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Assessments Are the Solution to Best in Class Technical Hiring – Tech Recruiting Learning Series #2

Written By Jessica Miller-Merrell | December 18, 2014

The war for talent is alive and well no more so than California and HackerRank’s own backyard of Silicon Valley. Companies are leaning towards candidate selection tools and resources that help better determine a candidate’s qualifications and skills, especially for positions that require programming.

Aberdeen’s 2014 High Performance Study found that assessments used in pre-hiring are growing in popularity. Their research indicates a 20% growth from 2013 to 2014. The assessment industry is vast with the goal of better quality hiring and qualifying your best-in-class candidates.

The types of assessments used in hiring and qualifying candidates often make the decision to purchase an assessment product or technology  overwhelming and confusing. I have taken the liberty of describing a number of assessment options below.

The goal when administering an assessment to a candidate or a group of candidates is to improve the quality of your hiring and dig deeper into your candidate’s skills and qualifications in ways that a standard white board test or interview wouldn’t provide.

Skill-Based Assessments

Like HackerRank, skill-based assessment and testing are used to measure a skill such as coding, typing or computer skills like Excel or 10 key. The assessment type varies on the skill being tested with most of the knowledge portion of these skills testing happening online. HackerRank’s testing offers a more thorough skill analysis that evaluates the skill level of programmers in multiple coding languages using software algorithms.

Personality Assessments

Questions based on psychology used to determine a candidate’s personality type. Companies want to hire candidates who have a personality profile that is a productive, honest, social and hard working employee. Personality assessments for the purposes of hiring must go beyond the standard Meyers Briggs test to really provide an in-depth look at the candidate. Experts often recommend the 5 Factor Personality Test.

Behavioral Fit Assessments

These are probably the most common types of assessments given for pre-hire solutions and for employee advancement. The test evaluates if the person has the right pattern behavior for the role, and is sometimes used to find candidates similar to successful employees already in a position or role at a company. Tests like this are growing in popularity as organizations are leveraging predictive analytics and data science in their hiring strategies.

Aptitude Testing.

Measures critical thinking skills and decision-making. Candidates can be measured on how new skills and how likely they will successfully complete a training program at your company. This type of testing is extreme thorough.

Situational Testing

Tests like these put your candidate in the throw of the work environment to see how they respond to specific situations and experiences. This is especially important in positions that are high stress or require quick decision-making.

Assessments in most cases are used to evaluate candidates more objectively as part of the hiring process. Skill based testing puts your candidate’s skills to the test in an environment that is completely customized to your company and the position for which you are hiring. Doing so offers you insights into technical candidates, their skills and unique problem solving abilities that are crucial for engineering, programming and other technical positions at your company. Fast moving organizations can no longer afford to simply hire the best in class employees solely off of a resume and recruiter gut instincts.

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