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How to Create Skill Assessment Tests to Hire the Right People

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According to a Career Builder survey, a bad hire costs nearly $15,000 on 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 assessments can prove to be highly useful 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 is a Skill Assessment Test?

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.”

Online 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. These tests work quite well for-

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

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Image Source: AMCAT

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

What Do Skill Assessments Measure?

Recruiters use skill evaluation tests to measure skills/attributes from four key assessment categories. Let’s take a quick look at each.

1. Hard Skills

Hard skills refer to job-specific technical skills and knowledge. These skills vary with the job profile you’re hiring for. 

For instance, reconciling bank statements is an important hard skill for an accountant, while it is irrelevant for a developer.  

Aside from job profile, these skills can also vary by seniority level. For example, accountants at every level are expected to be skilled at reconciliation, but preparing business budgets is not among the required skills for a junior accountant role. 

2. Soft Skills

Soft skills are general skills that are relevant to a variety of job roles. For instance, time management is a must-have skill that helps with planning, scheduling, and productivity, regardless of the job profile.

Other important soft skills tested in online skill assessment tests include

3. Aptitude 

Skill tests can also be used to find out a candidate’s natural abilities, such as thinking abilities, how quickly they can learn new things, and how well they can work under pressure. Some of the aptitude skills measured by these tests include

  • Logical ReasoningAbility to think logically and use it to spot patterns, relationships, analogies, etc 
  • Numerical Reasoning –  Ability to deal with numbers, numerical data, tables, and graphs
  • Verbal Reasoning – Ability to understand and make deductions from written passages
  • Abstract Reasoning Ability to identify non-numerical and non-verbal patterns 
  • Inductive Reasoning – Ability to draw general conclusions from specific observations and information 
  • Situational Judgment – Ability to make ideal judgments and decisions when met with complex situations in the workplace 

4. Personality

Apart from skills, job assessment tests can also be used to assess various personality traits. Personality testing of job candidates helps you gain a better understanding of them and ensures culture fit and high levels of productivity. Some of the personality traits assessed by such tests include

With the availability of numerous online assessment software, it is easy 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, which involve time-consuming manual grading, are now obsolete. Unlike this, online skill assessments are easy to create and share and they 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 tests for interviews that are created with a test generator give more accurate results compared to a paper-based test. 

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

What Are the Different Types of Skill Assessment Tests?

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

1. Hard Skills Assessment

Hard skills assessments are used to measure candidates’ technical skills required for a particular job role. For instance, typing skills, software development, MS-office skills, shorthand, etc. Technical skills assessment tests give a fair idea of the candidates’ proficiency in completing role-specific tasks.

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2. 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 communication, time management, networking, teamwork, conflict resolution, etc., help measure how a person will thrive in the workplace and within a team. 

skill-assessment33. Psychometric Test 

Psychometric/psychographic 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, these tests can help filter out the best candidates with psychological evaluations.

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  • Check out these examples of skill assessment tests that measure the psychometric attributes of candidates.  

4. Personality Test

Personality tests assess 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.

skill-assessment-5-min5. 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. Whichever assessment you use, it will always yield strategic results and several other benefits that you can learn about in the next section. 

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Major Benefits of Using Online Skill Assessment Tests for Hiring

One of the major benefits of using online skill assessments for interviews 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 chance to prove themselves beyond their resume with a standard test. 

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

1. Reduce the Time Spent on Repetitive Tasks

You can create online assessments quickly and easily by simply editing assessment templates or ready-to-use assessments provided by the software you’re using. You can also automatically grade the answers, download reports, and quickly share results via email or link sharing to save a lot of time and effort.

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2. Hire Employees That Excel

Detailed and custom reports enable you to predict high performers. For instance, two candidates may have the same scores on the test yet drastically different completion times. Candidates who not only correctly answer most of the questions, but do so in lesser time are likely to be highly productive on the job.

