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Guide to Technical Assessment Tests: Hire the Best Talent Easily

Two of the biggest challenges recruiters face when hiring are:

  • How to ensure selected candidates have the required technical skills
  • How to reduce the time to hire

Hiring unsuitable candidates results in time wasted finding a suitable replacement. Meanwhile, inefficient, time-consuming hiring processes can mean less time is left to vet a candidate for a role fit. 

It’s a vicious cycle.

The good news is that we’ve got the perfect solution – online technical assessment tests. 

Have you also been looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your hiring process?

Then, this article is for you.

In this post, you’ll learn how to create technical assessment tests and use them to streamline and enhance your hiring process. But first, let’s understand more about what technical assessment tests are.

What Is a Technical Assessment Test?

A technical assessment test is a pre-employment screening test that assesses a job candidate’s hard skills and knowledge. 

For example, a technical assessment for hiring developers would consist of questions that test candidates’ programming skills. Similarly, a technical skill test for hiring for a finance & accounting role may test candidates’ bookkeeping skills or their familiarity with accounting software. 

Technical skill assessments differ from soft skill assessments in that soft skill assessments focus on general abilities applicable across various roles, such as communication or time management. On the other hand, technical skills assessments only test candidates’ role-specific abilities

Types of Questions in a Technical Test

Effective technical assessment tests feature questions in diverse styles. Asking questions in different ways makes the test more engaging and insightful.

  • Objective-Type Questions

Objective-type or closed-ended questions have only a single or fixed number of correct answers. The answer is a word, a phrase/short sentence, or a group of words in a sequence. Depending on the question type, the test taker may be required to choose the correct answer or type it in. 

Popular formats of objective questions in online technical tests include:

  • Multiple-choice: Answered by choosing a single option from a list 
  • Checkbox/multiple-response: Answered by choosing one or more options from a list 
  • Fill-in-the-blanks: Answered by filling in one or more blanks in an incomplete sentence
  • Matching: Answered by choosing matches for the items in one column from the items in another column 
  • List Ordering: Answered by arranging a list of items in the appropriate order 

Objective-type questions offer a key advantage if you use an online assessment tool to conduct your technical test. You can automate the scoring to reveal results instantly and remove the need for an evaluator.

Watch: How to Automate Quiz Grading

  • Open-Ended Questions 

Open-ended or essay-type technical questions require the candidate to provide the answer in the form of a passage or short essay/article. Such questions can be especially helpful when you want to know the candidate’s overall understanding of a particular topic. 

  • Audio/Video-Response Questions

Audio/video-response questions are open-ended questions that let the assessment taker respond by recording an audio clip or video instead of typing in their answer. This question type is equally useful for technical tests and interviews.

💡Pro Tip: 

When crafting video-response questions for remote technical interviews, consider presenting the questions via video. This approach replicates the dynamics of a live video conference interview while offering candidates the advantage of participating at a time that best suits their schedule.

Watch: How to Create a Video Quiz

  • Caselet-Based Questions 

Caselet-based questions present the candidates with a short case study, i.e., a caselet, and ask them to answer one or more questions based on it to test their knowledge and judgment. 

For example, check out the question below that assesses nursing competence. 

Why Do Companies Use Technical Assessments?

In modern organizations, technical assessments have a significant impact across various operational areas. 

  1. Refining Hiring Processes 

Technical assessments streamline the recruitment process by identifying candidates that best match the job requirements. This ensures that the right talent is selected, reducing the time and resources spent on finding the perfect candidate.

  1. Guiding Training Initiatives 

By highlighting the specific skills and knowledge areas that employees need to improve, technical training assessments help in developing targeted training programs. This ensures efficiency and effectiveness in training efforts by addressing the identified gaps.

  1. Enhancing Performance Reviews 

Technical assessments provide an objective measure of employee performance, leading to fairer and more productive performance reviews. This alignment of individual goals with organizational objectives encourages personal and professional growth.

  1. Supporting Succession Planning 

Technical assessments identify employees with leadership potential or those who could excel in more advanced technical roles, thus aiding in succession planning. This helps ensure continuity and stability within key positions by preparing future leaders.

  1. Aiding Strategic Workforce Decisions 

The insights gained from technical assessments assist in making informed decisions about talent management, ranging from hiring and development to strategic planning. This data-driven approach optimizes workforce allocation and prepares for future skill requirements.

