The digital revolution has overhauled how a human resources manager functions. Modern HR managers now have several digital tools across hiring, managing talent, and payroll processing at their disposal. These digital tools, in turn, have optimised tedious, error-prone, and costly time-consuming tasks, to be completed at a click of a button.
However, in this ever-expanding suite of tech tools, the one thing that remains elusive is the accuracy or precision in getting that hard-to-find and high-quality tech talent in a short span. Say, once a candidate is identified, it’s still only half the battle won. It is because the recruitment process is usually too slow and lacks the bandwidth to effectively screen the candidate with the level of domain expertise demanded by the operating team.
How slow? A typical hiring process takes 36 days – where screening and conducting interviews alone takes 15 days. On the supply side, about 250 resumes are submitted for each job posting where four to six candidates will get an interview.
It is no wonder that as many as 70 percent of companies expressed an intention to increase their CSR spending in education and skilling in this fiscal. Another study last March revealed that 81 percent of Indian companies maintain skills inventories – far more than any other region.
It is here that an assessment tool, still in its nascent stage in terms of the adoption rate, plays an important role in a variety of decision-making, particularly in the area of hiring new talent and screening existing talent to create a skills inventory. Rightly so, a skills inventory developed based on a comprehensive assessment tool can help tackle business challenges head-on.
A cursory reading of an assessment player shows that an effective inventory can be created over several programming languages, frameworks, AI, Machine Learning, Data Science, and so on. Robust skills inventory further documents a compilation of the skills, education, and experiences of its existing employees. On the non-tech side, there are assessment tools for psychometric and aptitude tests. In fact, some of these tools can cherry-pick future leaders with the ability to make critical decisions with strong interpersonal skills.
In addition, a skills database of the potential candidates through a formal system ought to give a long horizon advantage to the company. Skill assessments also help HR scour through an ocean of applicants and get the applications down from a thousand to ten.
In a nutshell, skill assessment can help the HR in two major aspects:
– Hire Right & Hire Fast
– ReSkill, Upskill, Deploy: Faster & Better
Screening In, Not Screening Out
Pre-employment testing and applicant assessments have been around for a long time, so why is there growing popularity to incorporate these tools into the hiring process? The changing nature of work and shift to work from the home/hybrid model due to Covid-19 has quickly and dramatically led to an unprecedented surge in demand for new skills and abilities; and radically changed the way businesses function around the world, including their recruitment strategies and processes.
In fact, experts believe that a typical recruitment practice of screening out—or eliminating candidates because they don’t meet all criteria—is not workable in the present environment. The talent acquisition team should practice more “screening in,” or hiring for competencies and training on the particular role, they add.
“In fact, experts believe that a typical recruitment practice of screening out—or eliminating candidates because they don’t meet all criteria—is not workable in the present environment. The talent acquisition team should practice more “screening in,” or hiring for competencies and training on the particular role, they add.”
The problem is many companies lack the infrastructure and understanding of the importance of these tech tools and a few still rely on archaic paper-based assessments on campuses and walk-ins. That seems to be changing. According to a survey from MeritTrac and Behavioural Economics and Science Team (BEAST), 86 percent of organisations moved hiring and assessment online during the pandemic and 30 percent had no technology infrastructure in place for online hiring or assessment.
A happy, yet slow start is that companies are increasingly using pre-hire assessments – such as work samples, cognitive ability tests, and personality, values and competencies test that the job role, company culture, etc demands – to identify the best candidate which is driving a greater assessment tool adoption than we’ve ever seen before.
As a result, employees employed based on algorithmic suggestions had 15 percent longer work tenures than those hired without testing, according to a University of Toronto Study.
In addition, the practice of filtering down the funnel through a process of elimination also leads to a bad candidate experience. To address this issue, a platform like DoSelect boasts of a library of questions spread across multiple languages, roles, skillset, and tech frameworks to hire right and fast. The evaluation engine performs a deep skill quality analysis to help refine the company’s candidate list, with the skill insights that are critical to a job function.
Such tools help the company in hiring the right talent fast and with precision. Besides, the level of automation involved in these tools can create a positive candidate experience by triggering messages after a candidate completes an assessment on whether the company will contact them because they fit the role or thank them for their time and nudge them to apply for other roles in the company that are more suitable to their skillset.
UpSkill, ReSkill, and Resource Deployment
Not just in hiring, assessments play a critical role in making talent decisions from whiteboard to a role-based simulation throughout the entire employment lifecycle of the candidate. They play a role in onboarding, upskilling, reskilling, deployment, internal mobility, certifications, and more. When it comes to skills, assessment is the way forward.
“Not just in hiring, assessments play a critical role in making talent decisions from whiteboard to a role-based simulation throughout the entire employment lifecycle of the candidate. They play a role in onboarding, upskilling, reskilling, deployment, internal mobility, certifications, and more. When it comes to skills, assessment is the way forward.”
More and more organisations are turning to analytics to guide their entire employment lifecycle which will only increase the use of assessments in various industries and businesses.
In a December 2021 interaction with AllThingsTalent, M. Lakshmanan, Chief Human Resources Officer, LTTS said, “We believe in investing in talent, developing talent, and building talent from within. We would like to take the option of buying talent from the market only when it is absolutely necessary. If we are venturing into a new business or new line of technologies where we don’t have that skill or expertise, then we look for talent in the market. But otherwise, we believe in building talent rather than buying it.’’
Several larger companies have effectively aced on how to build the talent needs through training and L&D policies.
First, it is more economical. Second, internal talent understands the culture of the company and how things get done better in the organisation.
Using the skills inventory, an HR professional can understand if the current workforce skills are sufficient to meet their company goals and where the skills gaps exist. As many as 375 million people (about 14 percent of the global workforce) may be affected by 2030 because of digital transformation, automation, and advancements in artificial intelligence (2018 McKinsey Global Institute report). Skill assessment, when used properly, can add to an organisation’s learning and improvement program.
To conclude, well-thought-out talent assessments can help employers onboard employees quickly, easily, ethically, and without making costly recruitment mistakes.
New-age technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, gamification, automation, social media, big data analytics, and crowdsourcing, assessments make hiring less prone to prejudice, increase gender and racial diversity, and diminish human error.
Keeping pace in a rapidly changing work environment requires employers to quickly identify the right skills and the people who possess them. This can only be done with systems that can predict, understand, and match thousands of people to a job and offer real-time solutions, such as automated short-listing of high-potential candidates and discarding the unqualified ones.