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3. Cut in Cost per Interview

Using online skill tests also helps you save on your hiring costs by reducing the amount of time needed to be invested by the HR staff. For instance, you can use remote proctoring features, such as monitoring candidates with screen capture and video recording when screening them. Doing so frees up your HR staff for other tasks.

skill-assessment74. Reveal Test Results Instantly

Assessment software offers automated scoring and grading, so that results can be revealed instantly. This means that you can start comparing candidates as soon as they are done with the test. You can also choose to display instant feedback for correct/incorrect answers.

skill-assessment85. Decrease the Possibility of a Bad Hire

Online skill assessments help you eliminate unqualified applicants in the initial screening, which dramatically decreases your chances of making a bad hire. You can conduct multiple rounds of assessment tests to test different types of skills and ensure you make the best possible hiring decision. 

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

If you hired candidates without testing them with an online assessment, 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.

They let you understand the candidates’ applied skills, communication skills, aptitude, or anything else you wish to know. They help you in profiling. You can put more confidence in your employees if you hire them with the help of a skill assessment.

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

Online Skill Assessment Tests vs. Other Assessment Methods

Recruiters use a variety of assessment methods other than skill assessment tests to gauge the suitability of a candidate for a job role. These include

  • Resume review
  • In-person or video interviews
  • Pen-and-paper based assessments
  • Job simulation 
  • Reference check

While each of these traditional recruitment methods has its benefits, they simply don’t measure up to skill assessment tests in terms of overall effectiveness. Here’s how  

  1. Skill assessments tests provide a data-driven analysis of each candidate, enabling you to conduct a much more objective evaluation than with traditional assessments.
  2. They also provide sharper and more accurate results by using automated scoring/grading to remove the possibility for bias or human error
  3. They prevent candidates from misrepresenting their skill level in the interview
  4. Online assessments can be taken any time and anywhere by the candidates. This helps in improving their hiring experience. 
  5. They save time and cut down the recruitment costs by eliminating the need for multiple rounds of interviews.

How Do Employers Benefit From Skill Assessment Tests

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Image Source: Otomeyt

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 skill-testing with online assessments majorly benefits employers while hiring a new employee.

1.Verify a Candidate’s Claims

Research by Inc. has 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 verify if the candidates possess the skills they mentioned on their resumes. 

Also, online assessment tools offer many settings to prevent cheating, such as— 

  • disabling tab switching 
  • randomizing questions and answer options 
  • pooling questions randomly from question banks 
  • setting a timer

So, you can rest assured that the candidates aren’t lying on the assessments as well!

2. 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 appear for the interview 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 move to the next selection stage. This, in turn, helps recruiters focus their time only on the best candidates.

For example, job skills tests, psychometric tests, cognitive tests, tests to check emotional intelligence, or sample job tasks tests can be conducted beforehand to know applicants better.

3. Improve Efficiency

When you use a skill assessment test for job suitability, it not only helps you pick the right candidate but also reinvent 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, and provide detailed, downloadable reports, you can simply cut stages 1-4.

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

4. 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 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 with interactive scenarios requiring complex decision-making
  • Mix and match question sets to judge specific skills, and more.

5. 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 provides are accurate and evidence-based. It is an actual analysis of candidates’ skills and knowledge. 

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Unlike resumes and interviews, skill tests provide a more objective evaluation of a candidate’s skills. Many skill test creators offer detailed test reports and robust analytics that provide 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 making a bad hire, so let’s look at how you can create the perfect skill assessment test in easy steps.

How to Create a Skill Assessment Test

We’re now going to walk you through the creation of an example skill 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 assessment 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 ‘Create a Quiz.’

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

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

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

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2- Build an Assessment from Scratch

While picking a template is an easy way to launch a skill assessment test, creating one from scratch lets you get creative. 

Step-1: Get Started

On your quiz dashboard, click +Create a Quiz.

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Then, click Create Scored Quiz. 

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Then, click +Create from Scratch. 

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Step-2: Add Questions

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

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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 skill assessment test you’ve created or even a spreadsheet by clicking the Import Questions button located at the bottom.

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Or, simply pick questions from the question bank that has more than 100,000+ ready-to-use quizzes 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. 

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Here’s an example: 

Suppose you’re building a marketing skills assessment test, 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. 

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

Similarly, you can add more questions. 

Step-3: Automate Scoring

After you’ve added questions to your assessment, assign scores to the questions 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. 

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Step-4: Take Measures to Prevent Cheating

This 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 different 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 online.