Importance of Technical Assessments in Hiring 

Technical testing of job candidates offers several advantages, saving time, money, and effort during recruitment and after. Here they are: 

  • Accurately Assess Skills to Verify Claims

Research shows more than three in four people lie on their resumes. Imagine hiring someone who doesn’t actually have the advertised skills or experience! 

Also, as we mentioned earlier, the cost of bad hires can be great. It can go up to $840,000 if recent research is to be believed.

Needless to say, the stakes are high!

The way out?

Using technical tests, you can get deep insights into a candidate’s skills, enabling you to verify their claims about qualifications and experience easily. 

  • Ensure Role Alignment 

Technical exams help ensure that all employees are well-aligned with their roles by enabling you to understand candidates’ skills accurately. 

Plus, this works both ways. 

Technical screening tests provide candidates with a taste of what the job would be like so that they can self-analyze and screen themselves out if they find the role doesn’t match their skills. 

  • Assess Candidates Remotely 

Online technical tests make it easy to assess candidates when hiring remotely. Candidates can take assessments at a time and place of their choosing, removing test scheduling issues. 

For example, take the case of John Baker Sales, a leading paint booth provider in Denver, Colorado. Here’s how John Baker, the company’s owner, improved their hiring process using remote technical tests.

Case Study: John Baker SalesJohn had been struggling with implementing a testing process that would enable them to find which applicants perfectly fit their hiring criteria and the role. He found a test that would help them identify the right candidates, but delivering it in paper form turned out to be highly ineffective.Many people would do terribly on the test. Still, John would have to block an hour of his time for each candidate.Using ProProfs, John started sending the same test as a quiz link to the applicants. If the candidate didn’t meet the minimum score requirements, they were eliminated, and the face-to-face interview wasn’t conducted. John now finds it easy to create and share technical assessment tests using online assessment software. The tests are mobile-compatible, enabling candidates to take them anytime, anywhere. He gets the results in real time, making the process even more convenient. The testing approach has made John Baker Sales’ hiring process much more efficient, saving him countless hours that he can spend on revenue-producing activities.John has been looking to add more technical assessment tests, such as mechanical and electrical knowledge tests, to his pre-employment assessment process. He’s extremely confident that the new tests will provide the same satisfying results. 

Besides text-based questions, you can also include video-response questions in your technical tests, enabling you to conduct flexible remote interviews. This is particularly useful for hiring remote employees from any time zone. 

Watch: How to Create a Video Interview Question

  • Make Data-Driven Comparisons

Online technical tests provide an excellent way to compare candidates and improve hiring decision-making. That’s because top online assessment tools offer automated reporting and analytics that you can leverage to create a data-backed screening process. 

Watch: How to Review Test Reports & Stats 

  • Easily Hire at Scale

Powered by automation features, such as automated scoring, feedback, and report generation, online technical assessments let you assess candidates at scale while maintaining the effectiveness of your assessments. 

The best assessment tools also let you set up measures to prevent cheating.

This means there’s no need for invigilation and physical test centers. 

For example, test maker software may be equipped with anti-cheating settings, such as question/answer shuffling, question pooling, proctoring, time limits, and more. 

  • Reduce Bias

Hiring bias is an age-old issue that sadly persists in modern times. What’s more, even if you do your best to create a diversity-oriented work culture, your hiring process may still be plagued by unconscious bias

What is unconscious bias? 

It’s the human tendency to form stereotypes without realizing it. Even if they champion diversity, equity, & inclusion, people may have unconscious biases about various groups.

Online technical assessments help reduce hiring bias by making the recruitment process more objective and data-focused. 

Read: How to Use Online Testing to Change Your Recruitment Game

  • Engage Candidates 

A well-designed technical test can help provide an engaging hiring experience to the candidates by letting them showcase their knowledge and even gain new knowledge to enhance their skill set.

This can improve the chances of the candidate choosing your company if they have multiple offers.

Online technical assessment tests also let you present your questions in an aesthetically pleasing way since you can add beautiful themes. 

The best assessment software also lets you add branding elements, such as your company’s logo, colors, and graphics, to your assessments to make candidates feel better connected with your organization. 

Watch: How to Add a Theme & Logo to a Test

  • Onboard Smoothly 

The knowledge and insights you gain from conducting a technical assessment test can help you create better, personalized induction programs. For example, you may need to provide a quick training course to a new employee during onboarding before you can put them on the job. A technical assessment can help identify such training requirements. 

