If you asked your employer to take $8,000 of the company’s money to a casino and let it ride on one wager, how do you think he or she would respond?

How do you think they would respond if you came to them with this question weekly? Better yet, how do you think they would respond if you did it without even asking for permission?

It is becoming more and more evident that the equation of running a profitable organisation begins with adding high quality people. So, it should be considered a great compliment to be invited to contribute to the hiring process. It is a serious responsibility and a great opportunity to make a significant contribution to the success of your organisation.

The hiring scenario

Let us consider a very typical hiring scenario: your organisation is leaner and meaner than it has ever been and each single decision made is tied closely to profitability. It seems like there are more candidates applying for positions than ever before and you find yourself under a sea of resumes filled with diverse skills and experiences. Your HR department is a little smaller and it seems like each person’s time is at a premium. And, of course, you need the position filled yesterday! Hence, the $8,000 bet.

The cost of hiring, training and then losing a candidate don’t seem to matter…The reason will vary from organisation to organisation, but hiring managers place these bets almost every single day. Many are just not aware that technology exists to assist them in making the right decisions in a time-efficient manner.

Let’s look at one way we can leverage pre-employment assessment technology to help ‘hedge our bets’.

If a job description has been written for a vacant position then, chances are, there are certain skills that are deemed critical contributors to success. For instance, a local employer was recently hiring for a ‘Sales Assistant’ position. The skills required by the employer involved typing speed and proficiency in two common office software applications. The HR Manager would be making the hiring decision with the ever-elusive Sales Manager, and they happened to receive over 100 resumes on the very first day it advertised.

The solution

So now you have a huge candidate pool, a hiring team that is already busy to begin with, and a critical revenue-generating position that is vacant. Does that sound familiar?

Here is how pre-employment assessments can help…First, internet technology provides the ability to access a wide variety of skills assessments via the cloud. Common areas of interest would be clerical, software, technical, call centre, customer service, financial and many more. Next, employers can issue password protected session IDs to candidates via their email. A candidate would receive the session ID along with an email that explains the entire process. Then, the candidate would test from an available computer with an internet connection, virtually any time. Finally, scores would be automatically emailed to the test administrator upon the candidate’s completion, accompanied by a detailed report that includes proficiency by skill type, task type, question level and the time it took to answer each question.

No more bets, please…

The end result of this process can be demonstrated by the actions of the HR Manager in the dilemma above. Each applicant with the relevant job experience was emailed a session ID and a battery of skills assessments. In 24 hours, they had 15 responses from candidates who exhibited proficiency in the skills deemed critical for job success.

Hence, the HR Manager and Sales Manager were able to schedule one full day of face-to-face interviews with pre-qualified candidates with the job experience and skills that they were looking for. They found their new ‘Sales Assistant’ that day! The HR Manager went on to the next hiring decision, the Sales Manager went back to selling, and both can feel confident that they made an informed hiring decision they could, in an efficient manner.

Skills assessments are basic hiring tools that are easy to administer, cost-effective and a reliable way to determine whether or not a candidate truly possesses the skills represented on their resume. They are generally easy to implement and standardise throughout an organisation and they can quickly become a key component in a world-class hiring system.

So, with these and other great hiring tools available today…why leave things to chance?

Click here to view our range of over 1,500 IBM skills assessments starting from $29 per person.

Source: IBM Software Thought Leadership Whitepaper – ‘Why Test for Skills?’