Step-5: Design the Look & Feel

The last step in creating skill assessment tests 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. 

skill-assessment22 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. 

Lastly, click 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 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 this video guide 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. Let’s give it a quick read. 

10 Tips to Create the Perfect Skill Assessment Tests

As already stated, skill-based 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.

Here are 10 practical tips for creating great employee skill assessment tests.

1. 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.

2. Match the Tests to the Positions

Avoid using the same skill assessment 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 want to avoid including questions that test candidates’ math skills and instead ask more questions on coding algorithms.

3. Keep Your Tests Short

Rather than creating 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.

4. 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. This is called test validity, and if you are writing your test, it is worth taking some time to learn more about this important aspect.

5. 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 real-life situations.

6. Test Soft Skills Too

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

7. Don’t Make It Too Difficult

Keeping your skill assessment tests 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 straight away (or approach all of the scenarios in the same way). 

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 spelling and grammar.

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.

8. 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 confuse them or put them in an uncomfortable situation.

9. 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.

10. Use an Online Assessment Creator

Finally, 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

With the right test generator at your disposal, you can easily streamline your recruitment process and hire qualified employees that will add value to your organization. 

On the flip side, choosing the wrong one can cost you lots of money and time, making it crucial to select a test generator that suits your needs. 

Here’s how you can go about it in four simple steps. 

Step 1: Define Your Assessment Needs

To select an assessment tool that is tailored to your requirements, you need to start by defining them. 

For instance, you should be clear about the skills you want to evaluate in your candidates. That’s because some skill assessment tools may be specialized in testing technical skills, while others may be geared more towards soft skill testing. 

Create a list of all the skills you wish to evaluate before you proceed to the next step. Also, find out how many candidates you will be evaluating on a monthly basis.   

Step 2: Create a List of Important Tool and Service Features  

Next up, you need to decide on all the features and characteristics you’ll need in your skill assessment tool. Here are some features that we believe are super-important when it comes to skill assessment tools. 

  1. Ease of Use – A good online assessment software shouldn’t require any download or installation, and creating and sharing skill assessment tests should be quick & easy. 
  2. Templates – A good tool comes with professionally-designed templates that make the process of creating assessments 10x easier. 
  3. Automated Scoring and Grading – Good assessment software supports automated grading and scoring. Imagine how much time you can save with this!
  4. White-labeling –  Your skill assessment tool should support branding so that you can add logo and themes to your assessments. 
  5. Anti-Cheating Functionalities – A superior skill assessment tool lets you randomize questions, shuffle answer options, set time limits, and disable tab switching, so that candidates can’t cheat. 
  6. Security Configurations – Ensure that the skill assessment tool you choose provides robust  security configurations, such as protecting your skill assessment tests with a password and disabling printing, downloading, and copying.  
  7. Insightful Reports – Your assessment software should offer insightful and easily-digestible reports. Detailed reporting and analytics make it easy to compare candidates. Even better if you can also download the reports to review later.
  8. Responsive UI – 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

Step 3: Compare Your Options

Once you’ve figured out your skill assessment needs as well the features that will help meet them, you can start researching the market for suitable options. Here’s what you need to do to ensure your research is quick yet thorough enough for making an informed decision.

  • Go through this list again to narrow down your choices 
  • Browse through tool providers’ websites
  • Check out user reviews on review websites, such as Capterra, Crozdesk, G2, etc. 

Step 4: Try Out Your Top Options   

Shortlist three or four skill assessment tools based on your research and take them for a spin. Getting first-hand experience is crucial for accurately evaluating any software. 

Many skill assessment tools offer a free trial or demo of their premium features. Take advantage of this possibility to avoid spending unnecessary costs and time.  

Hire the Right Way Every Time

Skill assessment tests are very easy to create and they provide the most accurate results. It is better to create an assessment test and use it to simplify the hiring process and save time than to follow the traditional process. And, with the right assessment tool, you can rest assured that the candidates you hire will be the right fit for the job.

ProProfs Assessment Software provides all the features that you could ask for in your skill assessment software. This includes 10+ question types, automated scoring, 100+ professionally designed and ready-to-use assessments, dedicated anti-cheating functionalities, and much moreall in a super-intuitive interface. 

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About the author

priyanshi

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.