💁‍♂️ Pro tip: 

You can go for an easy yet feature-rich learning management system, such as ProProfs Training Maker, for your onboarding, compliance, or leadership development needs to make this possible.

Watch: How to Create an Employee Onboarding Training Program

  • Identify High Potential & Future Training Needs

Besides identifying immediate training needs, technical tests can also help you identify future training needs and leadership potential. In this way, technical tests also play a key part in succession planning initiatives. 

That was a round-up of the multi-faceted advantages that technical assessment tests bring to the table. 

Now, let’s jump to how you can create technical tests using online assessment software and optimize them for the best results. 

How to Create Technical Assessment Tests Online 

Here’s the process for creating online technical assessments in five simple steps. 

Step 1: Pick a pre-built assessment or start creating one from scratch.

Step 2: Draft questions, import them from a library, or generate them using AI.

Step 3: Automate scoring and results.

Step 4: Configure security, notifications, and other settings.

Step 5: Customize the appearance and add your branding.

To learn more about the assessment creation process, check out the video tutorial below.

Watch: How to Create an Online Assessment Test

Best Practices for Setting up a Technical Assessment 

Here are some tips on creating the best technical assessments to help you achieve your smart hiring goals. 

  • Define Competencies

Before creating your assessments, you need to be clear on what specific competencies you want to test. 

Defining the competencies you’re looking for will help ensure that:

  • your test is tailored to the role you’re hiring for 
  • includes enough questions focusing on the unique competencies required 
  • Use Various Question Formats 

Using a mix of question types in your assessments lets you assess candidates’ knowledge in different ways while giving you the flexibility to ask any question in a proper format. 

This enables you to get a comprehensive understanding of candidates’ expertise. Using multiple question types also results in a better, more engaging experience for the candidates. 

Watch: Question Types for Online Assessment

  • Create a Comprehensive but Short Test

While your test must adequately cover the competencies you’re assessing, it also shouldn’t be too long. Unnecessarily lengthy recruitment tests make for a poor candidate experience and reduce the chances of the candidate choosing your company over others.

💡Pro Tip: 

A good way to ensure your tests aren’t too long is to create separate tests for each competency instead of creating separate tests for each job profile.

For example, suppose you’re hiring for a sales position. In that case, you can create one test to assess general sales skills, another to assess upselling & cross-selling skills, and a third one to assess familiarity with customer relationship management software, such as Salesforce or BigContacts.

  • Test Practical Knowledge

You want to hire candidates who can do the job, not those who have all the knowledge but will require extensive training to become job-ready. So, make sure your technical assessment tests focus heavily on testing practical knowledge. 

To that end, you need to include a good number of case study or scenario-based questions in your assessments. Check out the technical assessment example below featuring scenario-based questions on sales.

  • Add Images to Questions

Adding images to your questions or answer options is a great way to make them visually appealing and make your technical assessment test more engaging.

Besides images, you can also add videos, documents, or audio clips to your test and ask questions based on them. 

  • Configure Security & Anti-Cheating Settings

Security and anti-cheating settings maintain the credibility and integrity of your assessment. Here are some essential settings for technical assessment tests.

  • Make your assessments private and password-protected 
  • Shuffle the order of questions and answer options
  • Create a pool of questions to present a different, randomly-selected set of questions to each candidate
  • Enable remote proctoring settings
  • Disable tab switching 
  • Disable copying and printing of test content

Read: Ways to Prevent Cheating in Online Tests & Exams

  • Add Time Limits 

Adding time limits to your questions helps you conduct more accurate assessments in two ways:

  • It enables you to find out how quickly the candidate can recall critical information and how familiar they are with key processes.
  • It serves as a cheating prevention measure since candidates don’t get enough time to look for answers.

Watch: How to Create a Timed Test

  • Work on the Look & Feel

How your test looks can be crucial in terms of candidate experience. Your technical assessment tests should have an appealing aesthetic that accurately reflects your brand identity. 

Choose a beautiful theme and customize it to match your brand. Change the background, colors, fonts, etc., and add your company logo to the test interface.

  • Provide Clarity in the Welcome Screen

Before a candidate starts with a technical assessment test, they need to be clear on the assessment’s purpose and any guidelines they need to keep in mind. You can provide this clarity in the welcome screen in the form of the test description or as a short video introducing your company and the test. 

