProfs

  • ProProfs is easy to use and requires no software installation. The user interface is very simple too. 
  • ProProfs offers ready-to-use skill assessments that are designed by subject matter experts on hundreds of topics that you can use as they are or modify them to suit your needs.  
  • ProProfs also offers ready-to-use design templates for your quizzes, 100 thousand ready-to-use questions, and over 10 question types. For presentation skills or personality assessments, you also have a question type that allows users to answer questions by recording a video of themselves.
  • With ProProfs, you can pre-assign scores to the questions, so they are automatically graded when attempted, and the final score keeps building up. It also lets you provide feedback for correct and incorrect answers instantly after a question is answered.
  • ProProfs offers easy customization settings. You can explore their theme library, add your company logo, change the background image of your assessment, play with colors, fonts, and more. 
  • With ProProfs’ real-time tracking, you can know who has attempted the assessment and who is yet to. You can also access detailed reports with their scores, number of attempts, average score, time spent in completing the assessment, and more. 
  • Lastly, assessments created using ProProfs are compatible with all kinds of devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops and can be taken anytime, anywhere. 

Skill assessment tests are very easy to create and provide the most accurate results. Also, it is better to create a skill assessment test and use it to simplify the hiring process and save time than following the traditional process. With the right tool, you can rest assured that the candidates you hire will be the right fit for the job and also improve attrition rates.

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About the author

Priyanshi has more than four years of experience in the eLearning industry. She is an ardent follower of new trends emerging in the learning & training sphere and loves to create interesting articles on the same. She has a passion for listicles too. In her free time, you’ll probably find her reading or exploring bizarre content on the web.

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