By far the most valuable and important asset for companies is to have a competent workforce. However, it is not always easy to measure how qualified the candidates are and if they have understood all relevant instructions for their job. The best way to understand and make use of the full potential of a candidate is to conduct instructions and skill assessments in a digital way.
What are digital instructions?
Digital instructions guide employees with content delivered via technology, such as video and smart software that offers a personalized array of learning experiences without live interaction with a lecturer. Two types of important digital instructions are external and internal.
- External instructions are provided to inform the employees about the topics that every employee is required to know by regulation, such as work safety and health.
- Internal instructions are related to job-specific topics that an employee needs to know in order to perform a job. An example would be to instruct the packaging order of a product or answers to typical FAQs.
What are skill assessments?
Skill assessments measure a candidate’s proficiency and competency in a specific skill or set of skills with a standardized test. Companies mostly use it to evaluate regularly if a candidate has the ability and knowledge to perform a given job. Some skill assessments need to be documented, especially in work safety and health. Conducting this digitally saves a lot of time and provides companies with full transparency and with documentation of the legal requirements.
Assessments are also frequently used for new job candidates and employees who need to be trained to a new set of tools. For new job candidates, companies need to understand the proficiency level of skills. They must evaluate the ability of a candidate whether she is able to fill the job. With online testing, companies can easily determine skill gaps between the desired or necessary performance for the role and the actual performance of the employee or the candidate.
Why are instructions and skill assessments so important?
Work safety and health are oftentimes compulsory due to national regulation. Currently, the instructions and skill assessments are done personally and with pen-and-paper-based tests. Clearly, this is very inefficient and there is huge potential in digitizing this process and automating all the documentation requirements.
For new employees or when a person needs to be trained for a job, a company needs to determine the required skills clearly and define measurable metrics. Companies can then easily incorporate those metrics into an assessment test. With skill assessment, they can more easily standardize their hiring and appraisal processes and be more efficient in that regard. They would also feel more confident as an organization because both they and their assessment participants would feel like the evaluation would depend on a fair system. According to Bell and Ford (2007), employers are more motivated to learn and acquire new skills when they perceive higher levels of distributive justice. As a result, their productivity would increase as a company when employees are more motivated within their jobs. They would also be better able to narrow the performance gaps and provide your employees with a clear roadmap for them to work on their weak competencies.
When to use a skill assessment test?
Skill assessment is usually the most direct method to understand what contributions the participant can make to the company, as opposed to resumes and diplomas, which measure what has the participant done so far. You can use skill assessments for several purposes in recruiting. First, skill assessment tests are highly useful when hiring managers want to hire new employees, especially when the position requires specific knowledge or expertise in a field, or there are so many applicants to the position because it facilitates narrowing down the candidate list. Another purpose of using skill assessments is measuring learning and development. A skill assessment helps to determine if a training program for employees has been effective and if there is an advancement in their competencies.
Similarly, you can use skill assessments to assess the performance of existing employees to find out if they improve building up necessary skills they have for their jobs. Finally, skill assessments are beneficial for reskilling and upskilling purposes. Gaining entirely new skill sets or building upon their existing skills is becoming more and more important. World Economic Forum (2018) estimated that approximately 70% of the working population will have experienced a job shift into different departments or sectors by 2026 because of technological disruptions in many sectors. Many employers have already been encouraging building proficiencies in different fields to fill the talent gaps.
Some tips and reminders to conduct successful skill assessments for companies
1. Be job-specific: Are you testing for a software engineering role or a public relations role? It is important to measure the skills that are essential to the role and can be directly related to their job performance instead of focusing solely on generic skills applicable to every role in the company.
2.Determine the ideal testing method: Some skills can be assessed via written exams, while some others can be measured more effectively through an online scenario or case-based evaluation. For example, if you are evaluating different candidates for a customer success role, it would be easier to understand the potential job performance of the candidates by assigning them to an imaginary customer in an unpleasant situation and to see whether they are solution-oriented.
3.Provide your employees with testing resources: Giving the opportunity to brush up on their knowledge or providing some guidance would help the participants to feel more confident and comfortable about the assessment experience and would reveal their potential as employees. Depending on the context of the assessment, participants should also be able to access those resources while testing if they can do so in a real-life context. If employees are normally allowed to look up a job manual for guidance, they should be able to do so during the skill assessment.
Digitizing instructions would help to provide your employees an efficient and smooth onboarding experience. Conducting successful skill assessments would give you the power to personalize your recruiting and internal training strategy as an organization. Companies should see this as an opportunity to enable trust among the workforce. With cubemos’s user-friendly and customized solution for assessment creation, exam conduction, and certification, your organization can deliver flexible, remote assessments, ensure a safe testing experience for participants, and secure valuable exam content and resources with its features. Go to our homepage to schedule a demo or contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bell, B. S., & Ford, J. K. (2007, February 28). Reactions to skill assessment: The forgotten factor in explaining motivation to learn. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 18(1), 33-62. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.1191
World Economic Forum. (2018). Towards a Reskilling Revolution: A Future of Jobs for All. Geneva/Switzerland: World Economic Forum. Retrieved from http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_FOW_Reskilling_Revolution.pdf