  • Use Top-Notch Assessment Software

To implement the tips shared above and realize the benefits discussed earlier, you need robust assessment software. 

  • Your assessment tool should be feature-rich so that you can customize and configure your assessments to suit your requirements to the T. 
  • It should also have a fast, clean, and user-friendly interface so that you have no trouble navigating through it. 
  • It should also be equipped with advanced reporting capabilities for easy candidate comparison.

Watch: How to Choose the Best Assessment Software

So, that was a quick tutorial on creating and conducting technical assessment tests online. Let’s wrap up this post by exploring the various types of technical tests you can create with an online assessment tool.

Types of Technical Assessment Tests

Here are the various types of technical assessments according to the job profile one is hiring for.

  • Sales Skills Tests

Sales skills tests assess a candidate’s skills and knowledge in field sales, inside sales, upselling & cross-selling, retail sales, etc. Such assessments target core sales abilities, such as persuasion & negotiation, handling sales objections, making strong presentations, etc. 

They also help find out if the candidate has the cognitive competencies to handle sales-related responsibilities and challenges. 

  • Customer Service Skills Tests

Customer service skills tests help you hire top-quality customer service representatives to achieve your aim of keeping your customers delighted. They assess candidates on cru

cial technical skills required for success in customer-facing roles, such as front-end technical support, troubleshooting, managing customer expectations, etc. 

  • Marketing Skills Tests 

These assessments test job applicants’ knowledge of the various aspects of a successful marketing strategy, such as brand management, lead generation, market research, search engine optimization (SEO), etc.

  • Operations Skills Tests

These assessments evaluate candidates’ suitability for business operations roles, such as operations manager, supply chain manager, etc.

  • Finance & Accounting Skills Tests

These tests assess a candidate’s ability to process and communicate financial information. You can use them to hire for various finance roles, including financial analyst, accountant, accounting manager, and more. 

  • Human Resources Skills Tests

You can use human resources skills tests to hire your HR & recruiting staff. These tests assess human resource management skills, such as interviewing candidates & selecting suitable ones, making a job offer, onboarding new employees, etc. 

These may also include questions that help evaluate candidates’ skills in communication, conflict resolution, negotiation, and other HR-specific areas.

  • Information Technology Skills Tests

These tests assess a wide range of technical abilities and web expertise. You can use these to hire IT professionals.

  • Business Software Skills Assessments

These tests assess candidates’ familiarity with business tools, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Excel, etc.

  • Programming Language Skills Assessments

Programming language skills assessments test candidates’ skills and knowledge pertaining to programming languages, such as Python, Ruby, HTML/CSS, etc. They are an excellent screening tool for hiring web developers

  • Industry-Specific Tests

These tests assess the technical skills and knowledge required for success in job roles specific to an industry or industry segment. For example, you can use a blueprint reading assessment to hire for engineering & industrial design positions. 

Similarly, if you’re hiring healthcare professionals, you may need to use technical assessment tests such as:

  • Technical Aptitude Tests 

Technical aptitude tests are an excellent way to find out if a candidate has the potential to be good at technical tasks. Some of the key competencies measured by technical aptitude tests include:

  • Safety & Compliance Assessments 

You can use various safety & compliance assessments to test candidates’ knowledge regarding their understanding of safe equipment operation and data privacy regulations & best practices laid out by GDPR, HIPAA, etc.

Create a Holistic Suite of Online Assessments

Technical assessment tests are an easy and highly effective way to screen candidates based on their role-specific knowledge. Conducting technical tests early on in your hiring process can save a lot of time, money, and effort. 

To take it up a notch, you can also include personality tests in your hiring process, creating a holistic battery of assessments to empower your recruitment decision-making. 

To set up this test-driven hiring system, you’ll need a powerful assessment solution. ProProfs Quiz Maker fits the bill with its combination of user-friendly simplicity and feature-richness. ProProfs Quiz Maker lets you create engaging tests easily with 15+ question types, 100+ smart settings, and a massive resources library with 100+ expert-designed assessments and over a million ready questions.

Do you want free Quiz Software?

We have the #1 Online Quiz Maker Software for complete learning & assessment

About the author

Vipul Bhagia is an e-learning expert and content creator, specializing in instructional design. He excels in crafting compelling e-learning modules and designing effective employee training assessments. He is passionate about leveraging digital solutions to transform work culture and boost productivity. Vipul enjoys exploring emerging tech innovations and sharing his insights with fellow industry professionals.